Teacher of the Year

May 28, 2008 at 12:06 pm (Napa Valley) ()

I had so many plans for Memorial Weekend, and most of them included enjoying some fabulous sunny weather.  Playing bocce, drinking Sauvignon Blanc by the pool, taking the Minkie on walks…but, my plans had to change because Saturday morning when I woke up the sun had been replaced by rainy clouds.  You have to wonder when was the last time it rained in the Napa Valley on Memorial Weekend?  Not since I have lived here!

But, even with the rainy weather my friends decided to gather together to celebrate our friend Malcolm’s “Teacher of the Year” Award.  I much coveted award in this small town, and Malcolm definitely was the front runner…he is an amazing hands-on teacher that inspires students and parents alike.

The party was supposed to be at the park so we could grill and play bocce, instead we had it at a friends house and everyone brought snacks.  I decided to make Fondue for two reasons 1)  I received a bad ass fondue set for my birthday this past year that was still sitting in the cupboard unused  2)  I had never made fondue before and it seemed like a good challenge for a rainy day.  So I went to my Cheesebook to find a “real” fondue recipe and this is what I made:

Traditional Switzerland Fondue
Cheese Primer, Steve Jenkins

1 1/2 C (6 oz)     grated Gruyere
1 1/2 C (6 oz)     grated Emmental
1/2 C (2 oz)        grated Appenzeller
2 T                      Corn Starch or All-Purpose flour
1                         clove garlic, halved
1 C                     dry white wine
1 t                      fresh lemon juice
Splash of kirsch (I used brandy)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg

1.  In a medium-size bowl, combine the three cheeses and toss with cornstarch
2.  Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic halves.  Add the wine and heat over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.  Stir in the lemon juice and kirsch.
3.  Add a handful of cheese at a time to the wine mixture, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, wait for each portion of cheese to melt before adding the next.  Continue stirring until the cheese is completely melted, bubbling gently, and has the appearance of a light creamy sauce.  Season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.
4.  Remove the pot from the heat and place over an alcohol safety burner set on table.  Adjust the burner flame so the fondue continues to bubble gently.

I served the fondue with crusty bread cubes, steamed artichokes, baked fingerling potatoes, and slices of sausage.  Sliced apple would also be good after tasting the fondue!

Enjoy, XOXO



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