Saturday, February 20, 2010

Food For Friday: Fondue Edition

I am really tired.  I started typing the title of this post and it was Fondue Addition before it became Fondue Edition.  Our travel schedule is crazy this semester!  For January, February and March, we are out of town as many days (if not more) as we are at home each month.  I enjoy and am refreshed by time at home to rest and craft and nest and spend time with Truman and sleep in my own cozy bed, so all of this travel, though it can be fun, also wears me out.

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day last weekend, which inspired this Fondue Food For Friday post.  (Which I bring to you a day late.) With all of the time we are spending away from home right now, we decided to stay in for a nice dinner and relaxing evening at home.  I am so glad we did!  Truman surprised me last Friday with beautiful roses that I got to enjoy on my coffee table during our week at home.

My sweet husband prepared a 3 course dinner for us, and I got to sit on a bar stool at our kitchen counter and hang out with him while he cooked.  He even did the grocery shopping.  I appreciate his thoughtful heart so much.

For our first course, we had my favorite cheese fondue with french bread, apples, and boiled red potatoes.  We were introduced to this cheese fondue by a friend in our Austin small group last year, and it is delicious!  I think warm cheese fondue is a perfect winter treat. (Recipe at the bottom of this post!)

We followed the cheese fondue with steaks, drizzled with melted garlic butter.  Here is my handsome hubby preparing our second course.  (He was stuck wearing my apron.  Poor guy.  I definitely need to be on the lookout for a manly apron for him to wear on the occasions when he's the one in the kitchen treating me to dinner!)

We ended our Valentine's dinner with one of my other absolute favorites, chocolate fondue with strawberries and pound cake.  In my opinion, one of the best parts of having dinner at home is that you can really take your time between courses, and have room for each one.  So often we when go out, I run out of room for one of my favorite parts...dessert!


After years of being single on Valentine's Day, I still appreciate the blessing of having a reason to celebrate and someone special to celebrate with.  What is even sweeter to me is that this often deemed "cheesy Hallmark holiday" is just another reason to do something fun together and take a day or evening to appreciate the love that we enjoy every single day.

Italian Cheese Fondue (serves 4)
8 oz grated Fontina cheese
8 oz grated Gruyere cheese
5 tsp cornstarch
6 oz thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
2 cups dry white wine (such as a Pinot Grigio)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chives

Toss grated fontina and gruyere cheese with the cornstarch in a medium bowl to coat.

Saute the pancetta in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat until crisp and golden, about 8 min.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a plate and pour off any excess oil. Pour wine into same saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and whisk in 1 handful of cheese until almost melted. Repeat until cheese is gone, about 4 times.
Continue simmering until fondue bubbles, about 1 min.

Stir in pancetta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the fondue pot and serve with boiled red potatoes cut into fourths, cubed french bread and apple slices.

*Notes:  If you can't find fontina or gruyere cheeses or pancetta at your local grocery chain, try a specialty grocery like Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, or Central Market.  

We halved this recipe for the 2 of us.


Leah said...

Wow! Go Truman! You guys really set the mood. Looks wonderful! :) Also, Truman and I have the same apron.

Lee Family said...

Good job Truman! I don't think there is anything better than chocolate and strawberries.... :)