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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bread, Cheese and Wine, oh MY!

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The rich goodness of French fermentation has struck again. Oh, and there was chocolate too. The female psyche is a rather delicate creature, subject to the whims and pulls of intense cravings for things that tend to make your behind look as wide as a mack truck. Hubs and I had the most deeeeeeeeeeeelicious dinner yesterday, and I have no one to blame but myself for what ensued.

Sitting at work, mildly bored, a craving struck me. I wanted cheese fondue, and I wanted it NOW. Visions of gooey, yummy swiss cheese danced through my head for the rest of the afternoon. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm….cheese. I checked out my old friend, for recipes that could guide me to a calcium-induced state of bliss…..but was left unsatisfied – the recipes seemed yummy, but the reviews spoke of stringy, separated wads of ick. No good at all.

But then I had a brain wave – you can buy pre-made fondue. This, my friends, is the way to go. No running around the grocery store trying to find just the right block of emmental and gruyere to create an exquisite blend. No staring at the recipe and wondering what the heck kirsch is. No running to the liquor store to buy a bottle of white wine that you know you won’t drink so you can use it for a recipe.

It comes all in its pre-packaged glory. Brilliant. And even better, the ingredient list is relatively short and sweet - – cheese, white wine and kirsch. I added a couple of cloves of garlic and a dash of nutmeg, but really, why bother with a coagulated blob when you can have creamy perfection right at your fingertips? Inspired by this fabulous find (also, at $7.99, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying gruyere, emmental, white wine and kirsch!), I also purchased a fresh warm round of bread, cubed it and used it to dip. Now, a friend of mine STILL has my fondue pot, but you’ll be happy to know that you really don’t need a fondue pot for a small cheese fondue. All you need is a heat-safe bowl, a microwave, metal rack and a tealight. :) Following the package instructions, I warmed the foil package in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes, then snipped the corner and put the cheese in a bowl. Crushed two cloves of garlic, cracked some pepper (and ‘dashed’ some nutmeg) and nuked it all for a few minutes. I took my handy-dandy cooling rack (used for baking) and set it on the table, putting a tea light underneath. It was so good. Dipping the warm bread into the cheese, letting it cool for just a few seconds (better texture to the cheese) and then savouring it……..and what better to pair with cheese than wine? All the swiss web sites recommend white wine (probably because they are stuck with the better part of a bottle leftover from making the fondue), but we prefer red.

Not wanting to open my bottle of ’99 Listrac-Médoc (Natalie MacLean writes: “CHÂTEAU FOURCAS HOSTEN 1999 AC Listrac-Médoc VC: A polished, supple wine that shows off the fine, traditional Listrac-Médoc style. The aromas suggest tobacco, mocha, dried currant, menthol and cedar. This complex wine is dry, complete and nicely balanced by resolved tannins. It is drinking very well now with a fine Angus beef steak, however it will also last for up to five more years. My note: Delicious. Old World-style with black fruit.”), we stuck with the 2005 Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s not bad at all – and was a nice complement to the cheese, though I think it could possibly have used something with a little more oomph (swiss cheese has a rather distinctive odour….).

Now, what could one possibly pair with this, the laziest of all suppers…..but chocolate. I finished the meal with several ounces of Lindt 70% dark chocolate. Mmmmmmmmm…..heaven……the only thing that could have made this meal better is if I had not been so lazy and had also made myself some espresso to accompany my rich, chocolate indulgence.

Note that there is not a vegetable in sight. Yikes. To round things out a bit though, my lunch yesterday was a spicy hoisin tofu veggie stir fry, and I had it with brown rice. Brown rice alone is certainly penance enough for indulgence. ;) Lunch today is poached Moroccan salmon and roasted potatoes, with green and red peppers. :) Dinner tonight….uh……fast food. *runs and hides* Wish me strength so I don’t cave and have a teen burger combo. (I’m rooting for sushi but we’ll see what strikes my fancy…..hahahaha).

For dinner tomorrow, hubs has mentioned taking me out for dinner (yay!) but if that falls through, there is a really yummy looking recipe that I’m dying to try - African Chicken in Spicy Red Sauce from the new Cooking Light. I may even go really bold and attempt injera, so we can eat true Ethiopian style (injera is kinda like a bubbly, sourdough pancake – it’s used as a platter for your food, and you tear off the edges, pick up yummy food and eat it. Ottawa folks, I recommend checking out The Horn of Africa downtown – yummy, cheap, and Ethiopian food has the coolest flavour – full of heat, cardamom and all sorts of things.

And now, I’m counting down the minutes until lunchtime…..gah!

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

erica said...

Hi there-
I'm curious as to what kirsch is in this context. Kirsch in German is cherry.

Over at Vegan Cook Along they just did injera the other week. Here's a link:

Actually, that might not be terribly helpful. But hey - there's pictures.

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