Stein Eriksen Lodge's chef extraordinaire Zane Holmquist appeared on the Today Show today fondue-ing with Al Roker. Of all the legendary masterpieces that Holmquist and Stein Eriksen Lodge are celebrated for—from seared fois gras and crisped bananas to braised Utah boneless Kobe short ribs to wild game chili—it seemed a little bit "cheesy" to highlight fondue.
But then, I'm lukewarm about fondue. I've eaten it once in the past two years, at the Melting Pot. Don't tell anyone, but for me, it's much ado about nothing. All this sauce preparation and boiling and presentation and wooden skewers just to dip a little meat and bread into sauces? It's OK but it's not wild game chili.
I must say that Zane made it look pretty easy and appealing, didn't he? Especially with all the brandy. Might even be tempted to try it at home but I can already predict burning the cheese sauce. After a few cross-country moves, I gave up the two enamel coated cast-iron pans I had, and I don't plan to get more. So to Stein Eriksen I apparently must go.
Here are the recipes if you don't want to go to Today's Website:
Rub a thick-bottom pan with garlic.
Add cream and white wine; bring to a boil.
Thicken with cornstarch slurry to a nappé.
Add cheese, mix in slowly; keep stirring until cheese is melted.
Adjust the consistency with slurry or wine. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper.
Finish with Kirschwasser.
Serve with country bread (Italian pagnotta is my favorite), diced apples and pears.
Makes 1 qt, serves 6-8
Heat the cream.
Add warm cream to the grated chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Add brandy and stir.
Pour chocolate mixture into a fondue pot and stir.
Serve with cut apples, pears, bananas, sugar cookies (or pound cake), madeleines and marshmallows.