For an hors d'oeuvre, everyone dips into cheese fondue -- a dish with Swiss origins.
- 1 clove garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider or dry white wine
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (3 cups)
- 8 ounces Emmental cheese, grated (3 cups)
- 8 ounces raclette cheese, grated (3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into one-inch cubes
- Assorted pickled vegetables, such as cornichons, pearl onions, cauliflower, baby carrots, and mushrooms
Rub inside of a fondue pot with garlic; discard garlic. Pour cider or wine into pot, and place over medium-low heat. When liquid starts to bubble, start adding cheeses by the handful, stirring until melted and combined.
Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves; stir into cheese mixture. Continue stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling slightly, about five minutes. Season with nutmeg and pepper.
Transfer fondue pot to the table, and keep warm over the fondue pot warmer. Serve with bread and pickled vegetables.