Cheesy!

A couple weeks ago, on April 11, we celebrated National Fondue Day in our house. I bought a fondue pot this winter and have been making use of it regularly, but I’d mostly stuck with traditional Swiss fondues. I had gotten a recipe from my husband’s aunt for fondue and it has taken me several tries to tweak it to get it to where we like it. I finally accomplished that, so since April 11 was National Fondue Day, I decided to try an American twist on the classic Swiss dish. I have to say that this was the most insane fondue even my husband has ever had.

CheddarFondue

This is Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Fondue. It’s delicious! It’s creamy and gooey and cheddary and bacony and scrumptious! If you don’t have a fondue pot, I suggest you get one ASAP! You’ll want one after you’ve tried this recipe. This fondue can be made using a double boiler and then kept warm in a hot miniature crock pot, but you really should use a fondue pot so you get it bubbling like it’s supposed to.

Ingredients
2¾ cups (11 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, halved
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beer (light beer recommended)
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
4 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon bourbon
4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and chopped into small pieces
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons chopped scallions

Directions
1. Toss the cheese with the flour in a bowl or gallon ziploc bag.
2. Rub the inside surface of your fondue pot with both halves of the garlic clove, covering the entire inner surface. You may smash the clove and leave it in your fondue pot to mix with your fondue or remove it when you are finished. Personally, I recommend leaving it in. Place your fondue pot on your stove and turn the burner on high and let heat for 30 seconds.
3. Pour the beer into the fondue pot and reduce the heat to medium. With a fork or small wire whisk, stir in the horseradish, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
4. Add half of the cheese mixture; cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add the remaining cheese a small amount at a time, stirring constantly in a circular motion after each addition until the cheese is melted.
5. Pour the bourbon slowly around the edge of the bowl. Pull the cheese mixture away from the edge of the bowl; cook for about 30 seconds or until the alcohol cooks off. Stir the bourbon into the cheese. Fold in the bacon and pepper.
6. Remove your fondue pot from the stove and place over a lit fondue burner. Make sure the heat from the burner is just hot enough to keep the fondue bubbling. Garnish with scallions.
For dippers, I chose to cut up pretzel buns and homemade French bread, and we also used bacon skewers, as you can see in the photo. The pretzel buns were the perfect complement to this amazing fondue! If you’ve ever had Ruby Tuesday’s beer cheese and pretzel bites, this is like that entree’s spicier, bacon-laced cousin. It’s definitely worth seeking out a few pretzel buns to use with this dish.
[Also, I should note here that I actually used half extra-sharp cheddar cheese and half Gruyere-Cheddar Melange cheese (a combination cheese I found at Trader Joe’s.) You don’t need to do this, but we loved it because it came out more creamy than it would have with just cheddar.]
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