I can’t believe my ten days in Provence are almost over. The time is going by too fast and is mostly spent studying for my exams next week. I have taken some time out to relax with my husband and my kitties and share in some of our favorite culinary past times. Here’s a short one that I wanted to share with you during a study break.
Mont d’Or. This is one of our favorite winter dishes. We make it every winter often on cold days for a dinner or lunch when we have time to relax, chat and enjoy an extra glass of wine. I made it last year when my sister and mom came to visit; it’s simple to do and fun to share.
The mont d’or itself is a type of soft mountain cheese made from cow milk. It comes from the mountains of Jura in the far east of France and Switzerland. You can buy it in small portions and spread it on bread, but it’s much more fun to buy and bake whole.
It’s simpler than a fondu, which is a combination of different cheeses, garlic, sometimes herbs, oil, and wine and slowly melted over a low flame. All the mont d’or takes is a little bit of wine and an oven.
Bake for 20 minutes.
And then your favorite fondu fixings.
Potatoes, bread, onions, and smoked ham are the most common in France, but I have to add veggies. Raw broccoli, carrots and mushrooms give an excellent crunch to the melted cheese. And I love the taste of warm melted cheese over the fresh vegetables.
The taste of the wine is subtle, especially as it bakes away while in the oven. Sometimes I think it’s there mostly to bring out the flavor of the cheese rather than add to it.
This is the type of meal you need to share. Not because it’s too big or rich, but the ambiance of it wouldn’t be the same if I was alone. There’s something about the dipping, the communal plate piled with vegetables and bread, the box of bubbling cheese that invites relaxation and conversation.
Or maybe that was the wine.
If you’re interested in trying this easy fondu but can’t get a Mont d’Or where you are, any soft-crusted cow’s milk cheese will do. Brie and Camembert are both very tasty baked in the oven. Reblochon might also work. Strong cheeses will be over powering and hard cheeses are better for a traditional fondu.
And now, it’s back to studying for me…
Happy New Year to you all!