By Donna Erickson
Signal Contributing Writer
My best cheese fondue memory goes back to a summer in Switzerland, the country of its origin. After hours of hiking trails in the Alps with a French family, we arrived at a charming mountaintop chalet, where we dipped chunks of fresh, rustic bread into a classic cheese fondue to cap off a perfect day.
The memory of the edible trek lives on when I prepare fondue on my home turf. While authentic Swiss Emmentaler and Gruyere cheeses are available stateside, they can be quite pricey, so I’ve Americanized and simplified the traditional recipe using condensed cheddar-cheese soup as the base.
Bring out your fondue pot, stir up this easy recipe and warm up with friends and family on a chilly winter evening. Or serve it as a novel supper during Super Bowl halftime. A tossed green or fruit salad makes a nice accompaniment.
Mild Cheese Fondue
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed Cheddar cheese soup, such as Campbell’s 1/4 cup dry white wine or apple juice 1 cup Swiss cheese, grated 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated Tabasco (optional) Salt and white pepper 1 clove garlic, halved French bread, cut into bite-size chunks, each with some crust on 1. Heat soup, wine or apple juice, and cheeses over medium heat, stirring constantly until cheeses are melted. Add a drop or two of
Tabasco and season to taste with salt and pepper. 2. Rub the insides of a fondue pot with garlic. Pour the smooth cheese mixture into fondue pot and keep warm. Serve yourself by spearing bread chunks with fondue forks and dipping completely into sauce.
Make 4-6 servings.
Extra idea For preschoolers, dipping a long pretzel or bread stick topped with a chunk of French bread into their own bowl of the gooey cheese mixture is just as fun. Try veggies and apple slices for healthy dunkers, too.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”