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Classic Cheese Fondue
Classic Cheese Fondue
By:  Norbert Wabnig
Classic Cheese Fondue (4 Servings)

COMMENT:  Since cheese contains fat, and wine is basically water, there is an obvious problem:  water and fat do not mix well.  So what do you do to guarantee a velvety Fondue?  You must use natural and well aged Swiss cheeses that will melt smoothly.  We recommend a combination of our aged Emmenthaler, Gruyere, and Appenzeller.  Also, be sure to select a sufficiently dry white wine that will blend successfully with the cheese.   If these basic ingredients are used, you will never be disappointed with a lumpy or stringy fondue. 


1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp Kirsch
2 pounds grated Swiss cheese (Emmenthaler, Gruyere, and Appenzeller combined)
1 Tbsp flour
2 loaves crusty Italian or French bread
Dredge cheese with flour.  Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.   Each cube should have crust on one side. 

Rub the inside of your 'caquelon' (fondue pot) with cut garlic clove and add wine and Kirsch.  Heat on stovetop over medium flame until wine is hot but not boiling.  Add lemon juice.  Add handfuls of cheese, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until cheese is melted and cheese-wine mixture has the appearance of a light creamy sauce.   Add pepper and nutmeg to taste.   Bring to a boil, then remove the caquelon and place on lit burner on table and enjoy. 

TIPS:  To thicken a thin Fondue, add a little bit of cheese dabbed with flour.  Mix well while it is melting.  To lighten a thick fondue, add some lukewarm wine and mix well again. 

One of the most popular Fondue customs is if a lady loses her bread cube in the Fondue she owes the man to her right a kiss.  If a man has such a mishap when dining in a restaurant, he should buy the next round of drinks.  At home, he owes his hostess a kiss! 

Another fun Fondue tradition is to leave a thin layer of Fondue at the bottom of the caquelon.   By carefully adjusting the heat, this layer will form into a crust known as "la religieuse" - the religious one.  Lift it out and distribute among your guests.  It is considered a delicacy.
Bacon, Cheddar, and Cauliflower Soup
Bacon, Cheddar, and Cauliflower Soup
By:  Erik Kelly

1.5 lbs Bacon cut in 1/4 inch cube
3 lbs Aged Vermont white cheddar Shredded
1.5 lbs Cauliflower chopped
1 potoato peeled and cubed in 1/4 inch brunoise
1.5 qts water
2 cups pedro jimenez sherry
4 crushed garlic cloves
2 pinches ground nutmeg. 

In a dutch oven add cool bacon to cool pan. 
Turn pan on low and render until immersed in fat. 
Remove bacon. 
Add potatoes, cauliflower, and garlic. 
Cook on high until tender and brown. 
Add 2 cups sherry and bring to boil.  Add 1.5 quarts water and hold boil for 3-5 minutes until all ingredients are tender. 
Bring to simmer ad 3 pounds of shredded vermont cheddar, whisk till smooth. remove from heat.  
Take soup and strain through a fine chinois until all liquid is out. 
Remove solids and disgard. 
Add soup back into pot.  
Add bacon and 2 pinches nutmeg and allow to simmer and thicken 5-10 minutes. 
Serve warm. 

Serves 8-10
Watercress, Frisee, and Shaved Fennel Salad with Black Walnuts
Watercress, Frisee, and Shaved Fennel Salad with Black Walnuts
By: Jennifer Naylor
Serves 6

1 bulb fennel
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch watercress, trimmed and washed
2 heads washed frisee, white inner leaves only
1 cup toasted black walnuts, roughly chopped
3 pomegranates, 1 for garnish and 2 for vinaigrette
1/4 lb Tartufato cheese (may substitute Reggiano), thinly shaved
salt & Tellicherry pepper
Pomegranate vinaigrette
Using kitchen mandolin or very sharp knife, shave fennel as thinly as possible. Soak fennel in ice water and lemon juice to crisp. Drain shaved fennel. Dry watercress and frisee well and mix together with well-drained fennel.

Make vinaigrette. Toss mixed greens with the vinaigrette and add chopped walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and arrange in center of serving plate. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, chopped walnuts, and shaved cheese. Serve.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Pomegranate juice from 2 pomegranates
3/4 cup water
sugar to taste
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/8 cup champagne vinegar
Clean pomegranates and place seeds in deep bowl or pot. Add water and pulse gently with hand mixer just enough to break seeds. Over blending will make juice bitter. Add sugar if needed. Strain juice into saucepot and reduce to glaze over low flame. Cool and then mix rest of ingredients together with whisk until blended.
Spaghetti with Butter and Cheese
Spaghetti with Butter and Cheese
1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons whipping cream
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
Heat a ceramic pasta bowl in oven set at lowest setting. When pasta is cooked and drained, place it in the heated bowl.
Immediately add half of Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss with two forks until cheese melts. Add butter and toss to melt. Add the cream, remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper. Toss 6 to 8 times. Sprinkle pecorino Romano over the top, add additional pepper and serve at once.

Recipe from Pasta One, Two, Three
recipe and picture from:
Onion Soup with Gruyère Toast
Onion Soup with Gruyère Toast
Recipe from Go Go Gruyère!
Makes 4 servings

2-1/4 pounds yellow onions, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups beef stock
1 cup water or as needed
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 1-inch-thick slices rustic bread
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
Cut onion halves lengthwise into thin slices. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme and bay and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook onion, stirring occasionally, until they are a rich, caramel color. This will take 30 to 35 minutes and shouldn’t be hurried; it is the basis on the soup’s flavor.

Sprinkle flour over onions and stir in. Cook 1 minute then add white wine. Let it simmer for 1 minute then add stock and 1 cup water. Cook gently for 25 minutes. Season with a pinch of fresh nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Remove thyme and bay. Soup can be refrigerated for up to two days; reheat gently before finishing. Thin with additional water if needed.

At serving time, divide soup among four heatproof bowls. Spread remaining butter on bread slices and place a slice atop each bowl of soup; sprinkle with cheese. Place under heated broiler until cheese melts and is bubbly and golden. Serve at once.

Recipe and picture found on
Farmer’s Mac & Cheese
Farmer’s Mac & Cheese
The James Beard Foundation Recipes (JBF Recipes)
Joanne Bondy
Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan Resort


6 servings

1/2 pound dry pasta, such as rigatoni
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
2 pinches of fresh grated nutmeg
2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1/2 wheel garlic and herb Boursin cheese
Basil pesto, to taste (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
Fresh herbs, such has parsley, basil, or chives, chopped (optional)
3 tomatoes, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350°.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta. When the pasta is a few minutes away from being done, add the cauliflower. When al dente, drain both together in a colander.

Heat the cream in the same pot over medium heat, transfer the cauliflower and pasta back to pot with the warm cream. Add the mustard, nutmeg, and Tabasco. Stir over medium heat and allow to thicken slightly, stirring occasionally. Fold in the Swiss cheese and Boursin. You may add a small amount of basil pesto here if you’d like.

Mix the egg into the pasta and transfer to a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix together the Parmesan, bread crumbs, butter, and paprika. Include the herbs if you are including them. Top the pasta with the breadcrumb mixture. Garnish with slices of tomato. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly and brown.
Mark Peel's Macaroni and Cheese With Mushrooms
Mark Peel's Macaroni and Cheese With Mushrooms
Mark Peel: October 7, LA Cooking Examiner Erika Kerekes
(serves 8)


½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup minced onion
1 dried red chile (preferably Japanese), whole
1 small bay leaf
Kosher salt
2 cups whole milk

¾ pound penne
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ ounce dried morels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped onion or shallot
Kosher salt
2 fat garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed, and minced
6 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, such as hedgehogs, maitake, or oyster mushrooms, washed and quartered or cut into thick slices
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (¾ cup, tightly packed)
1½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/3 cup, tightly packed)
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
¼ cup fresh or dried bread crumbs

1. Make the béchamel: Place the porcini in a bowl and pour in 1 cup hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer to extract the soaking liquid, then rinse well in several changes of water, swishing them around in the water until you no longer see any sand. Squeeze dry, chop coarsely, and set aside. Measure out ¾ cup of the soaking liquid.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the roux is just barely golden and has a popcorn aroma, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, chile, and bay leaf and continue to cook, stirring, until the onion softens slightly and the raw onion smell is gone. Add ¼ teaspoon salt. The popcorn smell will dissipate and the roux will thicken, then loosen up.

3. Change from the wooden spoon to a whisk and whisk in the milk and the mushroom-soaking liquid all at once. Bring slowly to a simmer, whisking constantly.
4. Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring very often with a wooden spoon or a heatproof rubber spatula so that nothing sticks to the sides and bottom of the pot. If the flour sticks and scorches, the béchamel will be ruined and you’ll have to begin again. It helps to cook the béchamel in a wide pan you can tip to see the bottom to make sure the sauce is not sticking. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until there is no raw flour taste and the sauce is quite thick.

5. Remove from the heat and press through a sieve immediately, while hot. You can store the béchamel for a few days in the refrigerator. Place a piece of plastic directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. When you reheat it, whisk it vigorously.

6. Make the macaroni: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous tablespoon of salt and the penne. Cook for a minute less than usual. It should be cooked through but a little more al dente or chewy than you’d like it if you were serving it right away. Drain and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.

7. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and butter a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Place the dried morels in a bowl and pour on 1½ cups hot water. Allow to soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Agitate the mushrooms in the soaking water to release more sand, then lift them from the water and let the water sit for a few minutes. Strain into a bowl through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Rinse the mushrooms, swishing them around in several changes of water to release more sand. Slice lengthwise and set aside with the reconstituted porcini.

8. Heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a wide, heavy saucepan and add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic. Cook for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and stir in the reconstituted morels and porcini. Cook, stirring for a minute or two, until the liquid cooks out. Add the fresh mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have cooked down somewhat, about 5 minutes. Add the strained soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms and stir together. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced by about three quarters, to a thick gravy coating the mushrooms and the bottom of the pan. Rub the thyme between the palms of your hands to release its aroma and stir into the mushrooms along with 1 tablespoon of the parsley; add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the béchamel and remove from the heat.

9. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked penne, the béchamel and mushrooms, the Gruyère, all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and the mozzarella. Spoon into the buttered baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, the remaining Parmesan, and the remaining tablespoon of parsley and sprinkle over the top in an even layer. Dot with the remaining butter.

10. Cover the macaroni with foil and place in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, or until bubbling. Uncover, turn the heat down to 375ºF, and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the top has browned. Remove from the heat and, once the macaroni has stopped bubbling, serve.
L.A. Sates’ Ultimate Mac & Cheese
L.A. Sates’ Ultimate Mac & Cheese
Sinful is the word to describe this incredible mac and cheese recipe. There are many out there, but LASates is offering you the be-all and end-all of mac and cheese recipes. Add ingredients, remove ingredients, do what you will. With the basic steps in mind, you can never go wrong with this recipe. Bon apetit, LASaters!

Active Time: 1 hrs
Bake Time: 30 mins

6+2 T Butter
6 T Flour
½ t Cayenne pepper
Freshly ground white pepper
3 ¾ c Hot whole milk
2 c Sharp cheddar, grated
1 c Gruyere
1 c Fontina
1 lb Elbow macaroni, cooked
½?1 head of garlic, roasted
6 slices bacon, coarse crispy crumbles
½ c Heavy cream
½ c Fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°.

Optional: Steep warm milk with bay leaf and a couple of cloves of raw garlic for 30 mins.

Melt 6 T butter in a med stainless steel saucepan over LOW heat. Add flour, whisking constantly for 2?4 mins. Stir in cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in hot milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Stir in 2 cups of cheese (1 c cheddar, ½ c Gruyere, ½ c Fontina). Cook, stirring, until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl, and season with salt. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mixed cheese, some roasted garlic and bacon crumbles over the bottom of a buttered casserole dish. Place 1/3 of the pasta mixture in the baking dish, top with 1/2 cup of cheese, roasted garlic and bacon, then repeat, layering pasta and cheese, ending with just the cheese, making three layers in all. Pour heavy cream over mac and cheese.

Melt remaining butter in a skillet. Add fresh bread crumbs, coat with melted butter, and sprinkle over macaroni
and cheese.

Bake until crust is golden, about 30 mins. Rest for about 15 mins before serving.

Serves 8.

LASates Note
No fear, we have a simpler version! You can warm the milk without the steeping elements. Cut out the extra types of cheese and use 4 cups of cheddar instead. Replace fresh bread crumbs with panko or dried bread crumbs. You can also forgo the heavy cream.

L.A.Sates 19 July 2009
Rialto's Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs
Rialto's Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs
¾ c. sheep’s milk ricotta
¼ c. finely grated pecorino
¼ tsp. ground fennel seed
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp. green olives, rinsed and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
16 ripe figs, cut in half
8 super-thin slices prosciutto
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper

1. Preheat grill to medium heat.

2. In a bowl, mix ricotta and pecorino with fennel, lemon zest, ginger, and olives. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Smear 16 fig halves with the cheese mixture and place other halves on top (like a little fig sandwich).

4. Wrap each fig with ½ slice of prosciutto, making sure to cover seam to hold sides in place.

5. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, and black pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

6. Reduce heat to low and cook for three minutes.

7. Grill wrapped figs for about four minutes per side or until prosciutto is nice and crispy.

8. Transfer grilled figs to plate and drizzle with balsamic honey.

9. Slice in half and serve with a simple green salad.

Rialto's Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs
Rialto owner and chef Jody Adams, Picture off
Super Simple Mac & Cheese with Sage
Super Simple Mac & Cheese with Sage
1/2 lb. of your favorite pasta (macaroni, penne, farfalle, etc.)
1 c. gruyere cheese, grated*
sea salt
fresh black pepper
5 or more fresh sage leaves
olive oil

1. Prepare sage oil. Drizzle olive oil into pan and gentle heat over medium flame. Add sage leaves to infuse into the oil. Once you smell the sage and right before they turn brown, it's ready! Set aside for pasta topping later. Let the oil slightly cool.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Add pasta into the sage oil.
3. Add the cheese and stir.
4. Sprinkle sea salt and fresh black pepper before serving.
5. Bon appétit!

*Note: Other good cheeses to try with this dish are young Fontina, Comte, young Gouda, Jack Cheese, or any good melting cheese.