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Waiting for Noche Buena : Cheese Fondue and conversation

Dec 24

Christmas Eve is known as “Noche buena” (the Good Night). It is a time for family members to gather together to rejoice and feast around the Nativity scenes that are present in nearly every home. Our noche buena usually consists of light meals.

cheese fondue

Tonight I prepared an early Christmas dinner of Brown Arroz Caldo at around 5:30 PM. Because the girls were so eager to eat something else, I prepared the Cheese Fondue way before the Noche Buena. I used the second recipe below which was shared by a reader. It is really good.

noche buena

Noche Buena in 2006

Here is the first recipe for Cheese Fondue

1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Edam cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy,
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg
Assorted dippers

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard. Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg. Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot. Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Note: you can buy a fondue set at Gourdo’s which is on sale right now. Cheeses can be bought at Shop Wise.

Or try this second recipe suggested by Felix Guggenheim

Cheese fondue is really a super easy dish to prepare and is always a hit with our filipino friends. Try to simplify the recipe. Here is how we make it back in Switzerland:

1/2 pound of Emmetal Cheese (often referred to as Swiss Cheese, the one wih the holes)
1/2 pound of Gruyere Cheese
1 tablespoon of corn starch
1 Garlic Clove
1 cup of dry White Wine
Pepper, Paprika, Nutmeg
1 kg White Bread cut in cubes

Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard. Over medium heat melt cubed cheese in the fondue pot. Once it is all melted add strach and stir for another 2 minutes. Then add white wine and seasoning to taste (a little goes a long way).

Serve with chunks of bread. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Have dill pickles and silver onions on the side. I also add some fresh gound pepper on my cube while waiting for it to cool down.

noche buena
Christmas 2006

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