Imagine you’re sitting in front of a crackling fire. Suddenly, you smell something delicious coming from the kitchen. Creamy, a little smoky, A perfect meal for a wintry night, lightly melty over a forkful of sourdough french bread.
This is not your typical, “traditional” fondue. First, I add the smokiness of my caramelized onion marmalade which I make in a big batch in advance in the crockpot and store in the fridge. Second, it includes cream cheese, which isn’t in a standard traditional fondue, but is a fixture in my fridge, plus I often use cheddar if I don’t have gruyere. And you know what? This cheese fondue is amazing. Creamy, smoky, delicious. I’m thinking I’m going to start using it in place of my standard roux-based cheese sauce for cauliflower gratin and scalloped potatoes. I love that it is gluten-free, yet creamy and thick without the separating quality I sometimes got the next day with a roux-based cheese sauce.
I normally serve this with smoked sausage of one variety or another and then whatever I have on hand or need to clean out of my fridge. Potatoes, sourdough french bread, fresh green beans, asparagus . . . yum.
This is what I do. . . . About forty minutes before you’re going to eat, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a nice size roasting pan and dump your one pound package of sausage in it. Recently I bought, basically, a good quality brand of Little Smokie’s (made locally, gluten and MSG free) for $2.50/pound. My two year old loved them. I’d also make this with smoked kielbasa or another larger smoked sausage. If it is larger sausages, I’d cut them on the diagonal into 1/2-inch rounds. Scoot the sausages over to one side.
Then, next to it, add two or three potatoes. Peel, slice into lengths like oven fries and toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Scoot the potatoes over a bit. Then, if you have more room, add in another section of something that is best roasted – maybe brussel sprouts or cauliflower florets? Roast until everything is tender, about half an hour.
If it is summertime and you can get fresh green beans or asparagus, blanch them briefly so you have a nice crisp bite that doesn’t bend when you dip it in the fondue. Though I LOVE roasted asparagus, for the fondue, I think blanched works best.
- 2/3 cup of caramelized onion marmalade
- 1 8-oz. brick of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Gruyere or cheddar cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- a couple dashes of Worcesterschire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- a splash of vermouth or white wine, optional
In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat (I use a Le Crueset enamelized cast-iron pot so that it keeps the heat while you’re dining, if you have a fondue pot, use that instead!) place the caramelized onions and cook until they’re warmed and begin to lightly sizzle. Once it slightly sizzles, add a splash of vermouth or white wine and stir until it cooks off, then add the remainder of the ingredients, stirring to melt. Add the Worcesterschire and taste for seasoning.
That’s it. How easy was that? Serve with your smoked sausage, roasted potatoes, chunks of sourdough french bread, lightly blanched green beans or asparagus . . .