Grate 1 pound of your chosen cheese right before you start cooking. (A food processor makes the job quick and easy.) In a large bowl, toss the cheese with 1 tablespoon cornstarch until evenly dusted. Use all Gruyère, or a mix of 10 ounces Gruyère and 3 ounces each of Emmentaler and Appenzeller. “Grate just before melting,” CJ says. Cheese dries out quickly, and its flavor can change when exposed to air.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup dry, unoaked white wine and 1 teaspoon minced garlic to a simmer over medium heat. Stir cheese mixture into the saucepan, about one-fourth at a time. Let mixture return to a gentle simmer between additions. Stir until fully melted and smooth. CJ prefers Jura, but other good choices are Vin de Savoie or Sauvignon Blanc.
Transfer fondue to a fondue pot and serve immediately. (You can also use a double boiler or a small slow cooker set to “keep warm.”) The choice of dippers is up to you, but sourdough or pumpernickel bread is a must. Use a day-old loaf, and dry out
the cubes a little by leaving them exposed to air for a few hours or popping them briefly into a warm oven. Round out the meal with salad and wine. To keep the fondue nice and smooth, stir the forked bread or meat in a figureeight motion through the cheese as you dip. “Don’t worry about the bread being too hard,” CJ says. “It’ll soften in the hot cheese.”
DIPPING TIME CJ recommends having a veggie, a fruit and a meat, plus bread. Try roasted beets, pear, steamed Brussels sprouts, apple or smoked sausage.