Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all had a wonderful day, whether attached or not... After being surprised with a mani/pedi from one of my favorite spas, Adam and I spent a relaxing day at the public library and doing our taxes, and then got going on tonight's special romantic meal.
It's such a stereotype: the newlywed couple spends their first Valentine's Day as husband and wife over a lovely slow meal of fondue... and it's a stereotype Adam and I were thrilled to indulge in!
When we were first together (Winter 2004-2005), I used to make us pots of cheese fondue for dinner. We'd go through a good 2 loaves of French bread, and probably 2 lbs. of cheese over the course of a night. Things have certainly changed, though my fondue recipe hasn't! We so rarely indulge in food such as cheese fondue, so we figured Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity.
Adam cut up some fluffy French bread:
and a crisp Fuji apple:
as I stood at the stove and made my favorite cheddar-beer fondue. I asked around about what I should make, Cheddar or Swiss fondue, and while the response was overwhelming towards Swiss cheese, I just couldn't do it. The intent of staying in on V-Day was to save money... and spending $30 on enough cheese and liquor for white cheese fondue defeated that purpose! Instead, I went with Cheddar. For those of you without a fondue pot, never fear! A small sauce pot and hot plate work just fine. In fact, this is the first fondue set I've ever had!
The process and recipe is easy, as taught to me by my mom:
14 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 12 oz. bottle dark beer (I used Negro Modelo)
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
flour for dusting
Grate 14 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese. Dust lightly with flour. Set aside. Heat the olive oil and garlic in your fondue pot (or other pot). Add mustard and stir well until lightly browned. Add the bottle of beer and cook until reduced by about 1/4. Whisk in handfuls of the floured cheese, stirring until fully melted. Add handful by handful until all the cheese is added and the fondue is thick. Simmer on low heat a few minutes. Transfer to your fondue burner (or hot plate) and enjoy!
Originally, this was going to be a two-course fondue meal with a meat/seafood cooked in broth course... but we got too full! (Don't forget to SpringPad the fondue recipe!)
We finished off the carbo-loading meal with decadent chocolate lava cakes from Jenn! She was kind enough to get us a kit with ramekins and the mix as a wedding gift, and we've been saving it since! I had every intent of doing the double dessert thing I spoke of yesterday in Cute Food Saturday, but we both wanted chocolate... so chocolate we had!
These were supposed to be inverted onto a plate and served out of the ramekin... but this is what happened when I did one of them:
Big gooey chocolatey mess... with a curved divot in it from where the ramekin fell. It was still amazingly decadent and delicious, and I now feel like I have a brick in my stomach. I think I'm going to have some tea while we watch a movie... there's cool stuff coming to our house this week that I'm SUPER excited for, but I'll save the surprises. You may have noticed the OpenSky picture in my sidebar...that picture will bring you RIGHT to my shop, where you can buy all sorts of amazing kitchen goodies. Check them out!
Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!