fondu and all-white salad

No, not together.

Last week I was high up in the mountains, enjoying a week of cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Seriously. The local specialties in the French Alps are Fondu (bread dipped in melted cheese), Raclette (bread and/or potatoes topped with melted cheese), Tartiflette (potato & melted cheese casserole), baked Mont d’Or (more cheese)… let’s just say, not a vacation destination for the lactose intolerant.

Luckily for me, I can tolerate pretty much anything. Unluckily for me, the weather was not ideal for skiing:-( Which meant that we had quite a bit of free time to kill. The television in our rental was all in French. The internet connection got progressively worse as the week wore on. But take a look at our kitchen! It was easily twice as large and much better equipped than my little kitchen here in Frankfurt. So, what did we do? We learned to make fondu.

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The first attempt was not a success. I followed a very basic recipe from David Lebovitz and, while the flavor was good, it never really came together into the right consistency. The second time I asked for some advice from the lady selling me the cheese and added the cheese to the pot slowly, one handful at a time. And, oh my! The fondu was perfect! Creamy, delicious, perfect!

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But, after a week of too little skiing and too much cheese, I was very happy to return to find that this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Helene’s All-White Salad, was high on vegetables and low on dairy. My husband, however, was less enthused. I believe, “looks interesting” was his comment. And then he asked what else we were going to have for dinner. Sheesh! Tough crowd.

In order to make the salad more husband-compliant, I used endives instead of the dreaded celery and added a poached chicken breast to beef it up a bit. Still white-ish and still delicious. Even the husband thought so.

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18 Responses to fondu and all-white salad

  1. What a fun holiday! I could go for cheesy vacation…yum! Glad you both enjoyed this one 🙂

  2. Oh oh – ENDIVES – that would totally be great in this salad. Alas I can’t get any here right now but will keep it in mind. I was a fan of this (with goat cheese and almonds!)

  3. Emily says:

    Thank you for the tip on fondu making! Endives sounds good and perhaps fennel too!

  4. Nana says:

    First, let me say that is one beautiful kitchen, it is so open and inviting. It sounds as though you are having a great vacation. I love the photo of the salad with the sliced chicken.
    Perfect pairing.

  5. A beautiful looking kitchen and living area…love the fire place! I remember years ago fondus were all the rage in the states. I can’t tell you how many fondu pots I have…or how many fondu parties I hosted! I love a good fondu and yours looks perfect! So does your salad…I enjoyed this salad, however I ate mine for lunch, and it just needed more substance for a lunch salad. I added goat cheese and it was perfect! Happy weekend, Rose!

  6. Cher says:

    Oh wow! That is a great looking kitchen for a rental. Too much cheese is never a problem, but it probably requires a little extra exercise 🙂
    The whole storm naming thing is new (and I think ridiculous). I guess it is supposed to help people understand that snow storms are just as impactful as hurricanes or something like that. I grew up in the Northeast – we just call it winter 🙂 I will say this winter has been worse than several recent winters and the temperatures have stayed cold enough that the usual melt down between storms just isn’t happening – which makes us all grumpier than usual.
    Your additions to the salad sound good!

  7. Sara says:

    Nice kitchen!
    The salad didn’t do much for us (my husband had pretty much the same reaction as yours). I like the idea of adding chicken – that would have at least made the man happy! Ah, well. It still looks good!

  8. Teresa says:

    Love the idea of endive in this salad and the chicken looks like a great addition, too. I’d gladly forgo skiing to spend some time in a kitchen like that! In fact, I think I’d be too busy trying all the cheese-laden specialties to ski at all.

  9. So glad both of you enjoyed this winter salad – a side of poached chicken breasts sounds like a good idea too! Looks like you had a wonderful kitchen while vacationing in France.

  10. I think the chicken addition was perfect really.

  11. Christy says:

    What a fantastic vacation kitchen! I would adore that year round. Looks great with the endive and chicken!

  12. Guyla says:

    I am envious of your trip! We have a friend from France and he’s introduced us to Raclette and we love it. What’s not to love, right? Your salad looks good too!

  13. My son and I are lactose intolerant… we would have starved. I enjoy chocolate fondue and sample a little (with the help of magic pills) cheese. There seems to be agreement… great kitchen for a rental sorry the skiing was bad.

  14. Maria Zioga says:

    I am also lactose intolerant but I LOVE cheese and fondue and Raclette and Tartiflette and everything cheesy and swiss, except skiing, so that would have been my dream vacation! I also paired the salad with a chicken breast but mine was on the blackened side so I chose not to include it in the picture!! Your salad looks so fresh ans crispy I love it!!!

  15. Tricia S. says:

    LOL- I always enjoy hearing the various “taste testers” comments- before and after trying one of our FFWD dishes. We actually thought we would like it MUCH more than we did- drat those expectations. I very much enjoyed a peek into your vacation and loved the photo of the kitchen next to that warm fireplace. And that photo of the table, including the champagne well nested in SNOW- has inspired me on what to do with some of the white stuff that has been falling non stop around here 🙂

  16. betsy says:

    Wow! I could move right into that rental. It looks so welcoming and warm. If the skiing isn’t good, nice to have such a pretty place to hang out. Eating cheese is one of my favorite pastimes, so your eats this week sound fantastic. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this white salad. I think I’m in the minority this week. Certainly all those veggies counter the cheese calories from last week. Welcome back.

  17. Cakelaw says:

    I love all of your dairy delights, and the fondue looked as though it was fab. Tartiflette and baked cheese for me please!

  18. jora says:

    What an absolutely gorgeous kitchen! I am so jealous of your vacation, although I’m sorry the weather didn’t work out for skiing.

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