Welsh Rarebit Fondue

Aired January 29, 2009

Serves 4-6 servings
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
About 1/4 loaf Pullman or some other kind of white bread, cut into large dice
About 1/4 loaf pumpernickel bread, cut into large dice
2 slices of roast beef from the deli (each about an inch thick), cut into cubes
10 to 15 radishes, washed and trimmed of tops and roots
10 to 15 cornichons, drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
16 to 20 long wood skewers (depends on the number of bacon and tomatoes)
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound shredded extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese
3 scallions, trimmed of roots, white and green parts thinly sliced on an angle
Fondue forks or additional long skewers for dipping

Preheat oven 375F.

Preparing the dippers for the fondue: Arrange the bacon pieces in an even layer on a broiler tray and pan. Transfer to the oven and cook until brown and crispy, about 12-15 minutes.

While the bacon is working in the oven, place a medium-size saucepot filled with water over high heat and bring up to a boil for the cauliflower. Add some salt and the cauliflower florets and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and run them under cold water until chilled. Dry thoroughly and reserve them on a large serving platter.

While the water is coming up to a boil for the cauliflower, arrange the cubes of white bread on a baking sheet and lightly toast them in the oven, about 7-8 minutes. Arrange the toasted white bread on the platter along with the cubed pumpernickel, roast beef, radishes, cornichons and cauliflower.

Once the bacon is out of the oven, place half of a tomato on a long skewer followed by a piece of the bacon and the other half of the tomato. Repeat with the remaining bacon, tomatoes and skewers you should get about 16-20 skewers. Transfer to the platter with the other dipper and reserve.

Once you have all the dipper ready make the fondue: Place the yolks in a mixing bowl and reserve. Place a heat-safe fondue pot or a medium saucepot over medium heat with the flour and butter, cook for a minute, then whisk in the Dijon, hot sauce and milk.

Right before the milk comes up to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low and add in the cheese, slowly stirring in figure-eight motion.

Once all the cheese has melted, remove a ladleful of the hot cheese mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks then whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the hot cheese mixture. Remove the pot from the heat and top with the chopped scallions.

To serve, place the pot on or alongside the platter of dippers. Using fondue forks or more long skewers, dip in and munch away!

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