We are obsessed with fondue at our house. Several years ago my husband and I got away for a weekend for our anniversary, and had dinner at The Melting Pot. We loved it, but the price tag made it a meal that would be few and far between if we did not learn to make it ourselves. We are all for ordering whatever we want when we go out. Why go out if you are going to go cheap, right? But since one dinner of fondue out costs more than a week’s worth of groceries, learning it was.
We have been making cheese fondue for years, and for the longest time we just copied the recipe from our night at The Melting Pot. I mean, they make it right in front of you, so it is not like the recipe is a big secret. Even though the recipe we did know was amazing, we wanted to branch out. And, we don’t drink, and the recipe we had called for alcohol, and I was sick of knocking on the neighbor’s door asking for a cup of white wine. I started hunting for something new. I discovered that you can take just about any fondue recipe and substitute vegetable stock, chicken stock, or apple juice for the alcohol. You can also use milk if you make a roue first.
For a while, we had some that tasted good, but I really struggled with the consistency. It was too stringy, too rubbery, etc. It was not my best showing. This recipe seems to work well. I found the trick to be the right proportion of cheese to liquid, a decent heat, and some patience and cornstarch.
Why do we love fondue so much? Truthfully, because it is a long meal. When my husband and I have traveled abroad one of the things I have enjoyed the most is the lengthiness of meals. Here, we can get in for a reservation at 6, order, eat, and pay the check by 6:45. Seriously, it is like a thing to mark off the checklist, rather than something to savor and enjoy. And, it is CHEESE! Who doesn’t love cheese? This recipe calls for Gruyere and Emmentaler, but these are both PRICEY cheeses. And, if you are making your own dinner, it shouldn’t cost $50. When I have the extra cash, we will sometimes spring for it, but you can use the “fancy cheese blend” from Costco mixed with something nicer to cut down the cost. And, honestly, mozzarella and a blend like cheddar, Monterrey jack, or whatever you have will work. And it tastes great.
Cheese fondue for dinner means A LOT of cheese. Give your guts a bit of a break by choosing awesome dippers. We always go for variety. A few good choices include: crusty bread (pumpernickle, french, sour dough), apples, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, sausage, tortilla chips, naan (flat bread), roasted potatoes, gherkin pickles, pretzels, celery, ham, and grapes. Be creative, have fun!
This is the fondue pot we use, and honestly, I have bought several, and still find this one to be the best.
- 18 ounces of cheese Take your pick: Mixed, Gruyere, Gouda, Emmentaler For the cheese in picture I used Gruyere, Mozzarella, A spoonful of Ricotta, and some Brie.
- 1 clove garlic halved
- 1 c Apple Juice
- 1 tbs Cornstarch
- 3 tbs lemon juice
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of red hot chilli pepper flakes
- Grate the cheeses.
- Rub the fondue pot with garlic.
- Heat apple juice slowly.
- When it starts bubbling, stir in the cheese, a small handful at a time.
- After the cheese is melted, mix in cornstarch and lemon juice until smooth.
- Stir into cheese mixture until the right consistency.
- Season to taste using paprika and nutmeg.
- Serve with your favorite dippers: bread, apples, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, little smokies, celery
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.