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Roasted Garlic Fondue

Roasted Garlic and Porcini Mushroom Fondue

Traditional fondue recipes call for rubbing the pot with a cut garlic clove, but with almost a kilogram of cheese plus wine, there’s little chance for any garlic flavor to be noticeable. We solve this by roasting a whole head of garlic until the cloves are soft and the garlic flavor has mellowed and blending it all together with the melted cheese.

Side dishes to a fondue can be pickled vegetables, green salad, and/or dried meats.

Serves 4 (and can easily be halved)

INGREDIENTS

  • cheese: 800 g/ 1.75 lb, usually a 50-50 or “moitié-moitié” mix of a mature cheese + a creamy cheese such as: Gruyère + Vacherin, Gruyère + Emmental, Gruyère + Appenzell, or even a 100% Comté.
  • garlic: 1 head + a little oil for roasting
  • dried porcini mushrooms: about 30 g/1 oz with 150 ml/5 oz/0.6 cup boiled water
  • white wine: 250 mL/8.5 oz/1 cup
  • shallot or onion: about 20g/0.75 oz/2 Tbsp, peeled and finely chopped
  • fresh thyme: 1 small sprig, kept whole
  • cornstarch: 1 Tbsp
  • peppercorns: 1 Tbsp, coarsely grated
  • fresh parsley: 1-2 Tbsp finely chopped
  • good quality bread: 1 loaf, about 600 g/28 oz, cut into large cubes for dipping
  • new/fingerling potatoes: about 400g/14 oz, also for dipping
  • extras on the side: pickles from cucumber, onion, baby corn, etc.
  • equipment:
    — cheese fondue pot (also called a caquelon), warming flame for the table top, and fondue forks
    — muslin cloth or paper coffee filter (for straining the porcinis)

STEPS

  1. Roast the garlic. Heat oven to 180 C/350 F. Cut enough off the top of the head to expose all the cloves, drizzle with a bit of oil, then wrap up in aluminum foil. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until the cloves are full softened. Remove from the foil, then squeeze out the garlic onto a cutting board and mash into a puree with the side of a large knife.
  2. Soak the mushrooms.
    — Boil water in a kettle or microwave and add 200 ml/6.75 oz of water to the dried porcinis and soak for 20 minutes. (The amount of water is important as we need a specific amount for the final fondue.)
    — Remove the porcinis from the liquid (keep the liquid), rinse to remove any grit, and then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Then chop into small pieces and set aside for the final fondue cooking.
  3. Grate the cheese.
  4. Steam or boil the potatoes. Steam/boil for about 15-25 minutes or until completely cooked. Cut larger potatoes to bite size. Keep warm while you prepare the fondue pot.
  5. Heat the fondue pot. Heat the fondue pot on the stove over medium heat (not higher). Add the garlic, wine, mushrooms, mushroom liquid, cornstarch and most of the ground pepper (keep a bit aside for final garnish) and stir well. Allow to heat for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the cheese. Stir frequently and heat the cheese until it is completely melted and starting to bubble, about 10-12 minutes total.
  7. Remove the pot from the stove and add the parsley and remaining pepper to the top. Serve at the table with the on top of a warming flame, along with the bread, potatoes, and side items.