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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Irish Cheddar Whiskey Fondue

Irish Cheddar Whiskey Fondue
{Close your eyes.}  Wait.  Don't close your eyes.  Read this and imagine closing your eyes.  Envision my words in a soothing, transportive (totally a word) voice.

Picture, if you will, a bright, snowy day.  You've just donned your avocado-green ski suit.  You know the one.  It has sunset yellow and burnt sienna stripes across the breast.  You even bought special ski boots, a hat, and gloves to match those stripes.  Your chunky, white goggles are poised across your hat, on your forehead and your cheeks are bright pink from the winter air.

Fast forward two or three hours and many rides up the lift.  Your last trip down the slope, you feel a pull towards the belly of that lodge burning warm and glowing from within.  You set your skis by the door and strip down to cozy leggings, an over-sized turtleneck sweater, and warm, fuzzy slipper-boots.

Irish Cheddar and Irish Whiskey
But what is really beckoning you is that pot of warm, gently bubbling cheese from the fat wooden table in the corner.  You walk over and pull out the bench, grasping a long, slender stick from in front of you.  Friends gather round and you laugh as chunks of crusty bread, crisp apples, and spicy sausage take their turns being dunked into that bath of warmth.

{Aaaaaaaand, SCENE.}

Isn't Fondue romantic?  Who else wants to bring back the fondue parties of the 1970's?***

Irish Cheddar-Whiskey Fondue
Give your regular fondue a twist by using Irish Cheddar and some good Irish Whiskey.
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Irish Cheddar Whiskey Fondue

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Keywords: simmer appetizer entree cheese cheese whisk(e)y Super Bowl Valentines Day

Ingredients (serves: 6 (as a main course) or 10 (as an appetizer))
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1½ lb. Irish Cheddar cheese, shredded or grated
  • 1½ Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. Irish Whiskey
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Rub the cut side of the garlic all over the inside of a large, heavy pot (preferably cast-iron or enameled cast-iron). Set over medium-high heat; add wine, and bring to a simmer.

In the meantime, toss the cheese with the cornstarch. Add a handful at a time to the simmering wine, stirring until each handful melts before adding the next. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until the cheese is completely melted.

Add the whiskey and heat until bubbling, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately (transfer to a small dish set over a tea light to keep warm) with chunks of bread, smoked sausage, apples, or any other dipping accompaniments you wish.

-adapted from The New York Times
Irish Cheddar Whiskey Fondue
***Okay. I'm not entirely sure that this was how the Fondue Parties of the 70's went down. I was only ages 1 through 4 during that time period. Any fondue parties that I may have attended are blurry at best.