This simple, yet delicious dish comes from the French Alps and harnesses the wonderful, delicate, flavour of dried morels to the rich, unctuousness of melted cheese – perfect for a winter evening after plenty of healthy exercise in the snow . . .
25g Dried morels (better still, 100g fresh)
150ml Dry white wine
I tbspn Cornflour
500g Grated cheese (ideally a 50/50 mix of Gruyere and Emmental)
‘Dunking’ material: bread (cubed), tomatoes, button mushrooms, cucumber, celery etc.
Soak the mushrooms in the wine for at least a couple of hours, then chop coarsely, and return to the liquid. Heat the wine and mushrooms slowly on the stove and meanwhile mix the grated cheese with the cornflour. When the wine begins to bubble, slowly stir in handfuls of the cheese/flour mix. When this has emulsified, transfer to the fondue set that has lain unused and dust-covered in a cupboard for the past 30 years. Eat by dipping in cubes of bread, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms or anything else that you think goes with gooey cheese.
1) The mix thickens as the meal progresses – so don’t worry if it seems a little watery at the start.
2) Impose severe forfeits for careless bread-loss. Depending on company, nudity, slammers or karaoke help keep the cheese free of detritus.
3) For background reading, try Asterix in Switzerland, while Abba is an appropriate backing track (the nationality may not be Alpine, but it conjours up visions of pine cladding and polo neck jumpers).