I've eaten authentic Swiss fondue, and I've also watched it being made. It's a very simple process, really, and probably easier than most people's regular macaroni and cheese recipes. If you're looking for a romantic dinner for two, or a fun and easy dish for a small gathering of friends, this is it.
If you've ever had authentic Swiss fondue, you'll recognize the blend of cheeses. Gruyere is nutty and slightly sharper than the Emmentaler. The flavor of the white wine is prominent, and you'll taste the Kirsch, a delicious colorless cherry brandy. Gruyere and Emmentaler tend to be expensive cheeses; buy small blocks. You can find mini bottles of Kirsch at large liquor stores.
Fondue Macaroni and Cheese
makes 2 large or 4 small servings
oven to 325
2 cups elbow pasta
- Cook the pasta to just shy of al dente, so it is still firm. Drain and set aside. Toss it with a tiny bit of olive oil so it doesn't clump.
3 tsp cornstarch
- In a bowl, toss the grated cheeses with the cornstarch and set it by the stove. The cornstarch is important because it helps the wine and cheese blend into a smooth emulsion.
3 Tbs Kirsch
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg
- In a saucepan, heat the wine to a simmer, and then slowly add the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring or whisking continuously to incorporate it before going on to the next handful. The mixture should be hot but not boiling, and it only takes a short time...don't walk away.
- When the cheese is fully incorporated, add the Kirsch and salt and pepper to taste. Then grate in some fresh nutmeg.
- Add the macaroni to the fondue, and turn everything into a baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbling, and then finish under the broiler to brown. Serve right away.
One year ago today---