For most, the holidays are about reconnecting with family and friends, and indulging in festive, luxuriant dishes and pours. Re-enter the fondue: over the last several years, fondue has come back in a big way, but today’s bubbling pot has evolved far beyond the Gruyère and Sherry recipes that were beloved in the ’70s. From delicious dark chocolate to concoctions of whitefish and fresh herbs, the modern fondue is an easy but elegant addition to any party, and encourages guests to mingle while eating. Fondues are also delicious when paired with appropriate wines. All recipes and pairings courtesy of Red Bicyclette.
32 ounces dark Belgian chocolate
1 stick butter
1 cup warm milk
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter, stirring frequently. Warm milk in a second sauce pan and whisk into chocolate. Transfer to fondue pot.
Red Bicyclette pairing recommendation: Pinot Noir
CARAMELIZED FRENCH ONION FONDUE
1 Vidalia onion
1 small leek
1 quart beef stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces demi glace
2 cups red wine
9 tablespoons butter (Â½ stick; plus 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/8 cup flour
Peel and finely chop onion and shallot. Finely chop leek using all the white and just a smidge of the green; be sure to clean thoroughly, dirt likes to hide in the folds of the leek.
Bring beef stock, balsamic vinegar, demi glace and red wine to a boil and reduce to simmer.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, pepper and thyme. Once hot, drop in onion, shallot and leek and stir. Sautée for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Deglaze onions with a ladle of broth. Cover and let simmer 10 minutes. Once the pan dries out, repeat this process for another 20 minutes.
Remove onions from heat. Let cool. Process until smooth in a food processor or blender.
Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in skillet. Fold in flour over heat and stir until butter is absorbed and thick. Using a whisk, incorporate the remainder of the broth into the flour mixture over heat. Once fully incorporated, remove from heat.
Whisk in the onion purée and finish off with remaining1 tablespoon of butter.
Red Bicyclette pairing recommendation: Syrah
WHITEFISH AND TARRAGON FONDUE
1 small white onion
4 cloves garlic
1 quart fish stock
2 cups dry vermouth
4 tablespoons butter
4 tilapia filets
Â¼ cup flour
2 cups aged gouda, shredded
3 sprigs of tarragon, coarsely chopped
Mince onion and garlic. Bring stock and vermouth to a boil and reduce to a simmer. In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Deglaze with a ladle of broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Lay fish filets evenly over onion mixture and cover. Shut off heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Remove cover from fish and onion mixture and transfer contents to food processor. Process until smooth.
Melt remainder of butter in skillet and stir in flour until thick. Ladle broth into butter mixture and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated.
Fold in cheese and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in fish purée.
Stir tarragon leaves into mixture. Add pepper to taste. Transfer to fondue pot.
Red Bicyclette pairing recommendation: Rosé
All recipes and pairings courtesy of Red Bicyclette wines. For more information about Red Bicyclette wines, go to www.redbicyclette.com