I am thinking by now that you realize I am not afraid of cheese.
Like at all.
I mean, I’d even go as far as saying it’s semi-healthy…in moderation. Unfortunately, moderation – when it comes to cheese, is obviously a rather hard thing for me.
I mean, there is twenty-four ounces of cheese alone in this recipe. Yeah, twenty-four. And umm, that’s nothing for me. Have you ever had one of my Friday night pizzas? Just ask anyone who has stayed at our house (which is way too many), it’s a lot of cheese and a little crust.
Some people aren’t crazy about all the cheese, but most love it. We get a lot of hungry people who have been out in the elements all day. Extra cheese doesn’t bother them, and I think I have the perfect ratio of crust to cheese down.
This may come as a shock to a lot of you, but before this dish I was a total cheese fondue newbie. Like I’d really only had steak fondue that was cooked in oil. Cheese fondue was a whole new thing for me.
I guess I have known about cheese fondue for a while now, but for some reason I never actually thought of making it until now. We used to do steak fondue all the time growing up, but I don’t think I have had fondue (at home at least) since my family moved to Colorado eight years ago. I think we just stopped making it because through all the moving we seemed to have lost the fondue pot. Or threw it out (I did a lot of purging when my mom and I went back to Cleveland to clean out our old house for a family to rent – maybe a little too much)?
Anyway, I still don’t have a fondue pot, but I also don’t mind huddling over the warm stove on a cold night, shoveling cheese fondue into my mouth. Especially with buttered croissants.
It really doesn’t get any better.
So here’s the truth. I made this smoky 3 cheese fondue on a total whim one day. I saw a picture of cheese fondue in Martha Stewart Living and thought to myself, “I kind of gotta make that – now”.
I didn’t want to go to the store, so I decided I’d just use the cheeses I had on hand. Lucky for me, I always keep smoked gouda, Gruyère, fontina, brie and swiss in my fridge. Like at all times. Oh, and (truth be told) blue cheese, feta + goat too. Yeah, yeah, I know, let’s just say it’s a good thing the people I feed most often are all pretty active. Otherwise we might be rather large by now.
So I used a large amount of smoked gouda because I love the flavor and then Gruyère and swiss. I almost threw in a little brie, but decided against it because I felt like the brie would have gotten lost in all those strong flavored cheeses. But I did add some truffle oil, simply because I had it and it seemed like the perfect thing for cheese fondue. IT WAS. Truffle oil is so good. I know it’s not cheap, but when you can you should splurge a little and buy some.
Once all the cheese is melted, you need to immediately take some of those buttered, toasted croissants and start dipping, double dipping and then dipping some more.
And speaking of those croissants. Holy freaking wow! Frying them in butter was one of my better ideas. You know how the outsides of a grilled cheese are buttery, crisp and soft all at the same time? Well these croissants are like that only better, because they are croissants, loaded with garlic and basil, and then when dipped in cheese?
I mean, come on – amazing!
You can also serve the fondue with fresh fruit, veggies and seared meats, but let’s just be honest, we all know that buttered croissants and melted cheese together is really where it is at.
Smoky 3 Cheese Fondue with Toasted Garlic Buttered Croissants.
- 12 ounces smoked gouda cheese cubed
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese cubed
- 4 ounces swiss cheese cubed (or swap brie!)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil optional
- freshly grated nutmeg
- cooked steak cubes + assorted veggies for serving
Crispy Garlic Butter Croissants
- 6 large croissants sliced into sticks
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
To make the fondue, add the cubed cheese to a bowl and toss with the cornstarch and cayenne.
Rub inside of a fondue pot with garlic; discard garlic. Pour the wine, brandy and truffle oil (if using) into the fondue pot, and place over medium-low heat. When liquid starts to bubble, start adding the cheese by the handful, stirring until melted and combined. Season with nutmeg and pepper. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.
To make the buttered croissants, combine the butter, garlic and basil in a small bowl, spread both sides of the croissants with the butter. Heat a skillet over medium heat, once hot, add the toast and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly toasted and garlic fragrant. Flip and cook another 2-4 minutes.
Serve immediately with the fondue + assorted veggies.
Bonus points if you make this over the weekend. This is totally weekend food, and this weekend you get an extra day!