The tradition of having fondue at Christmas is one we’ve held since we were dating. Ken grew up having fondue at Christmas Eve (allegedly to keep him busy so he would stay out of the presents), and we’ve kept the tradition, but now moved it to Christmas day.
We’ve done all kinds of fondue: cheese, broth, hot oil, and chocolate. Some years we’ve done a day-long progression of three, similar to the Melting Pot. That usually proves to be a little much, even if spread over 12 hours.
More recently, we’ve just done a cheese fondue course for Christmas dinner. Most cheese fondue recipes call for alcohol to be used, but since we don’t drink alcohol at all, I’m always scurrying to find a recipe that leaves it out.
Thus, I’m posting my recipe here, where I know I can find it. You’re welcome to give it a try!
- 16 oz grated cheese. (Buy a block and grate it yourself, as preshredded cheese makes the texture turn out funny. We’ve tried gruyere, swiss, smoked cheddar and muenster. We like them all. If any sort of rind is present on the cheese, cut it off first.)
- 1 1/2 C milk
- 2 Tbs butter
- 3 Tbs flour
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp minced garlic (if you’re using a milder cheese)
- Dippers, which include bite sized chunks of: apples, baby carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, toasted day-old bread, grape-sized tomatoes, etc.
For an electric fondue pot, the recipe can be made in the pot. For a fondue pot with a fuel burner, make it on a stovetop first, then transfer to fondue pot.
Prep all ingredients before starting, since mixture has to be stirred constantly.
Melt butter over medium heat, or 200 degrees in electric fondue pot. Mix 1 Tbs flour with grated cheese. Add remaining 2 Tbs flour to melted butter, and stir until smooth. Slowly add small portions of milk, stirring constantly, until all milk is added and begins to thicken slightly, taking care not to allow mixture to boil. Stir in a handful of cheese until melted. Add additional handfuls of cheese one at a time, melting the first before adding the next while continuing to stir continuously.
When all cheese is melted, add nutmeg and garlic (if desired), stirring gently to mix.
Dip bite-sized fruits, vegetables, and bread chunks into cheese mixture and enjoy!
If you are a little more adventurous, check out this website. They have some great fondue recipes, including alcohol-free!