Homage to fromage
All-cheese menu makes a festive New Year's party
Queso fresco, herb-stuffed dates: A rendition of stuffed dates served warm with a simple balsamic glaze. Medjool dates prove soft and easy to stuff. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune / December 26, 2012)
12 ounces mild Swiss Gruyere, shredded
4 ounces Appenzeller, Emmenthal, Gouda or mild white cheddar, shredded
1 to 2 teaspoons pureed (or finely chopped) canned chipotles in adobo to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Vouvray or other chenin blanc, plus a little more as needed
1 or 2 strips lemon rind (no white pith)
1. Arrange fruit and tomatillos on a serving tray. Arrange bread in a basket; cover with a towel. Have the base of the fondue pot ready or heat water in the bottom of a double boiler or large saucepan.
2. Toss the shredded cheeses with chipotle in a bowl until mixed. Add cornstarch and toss to coat well.
3. Put wine and lemon rind strip into fondue pot or a small heavy saucepan. Heat over medium until wine is simmering. Add about a quarter of the cheese to the hot wine and stir until cheese melts. Stir in another quarter of the cheese until melted. Repeat until all cheese is melted.
4. Set pot over the fondue burner or over the simmering water. Keep the fondue bubbling very gently just to keep the cheese warm and melty. (Don't let it get overheated; it will get stringy.) Turn off the fondue pot as needed to maintain this low temperature. Thin with additional wine if needed.
5. Serve fondue warm. Use fondue forks to dip fruit and breads into warm cheese.
Per serving (plus the dunkables): 316 calories, 24 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 84 mg cholesterol, 4 g carbohydrates, 22 g protein, 354 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.