Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue

A couple Saturdays ago, Aaron threw me a great birthday party, and as is usual at our parties, the food was the main focus of most attendees. We did have a good, but really easy, spread this time, including Aaron's Mom's BBQ meatballs, a veggie tray, spiced nuts, parmesan herb twists, cream puffs with chocolate sauce, chocolate cake, and my personal favorite: cheddar and hard cider fondue with soft pretzels and tart apple slices.

I've made this fondue for two occassions now, and it has always gotten a great response - usually both with profuse "mmmmm"s and several requests for the recipe. And it's so easy too! The first time I made it on the stove top, but this time I made it directly in the electric fondue pot, and it worked perfectly both times. If you have a party coming up and are still wondering what to make (or if the craving hits and you need to do a fondue night just for the fun of it), make this.

Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue
Source: Food Network

One (12 oz.) bottle hard cider (I've used both Woodchuck and Strongbow, both were good)
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (or pressed)
8 oz. gruyere, shredded
8 oz. vermont or new york (very sharp) cheddar, shredded
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Cayenne pepper

In a saucepan (or in the electric fondue pot) combine hard cider, stock, worcestershire, and garlic and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for five minutes.

In the meantime, combine shredded cheeses and toss with the cornstarch to coat. After the five minutes of simmering, add by the handful to the hard cider mixture, stirring each addition until melted before adding another. Cook, stirring, until the fondue is smooth, about 15 minutes from first cheese addition. Stir in a dash or two of cayenne and a pinch of salt (or to taste).

Suggested dippers - soft preztels, slices of granny smith apples, slices of baguette, lil smokies or slices of chicken apple sausage.

Come back tomorrow (hopefully) for the BBQ meatball recipe!

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