Fun-du: Smoked Gouda Fondue with Bacon and Almonds

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 40 servings
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Ingredients

Salt

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 pound asparagus

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, plus some for drizzling

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 pound white mushrooms*

Salt and black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, eyeball it

1 1/2 pounds kielbasa

1 cup drained cornichons or baby Gherkin pickles

2 red pears

4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided

1 baguette, sliced

6 slices thick cut bacon

8 ounces Gruyere, shredded

1/3 pound, about 6 ounces, smoked Gouda, shredded

1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 large clove garlic, smashed away from skin

3/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Heat 2 or 3 inches water in a medium frying pan until it boils then salt it and add the cauliflower. Cook 3 minutes, then remove from water with tongs or spider to a colander. Cool under cold running water. Trim asparagus of tough ends and add to salted water, cook 3 minutes, remove and cool in the same manner as the cauliflower. In a second skillet, while cauliflower and asparagus work, saute shallots and mushrooms together in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium high heat until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add red wine vinegar to the pan and cook it out, 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat broiler to high and a grill pan or large nonstick skillet to medium high. Drizzle sausage casing with extra-virgin olive oil and prick skin in a few places with the tines of a fork. Grill kielbasa on hot grill pan or in large nonstick skillet 6 to 8 minutes until casing is crisp. Remove sausage and cut in 2-inch chunks on a bias.
  3. While sausage cooks, pile veggies on a platter and add cornichons and chopped pears coated with 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Broil bacon on slotted pan until crisp. Drain, cool and chop. Make the fondue: combine cheeses in a bowl with flour. Rub the inside of a small pot with smashed garlic then discard. Add wine and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. Transfer the fondue to fondue pot and top with chopped bacon and smoked nuts.

Cook’s Note

* If you like, score the tops of a few of the larger mushrooms with a paring knife. It will dress up the serving platter when mushrooms are cooked.

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