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Lewes, Delaware
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December 24, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 24, 1998

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CAPE GAZETTE, Thursday, December 24 :DLffitq5r3I998. 51 &amp; DRINK Quick and easy, fondue is a hip holiday timesaver After a ten,year reign as the fashion food of the '70s and a brief hiatus following, fondue is making an encore appearance as the perfect holiday entertain- ing dish. According to chef experts from the American Dairy Asso- ciation, today's fondue isn't what you mi'ght remember. i The ingredients are lighter, fresher, more intriguing, and the tastes are more complex and flavorful. But the fun of fondue remains true to its "70s roots; it inspires conversations, laughter and most importantly, fun. What's really unique about fondue this time around is its limitless serving options. Once, traditional fondue might have meant a simple melted Swiss cheese recipe. Today, "dip din- ers" are creating delicious fon- dues with everything from berries and blue cheese to curry and smoked Gouda. With more than 200 varieties of domestic cheeses to choose from, finding a cheese with the perfect flavor to complement your favorite fondue is easier than ever. Another twist to the tradition- al fondue is that it's "reversed." With this concept, hunks of cheese are dunked into a variety of fondue bases - from veg- etable to broth to fruit, as well as into the traditional cheese base. For example, Mediterranean tomato-arugula fondue, a spicy blend of fresh tomatoes, arugula and parmesan cheese, combines perfectly when dipped with tangy hunks of colby, feta and fresh mozzarella balls for a re- freshing flavor Combination. Fondue also reflects the latest in food trends. Experimenting with ethnic tastes and exotic fruits and veg- etables is hot on today's culi- nary scene, given the increased variety of herbs and ingredients available. Swiss and gouda cur- ry fondue, for instance, incor- porates the delicious taste and rich color of Indian curry to add a modem twist to a traditional cheese dip. Not only is fondue delicious and hip, it's a great party time- saver. Preparation and serving requires just one pot, making cleanup a breeze. Serve with a variety of baked breads, domes- tic cheeses and other dippers so guests can pick their favorites. Fondue is participatory too. While guests dunk and dip their dinner, the host is free to mingle and enjoy the company of his or Fondue is making an encore appearance as the perfect holiday dish. her guests, who also can be re- cruited to help with the slicing and dicing. The "retro" fun combined with the contempo- CREAMY CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY FONDUE 1 C (6 ounce package) semi- sweet chocolate chips rary sophistication of fondue 6 ounces (3/4 package) cream will dazzle guests young and cheese, softened old. Enjoy a hip holiday season and involve everyone in the fun. For more ideas and complimen- tary recipes for your own fon- due affair, send a self-addressed label to: Fabulous Fondue, c/o the American Dairy Associa- tion; P.O. Box 760; Rosemont, IL60018-7760, or visit the new ADA cheese Web site at <>. 1/2 C milk 2-3 T raspberry liqueur or raspberry syrup Pinch of salt For dipping: Strawberries, sliced bananas, fresh pineapple cubes and bite-size pieces of angel food or pound cake. Combine all ingredients in a small-size heavy-bottomed Continued on page 52 Sampling wines- can be surprising I had the distinct pleasure this past Thurs- day of sitting down with my fellow employ- ees for a wine tasting and food comparison. It is gratifying to find the depth of knowl- edge these folks have and it is equally enjoy- able to refresh my own perspective. As you who read this opinion-filled commentary are well aware, fine wine is determined by the palate of its consumer. Our evening brought that home again. In all, nine of us sat around after work trying our wine by the glass program and a variety of other selections from the cellar. While we did agree that most of the wine was very good, we didn't have any single wine that all enjoyed. We also found a 1986 white Sardinian wine to be quite delicious, although my "ex- pert" would certainly assure us that it would be played out, over the hill or worse. This wine was crisp, clear and complemented by the fresh crab, just as the label said it would. The name of the gem is Aragusto Vermenti- Continued on page 52 I A few sugge00,;tions for New Year's Eve Merry Christmas. Today is a day to be with family and friends. Monday is the day to start prepar- ing for New Year's Eve. This New Year's Eve is a fire drill for the millennium. Guess I have to mention the millennium. Everyone else has. Actually, the millennium means zero to me. Double that. But first, The Cape Gazette held its annual Christmas party last week. Due to the enormous influ- ence this column has on this newspaper, we had food. Crab balls, shrimp, cheese and an array of many "Focus on Food" fa- vorites were among the offerings. Wait. I digress. One of the biggest cheeses at the paper brought his guitar. I asked his wife why. She said, "Because he knows three chords and he thinks he's really good." Guess who? "I am the Walrus." Ku-ku-ka-chu. Talk about a magi- cal mystery tour. I bet this guy still has his lava lamp. Anyway, everyone at The Cape Gazette received a door prize. One of my personal favorites was a 1997 calendar. The one I received had neatly printed on it, "Not for FOCUS ON FOOD Anne Graham resale" and is probably still under the tree at the party room at the Lamp Post if you are interested. Back to New Year's Eve. You probably know what you are go- ing to serve. So I am going to pro- vide some additions. First, spiced nuts. Some of your guests will be that. And that's why I will bring out the tambourine and suggest that you do not drink cocktails unless you bring your sleeping bag. Two good punches are very simple. Mix bottled grape juice with ginger ale. Cranberry juice mixed with fresh orange juice is very good, too. SPICED PECANS 1/4 C butter 2 C pecan halves 1 1/2 C sugar 1 T ground cinnamon 1 T nutmeg Melt butter in skillet and add pecans. Stir often and cook over low to moderate beat for about 20 minutes. Combine rest of ingredi- ents in plastic zipper bag. Add warm pecans and shake to coat thoroughly. Cool pecans and store in airtight containers until serving time. ORANGE ALMOND CAKE 2 large oranges (seedless navels, if possible) 6 eggs 1 1/2 C ground almonds 1/4 t sugar 1 C sugar 1/2 t cinnamon 1 t baking powder orange slices for garnish Wash the orange and boil them whole in enough water to cover them completely for 30 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Cut into quarters and remove any seeds. Process to a fairly fine but still coarse puree in a food processor or electric blender. Beat the eggs in a bowl until thick and add the orange puree, ground almonds, salt, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder. Mix well and pour into a deep, buttered and floured nine-inch cake pan. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 45 minutes or longer, until the center of the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool before turn- ing out onto a serving dish. Serve garnished with orange slices or fresh dish. Serve garnished with orange slices or fresh berries. Makes one cake, approximately eight serv- ings. Here's a great after-midnight or early morning recipe. BREAKFAST BURRITO 4 medium potatoes, cut into half-inch dice 1 T vegetable oil 1/4 chopped red bell pepper 1/2 C thinly sliced scallions 6eggs 2 T water 1 to 2 t Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce or to taste I 112 C shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, or a combination of the two salt and freshly ground pep- per to taste 4 10-inch flour tortillas (bur- rito size) Boil the potatoes in enough wa- ter to cover for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the potatoes and the bell pepper. Cook for about five minutes, stirring oc- casionally. Add the scallions and cook an additional two minutes. In a bowl, beat the eggs and water arid add the hot sauce and cheese. Add this mixture to the potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes, until the eggs are set. Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and heat in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes, or in a plastic bag in a microwave for 30 sec- onds. Divide the potato and egg Continued on page 52