Last week the girls came over to my somewhat empty apartment for a dinner party. It was great because their company, roasting garlic, caramelizing onions, and red wine certainly warmed the space. I recently sold several bookcases and my couch, in preparation for a newly transforming apartment. The fondue party just happened to be occurring on an interlude of couch ownership. So we piled around the kitchen table while cooking and discussing.
Traditionally we have associated our fondue parties with break-ups. Last year in February, when I was freshly in the hot seat, M so kindly suggested a get together at her apartment for a fondue and wine party, thus coining the code phrase 'fondue party'. It was the most soul-feeding Wednesday night a girl could ask for. From that time on, if anyone is having a particularly challenging time, we ask if they need a fondue party...
|Caramelized onions and leeks in freshly stirred 'roux', water, wine, and broth|
fon due par ty: an event between friends involving melted cheese, butter, garlic, and chocolate in heated pots, surrounded by breads, vegetables, fruits, and cookies for the sole purpose of providing and environment to discuss life with the essential ingredient of wine in hand.
Roasted Garlic Fondue
Yields about 6 cups
This is actually an inspired compilation of several recipes, mostly of which were garlic soup. But it translated quite easily into a dish that fondue foods could be dipped into, in addition to the traditional Swiss cheese-style. It reheated nicely the next day as soup for lunch with a few leftover cubes of bread for dipping.
2 bulbs garlic
A few dashes olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 leeks, thoroughly cleaned and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut a cross-sectional slice off the top of each garlic bulb, so the tops of each clove are exposed. Place bulbs in a oven-safe container; drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in the oven until garlic is softened and roasted, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute onion until lightly browned, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes. Add leeks, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, and pepper. Saute over medium-low heat until leeks are softened and browned and onions are golden brown, about 15 more minutes.
Whisk flour and 1 tablespoon butter into onion and leek mixture until dissolved and a roux (a brown paste-like consistency, which will thicken the fondue). Add water, wine, chicken broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (pictured above).
Remove garlic cloves from the bulbs after they have roasted. Add cloves to the simmering broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Remove Dutch oven from heat and cool slightly. Scoop about half the broth mixture into a food processor; blend until smooth. Return to the Dutch oven; stir in parsley. Transfer to a fondue pot.