There are so many things I miss about It-lee. The hand gesturing, the life-or-death thrill of crossing the street, disco dancing with singing sensation Raffaella Carra. So I was over the moon when Jennifer sent me the recipe for Fondue Italiano from her copy of Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking.
Having said that, I have mixed feelings about fondues. For starters, you need company. So strike one for me. And secondly, they can be dangerous. I once had a fondue pot explode! Luckily, it was full of melted chocolate at the time. There are many worser things to pick out of your hair for three days straight.
For those reasons, Mother’s forbidden me to own a fondue pot, so I had to improvise and use a bowl. Be careful when spearing your breadcubes! Mother almost poked my eye out with her chopstick. We really enjoyed the fondue. It was cheesy and meaty and both of us got a little giddy, thanks to the wine. Then we fell asleep before Lawrence Welk came on.
WARNING: This has, like, a lot of cheese. Don’t be surprised if, the next morning, your neighbour asks when you started taking trumpet lessons. I’m speaking from experience.
Thanks, Jennifer! Come back Friday for another reader recipe. We're nearing the end. Hang in there.
½ pound ground beef
½ envelope spaghetti sauce mix
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
12 ounces natural Cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups) (See note 1)
4 ounces natural Mozarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) (See note 2)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup chianti (see note 3)
Italian bread, cut into bite-size pieces, each with one crust
In saucepan, brown ground beef; drain off excess fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce mix and tomato sauce. Add cheeses gradually; stir over low heat till cheese is melted. Blend together cornstarch and wine; add to cheese mixture. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Transfer to fondue put; place over fondue burner. Spear bread cube with fondue fork; dip in fondue mixture, swirling to coat. (If fondue becomes thick, add a little warmed chianti.) Makes about 6 servings.
Note 1: As opposed to unnatural Cheddar
Note 2: As opposed to unnatural Mozarella
Note 3: Chianti is an Eyetalian wine. It’s pronounced “Chee-Anty.”