My first experience with fondue was in the mid to late 70s while visiting New York City. Mom took us to a trendy new restaurant called The Melting Pot. Fondue was the hottest craze to hit the restaurant scene. We gleefully dipped breads, meats, and seafood into broths and cheeses. As a kid this might have been the coolest dining experience in my entire 12 year life.
Twenty years went by and somewhere in about the mid-90s fondue made a resurgence. I’ll never forget the one Christmas that I received three fondue pots as gifts. Oh yes I did, and one of them is pictured above.
Flash forward another 10 years and fondue once again became engrained in my fond-memory bank. We had a house full of family in town for my mom’s 75th birthday celebration. My niece Kate had taken a job at The Melting Pot while attending college. She began sharing stories of preparing their famous cheese fondue tableside. Stories alone weren’t going to cut. Oh no, no, no. She was going to have to give us the full blown demonstration. And so she did, down to the exact number of turns on the pepper grinder and shakes of Worcestershire sauce. It was delicious and entertaining and all 12 of us gleefully dunked bread into her amazing fondue. In honor of Kate’s birthday today, I’m sharing her recipe above, along with our Tomato & Cheese Fondue recipe below. Happy Birthday Katie-loo. We love you!!
Tomato & Cheese Fondue is reminiscent of a good ole grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tomato soup. And a bit of sophistication.
- 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup tomato juice
- 6 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces Emmentaler cheese, shredded
- 6 cracks fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbl. flour
- 1 Tbl. cream
- Crusty bread
- Combine tomatoes, garlic and tomato juice and heat until tomatoes are soft.
- Add shredded cheese, pepper and oregano. Stir until melted.
- Combine the flour with 1 Tbl. cream; whisk into cheese.
- Serve with bread cubes.
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