Thursday, June 24, 2010
In Chicago, we went to Quartino, where we had a lovely meal that included Fonduta, the Italian version of Fondue. I wanted to try it at home, and found the following recipe online:
8 oz. Fontina cheese
2 cups whole milk
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
8 oz. butter
I bought a piece of Fontina at Trader Joe's, and I also bought a bag of shredded mixed Italian cheese at Marukai. The mixed cheeses included parmesan, mozzarella, smoked provolone, asiago, romano and fontina. The shredded cheese smelled a lot sharper than the whole fontina, and I was a little torn as to which to use. In the end, I used mostly the mix, with an addition of some cubes of the Fontina.
I set up a small pan over a saucepan as a double boiler to melt the cheese and one cup of the milk. In another pan, I warmed a cup of milk, the butter (yeah, that's a lot of butter!) and the egg yolks. I was a little concerned that the egg would scramble, and there were no details about how to avoid that, and in fact, it did happen somewhat. Next time, I will maybe temper the eggs and add them at the end.
In any case, the finished sauce was not as smooth as it should have been, but the taste was very good. I jerry-rigged a serving mechanism that consisted of a small candle and a rack (from an old toaster over) supported on 4 small cups, to keep the sauce warm. It may not even be necessary, but it added a nice touch. This would be a nice meal on a cold winter night, but it tasted very good out on the patio tonight as well.
We used Spoon House bread cut into 1" cubes and a sliced Fuji apple. In the winter, I might add potatoes, but Papa really wanted to focus on the bread, which was very tasty.
It would be easy to cut this recipe in half, and this amount made too much for 2 people to eat as a dinner. I will see how the leftover sauce keeps and re-heats.