Tag Archives: gruyere

For the love of cheese.

Who doesn’t love cheese ?  Well I definitely know the six people around my dining table last night sure did.

It’s a bit of a throwback to the 70s, and every time I do a cheese fondue I wonder to myself why I don’t do it more often.  Then I have think a bit more about exactly what we’re consuming, and then I think it’s time to stop thinking, and just enjoy the molten cheesy goodness.

Certainly not for the fainthearted (or those who are watching their weight), I was lucky enough to work with a Swiss who shared his own recipe with me – according to him, where in Australia the BBQ is the man’s domain, in Switzerland, because the weather is too cold to be outdoors, it is the fondue – it’s apparently all about the fire.  Very caveman.  Anyway, every Swiss man has his own recipe, and this is the one he shared with me.

I have a proper cheese fondue set and I would actually highly recommend it just because of the fact that it’s made of heavy cast-iron that is super easy to clean at the end of the night – the cheese simply wipes off (or if you’re lucky, the crust of cheese from the end of the night just comes off in one cheesy biscuit).

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic
1 glass dry white wine
1 tsp lemon juice
50/50 mix of gruyere and raclette/appenzeller cheese grated (250g per boy 200g per girl)
1/4 cup brandy
2 tbls cornflour
nutmeg, white pepper, paprika

Method:

  1. Smash the clove of garlic and rub on the inside of the fondue bowl.  Discard.
  2. Place the bowl on a stove on medium.  Add the wine and lemon juice.  When the wine is bubbling around the edges, slowly incorporate the cheese, stirring constantly.
  3. Once all the cheese is melted, add the cornflour mixed with brandy and stir for 2 minutes.  The mixture will thicken.
  4. Season with pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
  5. Serve with cubes of chewy bread (sourdough works well), cauliflower florets and boiled waxy potatoes.
  6. I also like serving it with parma ham and salami.
  7. To cut through all that cheese, I also serve with cornichons, pickled onions, fresh tomatoes and slices of red and yellow capsicum and also apple slices.
  8. An optional addition to cut through the heaviness is kirsch (if you can’t get that, we substitute with vodka or limoncello).
  9. At the end of the evening, the cheese that is left (if there is any) should be crispy and apparently should be shared amongst guests as a delicacy !

Thanks Reto !


potato gratin dauphinois

You can pretty much serve me potatoes any way and I’ll love them – mash them, bake them, chip and fry them, or coat them in cream and cheese and bake them.  After not having cooked for a week and with a whole Saturday afternoon and evening ahead of me, I decided to make my-friend-Christine-inspired potato gratin dauphinois with truffle oil as a side dish to the free-range chicken I picked up from the butcher downstairs at Great World City this morning, and was roasting for dinner (wow that’s a long sentence).

I was trying to find a recipe for it in the Larousse Gastranomique that D had bought me for Christmas, and was surprised that under the many many potato recipes, there was none to be found for potatoe dauphinois.

So, I improvised, and I have to say that the potatoes beat the chicken by a long shot !

Potatoe gratin dauphinois:

Smash a clove of garlic and pop in into a saucepan of 200ml heavy cream and 100ml full cream milk and heat until there are bubbles around the edges of the saucepan.

Remove the garlic, and add in a cup of grated Gruyere cheese and stir till it’s melted into the cream/milk mixture.  Add in a few drops of truffle oil at this stage.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and add some freshly grated nutmeg.

Peel about half a kilo of potatoes (I used Russet), soak them in water so they don’t burn, pat dry, finely slice with a mandolin and add them to the cream/milk/cheese mixture to coat.

Arrange in a buttered gratin dish and top with more grated Gruyere, dot with a bit more truffle oil and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are cooked.

Enjoy the smell of your kitchen/flat as it bakes!