We’re on Day 3 of our entertaining theme for this week and the next party recipe comes from Great Party Fondues, a new cookbook from Peggy Fallon. This very adult dip is made with jalapeno jack cheese, beer, and tequila, and is a mouthful of flavor. Serve it in a fondue pot or a miniature Crock Pot, and offer tortilla chips, pita chips, celery, and pepper strips as dunkers.
Making a good cheese fondue requires some attention to detail. The cheese should be at room temperature before adding to the hot liquid, and stirring should be kept to a minimum, otherwise the sauce will be stringy. In addition, cheese sauces have a tendency to separate, leaving you with lumpy cheese in a soupy liquid. In her book Cookwise, Shirley Corriher gives a few tips on working with a cheese sauce.
- Starch helps to keep the sauce from curdling. (This recipe has cornstarch to help with that.)
- Stirring should be kept to a minimum, and only after removing from heat.
- If the sauce becomes stringy, stir in a little lemon juice or dry white wine while heating over low heat until the sauce is smooth again.
I have one copy of Great Party Fondues to give away, courtesy of Wiley. You’ll get my review copy, very gently used, just leave a comment telling us about your favorite fondue. Please make sure your email address is correct so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner. The book can be shipped to United States, Canada, and APO/FPO addresses. The contest closes at midnight EST on Thursday January 15, 2009, and Random.org will select the winner. Look for the announcement of the winner in this post soon after.
UPDATE: Congratulation to Carol, comment #13, you are the winner of the book!
JALAPENO JACK FONDUE
Adapted from Great Party Fondues, by Peggy Fallon.
Makes about 4 cups.
ceramic or cast iron fondue pot with a tea light (or electric or a miniature Crock Pot)
2 pounds (~900 g) jalapeno jack cheese, grated, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 (12-ounce/355 ml) bottles of beer, preferably Mexican (Corona is good.)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you want a milder sauce)
1/3 cup (78 ml) tequila
1. Grate the cheese into the large bowl, then toss with the cornstarch. Set aside.
2. Stir the beer, garlic, and cayenne pepper in the pot over medium heat until the beer is heated and bubbles around the edges.
3. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheese 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely between each addition. Lightly stir each time.
4. When all the cheese is melted, add the tequila and stir. Cook for 1 minute longer.
5. Transfer to the fondue pot and light the tea light. Serve immediately.