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Dip #2–Farmhouse Cheddar and Tomato Fondue

July 14, 2011 by admin

I’m a fan of fondues. I just have to say that up front. There’s just something about that 1970s wholesomeness. It makes me imagine shag carpeting and rooms paneled in wood from wall to ceiling so that you feel like you’re in an oak womb. The sound of corduroy rubbing together. Disco balls. Bad mustaches. Key parties. Unprotected sex while sniffing massive doses of cocaine.

Uh

Er

Okay…so maybe the 70s weren’t exactly wholesome. I don’t know if this dip is wholesome either, but it’s good and comforting.

THE RECIPE

This comes from the book “delicious dips”  by Diane Morgan.

 

Makes 2 ½ cups

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

6 cloves roasted garlic

2 tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded

and cut into ¼-inch dice

1 ½ tablespoons flour

3 cups shredded white farmhouse

Cheddar Cheese

½ cup dry white wine

 

 THE PROCESS*

*Stuff in quotes is from the original recipe. The other stuff is my own comments.

“In a have 4 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and tomatoes and sauté, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.”

I don’t have time to roast garlic. (You wrap it in foil and roast it in a 350 oven for like an hour) so I use raw garlic, but less of it. Yeah, it’s probably better with roasted garlic…but that’s a winter time thing. So far so good.

 

The house is starting to smell pretty amazing. Did you know that tomatoes and cheese both have that hard-to-define quality/taste in it called umami? They do. And it’s why this dip is comfort food galore.

 

“While the tomatoes are cooking, combine the flour and cheese in a bowl and toss to coat the cheese. Add the wine to the tomato mixtures, stir once, and then add the cheese. Heat and stir until the cheese is completely melted. ”

I toss in the wine, and pour a glass for myself. You know, this dip would probably also be equally good with beer, and I don’t even like beer. But beer gives it that good-old-pub feeling.

Anyway. I throw the cheese in. You’re supposed to do it a handful at a time, but that’s just too high maintenance. I throw all the cheese in except for one handful which goes in my mouth. (We didn’t know what “Farmhouse” cheese was so we bought Irish cheddar, thinking that Ireland must have farms.)

Then I stir. It occurs to me just how fast this dip comes together once you have the ingredients prepped. It’s fast. Super fast. I should make a note of that.

THE VERDICT

“Transfer to a fondue pot set over an alcohol or sterno flame to keep it warm. Serve immediately.”

My fondue pot is somewhere in the basement, plus it’s just me and Kealoha eating it, so I save the fondue pot for another time. We dig right in.

It’s creamy, cheesey, gooey, warm, hint of garlic, wine and salt. Oh, it’s a balance of yummy heart-attack flavors. Yay! It’s melted cheese, for God’s sake. And it is all I expected it to be.

This dip is perfect for a winter party. I’m not sure I recommend it for summertime. It just really calls for a crackling fire and bad holiday sweaters. It’s rich so you don’t want to eat a ton of it. This is best for a party with a lot of other options. It is addictive.

I’m giving it 3 out of 5 pretzels, simply because you can’t eat a ton of it even if you want to.

THE DUNKABLES

Pretzels would be ideal. We use bread and bagel chips. If you’re going old-school fondue then cube the bread and have little forks to impale your food with. You could dip veggies in here too. Probably meat too. Shoot, slather it on a sandwich and add some bacon and you’ll probably go straight to heaven. Literally. It will kill you with its goodness.


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