There is something to be said for true friendship. I above all, value this the most. I often think to myself where would I be without my friends? I am sure you know what I am talking about. Those friends that you have that have stood by you when the chips were down, when you felt your life was falling apart or simply those friends that come over with a great bottle of wine, settle down and chat the night away with you. They know where you keep things in your kitchen because they are part of the furniture, even better, part of the family.
I must say I am a lucky girl and I count my blessings everyday when it comes to my friendships.
I recently took a drive with one such friend and my family to a wine estate called Delheim. We chose this particular one because, cheese. Well more than cheese, a whole melting pot of cheese. Cheese fondue to be precise. Delheim does the cheese fondue on the weekend and I must admit, it’s the closest I have gotten to the real thing in South Africa. It’s fantastic and will leave you in a cheese coma. I mean how could it not be? It’s cheese. Again cheese. The other perk is their wine isn't too bad either, in fact, its award winning wine.
So the scene is simply really, great company, melting cheese, fantastic wines, beautifully sweet desserts all the while with cool jazz playing in the background.
It’s a winter thing and you will need to call and book but trust me, its worth it. If you can't get around to it, then here is an old family recipe of mine for cheese fondue.
- 600 grams shredded cheese-I use ½ gruyere, ½ emmentaler,
- 1 clove garlic, split
- 1 ¼ cup white wine
- 3 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 shots of kirsch
- ground pepper and nutmeg to taste
- 1 sour dough loaf cut into bite size pieces
- 300 grams of blanched mixed veg for the table, you can use broccoli, baby potato (cooked), cauliflower, rose tomatoes (raw) and carrots.
Rub a heavy saucepan or heatproof clay fondue pot with the split garlic clove.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the kirsch.
Put the cheese and wine into the pan and slowly bring to boil, stirring constantly.
When the cheese is completely melted, add the kirsch and cornstarch mixture, stirring vigorously.
Continue to cook.
Season with pepper and nutmeg.
Serve over an alcohol lamp.
The cooking should continue on a low heat.
Stir constantly with small pieces of bread or veg speared on a fondue fork.
As a variety you can also only use Gruyere cheese only at different ripeness.
In Geneva three kinds of cheese are used; Gruyere, Emmentaler and a vaudois cheese. (a semi-hard cheese, whose unique flavour is a result of the addition of Chasselas wine and ageing with crushed walnuts.) Then sautéed chopped morels (fresh or dried and pre-soaked) or diced tomatoes are added.
Fondue aficionados dunk their bread in kirsch before dipping in into the cheese. Don’t forget: whoever loses his bread in the pan must pay for a round of beer or a bottle of wine. If it happens to a lady she must kiss the man sitting next to her!