cheese fondue

2014-05-26 a.o.

Cheese melts are quick and easy. I often line a small ramekin with strips of cheese and melt them in the microwave for a quick snack.

A large cheese fondue (Fr. melted) is wonderful, but it has a huge calorie load. Buying several imported cheeses at once is also expensive when there will be only two for dinner. Even with ham mixed in and a few other things on the side, I find a cheese fondue more monotonous than a meat fondue. That is another reason I won't make a big deal of it very often.

To do this right—specifically what cheeses to use—we need to look at how the specialists do this, i.e. the Swiss and the French.

A. Large cheese fondue

Who doesn’t like ham and cheese?

This is a nice appetizer, and the ham gives it a bit more flavor variation. I wouldn’t recommend it as a full meal without adding several side dishes like bread, vegetables, seafood etc. All cheese is quite heavy on the stomach.

To save some time, I will melt the cheese stovetop over low heat, and then transfer the mixture to an electric deep-fryer with a thermostat. That thermostat is a lot easier to set accurately than tea candles or alcohol burners.  The ‘warm’ setting is ideal for cheese fondue.


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  • ½ lb. gruyere cheese
  • ½ lb. Emmental cheese
  • ½ lb. pepper jack or sharp cheddar
  • ½ lb. sliced ham
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup white wine  or milk, warm
Pic1: large cheese fondue with ham



Pic2: Swiss, gruyere cheese
Pic3: slice, dice, chop
Pic4: melt, add ham


Pic5: I use a deep-fryer with thermostat to melt large fondues
Pic6: thick and gooey
Pic7: served


Pic8: bread in the melting pot
Pic9+10: two different presentations of the same fondue


B. Quickie Cheese Fondue

Cheese fondue - the poor man's recipe.

For the little that I need for a snack for myself, it's just not worth making the fondue set or deep-fryer dirty.

These are just a few of my one-serving cheese melts.
They can be ready for melting in less than two minutes if you cut quickly, three if your knife is a bit slower.

Find the combination and proportions that you like best. Start with cheeses that you already like with at least one stronger flavor. Stay away from American hyper-processed cheeses. They taste like plastic.

Hurry, eat up right away, because this cools down very quick without tea candle. I use a teaspoon to load the bread, otherwise it tends to get lost in there when I dip. Reheat for up to 30 seconds if it hardens too much. By adding extra liquid in there, it may even stay pourable at room temperature.

I prepare this little snack quite often, about one or twice a month, don't take pictures of every occasion. 


This is what you need for each serving:

  • 1 cup of minced melting cheese(s)
    I like:
    • Swiss (Emmental)
    • Gruyere (stronger flavor)
    • pepperjack
    • cheddar
    • asadero
    • Manchego
    • Oaxaca
    • Chichuahua
    • etc.
  •  2 tbsp. milk or other liquid
  • S&P, spices
Pic11: personal fondue



Pic12: cheese, condiments, liquid
Pic13: melt and mix
Pic14: enjoy

2019-08-13 + 2019-08-31

Pic11: cheddar cheese makes it yellow
Pic16+17: with ham


Pic18-20: with ham and chamoy.

C. even smaller

For those smaller appetites when even a ramekin is too much, I sprinkle or cut some cheese on a slice of bread and microwave for 30-90 seconds until the cheese is bubbling all over. Enjoy. 


Pic21: Brie cheese melt
Pic23+24: gruyere cheese



Pic24: gorgonzola crumbles
Pic25: melt in microwave
Pic26: with cucumbers