Food Buzz Badge

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Know What to Do with Myself

It's 9 p.m. on a Wednesday and I'm home.  I don't remember the last time that happened, and I especially don't remember the last time I watched television on, you know, an actual television. 

David makes fun of me because I say I don't watch television, but there are a few shows I watch on Hulu when I have time.  Over the last month I've gotten hooked on an ABC show called Revenge, which is just ludicrous soapy fun.  Plus I really like to mock one of the character's New England lobster fisherman accent (if that's what it is, in which case it seems like an insult to lobster fishermen).  And the clothes are fun.
Tomorrow we start the slog into technical rehearsals for Inspecting Carol, which opens the day after Thanksgiving.  I won't be home (or sleeping) much for the next eight days, which hopefully will pay off when the show opens.  I have to watch bad television while I can.

It strikes me that unhealthy (but tasty) food is the only accompaniment for bad television.  This fall, David received a fondue pot for his birthday, in memory of the terrific fondues we had in Switzerland this past spring.  It's surprisingly hard to find a good fondue recipe, because it's such a retro food.  Fortunately, one of my favorite food writers--Mark Bittman--had an easy one in his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  Bittman, who writes for the New York Times, is a terrific, no-nonsense arbiter of what people really want to eat.  This recipe is no exception.

Classic Cheese Fondue
Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

2 cups dry Pinot Grigio
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups Emmenthaler cheese, shredded
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
Fresh-ground black pepper

Accompaniments:  cubed crusty bread, cubes of medium-rare steak, baby carrots

Start with the fondue pot on the stove (if yours is stove-safe), combining the wine and the garlic over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Combine the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and stir thoroughly, until the cornstarch is incorporated.

Reduce the heat and add the cheese, stirring constantly over low heat.  Keep the mixture at a simmer--do not boil--and cook for approximately ten minutes.

Add the cornstarch mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.  Cook for another five minutes and continue stirring.  It may look like the mixture won't come together.  If the mixture remains clumpy at that time, add wine by the tablespoonfuls until the fondue thins out.  Transfer the fondue pot to its burner and watch to ensure that it doesn't burn.  Add a little fresh-ground pepper to taste.

Serve with desired accompaniments.  Sure, it isn't vegetarian anymore if you serve chunks of steak, but it sure is delicious.

Serves 4 as a main course;  6 as an appetizer.


  1. Now that's a TV dinner I could fall in love with! My daughter got a fondue pot for Christmas and I was jealous. Made me nostalgic for my newlywed days. Why did I give that pot away? Good luck with the play rehearsal.

  2. I think its great once a while to sit in front of the tv with a drink though at time I wonder whether I am watching tv or the tv is watching me.

    This fondue is new to me but sure its nice to give a try esp it looks good.

  3. Mark Bittman does not disappoint! I'm glad you took some time to relax on one of your rare evenings at home~

  4. I've only ever had cheese fondue once, and somehow it was a big overwhelming after the first delicious 10 or so bites. But maybe I just need to try a better recipe :) This looks gorgeous!

  5. Cheese fondue is ridiculously good. My other half makes it from time to time and I think he is due to make it again! With some fresh, artisan bread...MMM!

    I never could figure out Hulu. The only show I am addicted to now is the Walking Dead. I'm not sure what my fascination is with zombies but I am hooked on that show. Sad, I know.

  6. I have a fondue set somewhere around this house, it actually may be in the attic. It has been ages since I have had fondue and this is a delicious reminder! I will need to find that set.
    Sounds like you are really going to be pressed for time doing all those rehearsals, but one thing is for sure-you will be able to sleep like a rock after it is all over. Have a great day!

  7. Mmmmm fondue!! I haven't had fondue in ages. Now you're tempting me. Looks like a good time.

  8. Cheese fondue is one of my favorite things ever! This looks so delicious!

  9. The fondue sounds delicious and best of luck with the technical rehearsals. I know you'll be busy between now and Thanksgiving, but let us know how things are going if you get a chance!

    I remember my parents having fondue parties...they were SO cool!

  10. This fondue sounds good. Glad you had time to relax, this time of year is very busy.

  11. Melty cheese always calls to me. Always. And I do have a fondue pot - and this will be a fun holiday offering. After directing for 15 years regularly - I got out of the TV habit. Now - I'm not directing and I'm still not watching TV. It works. Best of errr... luck for tech week. Can you say that for tech - cause it's not opening?

  12. Thanks to all who have sent good thoughts my way! I won't be posting much this next week as we go into technical rehearsals tomorrow, but will keep you posted. We had a great rehearsal last night and I'm encouraged that we're going to pull this together.

    @Eating Deliciously, isn't it a pretty fondue pot? It was made by Le Creuset.

    @Tina, I know, I didn't eat fondue for many years but now it's delightfully retro. Find that pot and fondue!

    @Dionne, I've never seen "Walking Dead" but have heard a lot about it. Hulu is simple--I'm horrible with computers and I can use it, so I'm confident you can too!

  13. I completely understand what you talking with 3 got where I am heading lol!
    Your cheese Fondue sound fantastic..really Delicious recipe!

  14. That sounds fabulous, and you can't go wrong with Bittman. Good luck with your rehearsals, and try and get some rest in there!

  15. A woman after my own heart, cheese rules, and then pinot ooh la la fabulous recipe do I have to share I hope not!

  16. I never knew how to prepare fondu! This is really cool. I've been to a fondu restaurant twice and that's it. I really enjoy the experience and it'd be cool to do it at home!

  17. Groovy. I feel a fondue party coming on...

  18. We are actually doing an appetizer/small plate buffet for Thanksgiving this year. I think I might have to break out the old fondue pot.

  19. Hell to the yes. I love Fondue! I often use my mini crockpot to make it and keep it warm- it's awesome. =)

  20. I love fondue but have never made it myself so kudos to you! You have inspired me to try this at home since it has been so long since I've enjoyed fondue!

  21. Mmm fondue! I would love a big pot of this asap! (especially since it's freezing here in NY)

  22. Anything with Gruyere cheese just HAS to be AWESOME. What an awesome dish to serve at a party. Perfect for the upcoming holidays.