Vallery Lomas' Fondue Is the Versatile Recipe We All Need Right Now

Grab a beer and let melty cheese make everything better.

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Fun fact: Cheese is 100% the reason I'm not vegan. I especially love it with beer, whether a dark coffee-infused stout on a cold, dreary day or a tart, fruity gose when it's 90 degrees outside. So, when I saw Vallery Lomas' Beer and Cheese Fondue class on the Food Network Kitchen app, I immediately tuned in. There was no way I could pass up the opportunity to marry my two greatest (edible) loves, especially for a result that tastes like a mini DIY Oktoberfest.

"You can use a variety of cheeses. In fact, the more variety of cheeses you have, the more interesting your beer and cheese fondue is going to be," Vallery says. This was music to my ears, as I have copious amounts of cheese in the fridge, but cannot commit to keeping an entire pound of one kind untouched and available.

In fact, you need only seven ingredients — which you might have on hand — and 20 minutes. But here's the wonderful secret to this recipe: It's super versatile. She offers multiple ingredient swaps and even gadget alternatives. No fondue pot? No problem. Vallery makes her melty masterpiece in a saucepan, but notes a Dutch oven could handle the job perfectly.

While she pairs Cheddar with a Belgian ale, which is golden in color and adds a malty flavor profile, a darker brew, like an imperial stout, would complement a full-flavored cheese such as Gouda. Not into beer? Hard apple cider sounds like a "pretty delicious" substitute, she says, as does white wine. But if you'd rather skip the alcohol altogether, go for it. Vallery notes that chicken stock will also work, but I couldn't help but think a nonalcoholic beer would fit in here just as nicely.

Adding just a tablespoon of flour will help the fondue thicken as it cooks, but what if you, strangely enough, don't have any in the pantry? (This happened to me recently — don't judge!) Vallery suggests you use cornstarch instead.

In just minutes your fondue will be ready for dippers, and here's where you can really make this recipe work for you. Dunk crusty bread cubes, soft pretzels, apple slices or cocktail wieners into your savory pot — there are no wrong answers here.

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