Southwest Salsa FondueCuisinart Original Recipe
3/4 cup prepared salsa
1 pound Monterey Jack, finely shredded
1/2 pound sharp Cheddar, finely shredded
3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
2 bottles (12 ounces) Mexican beer*, such as Corona, room temperature, divided (note: you may not need all of the beer)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1. Put the salsa in a fine mesh strainer set over a small mixing bowl. Allow to drain until thickened, about 30 minutes, depending on the type of salsa being used. Reserve.
2. Put the shredded cheeses in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch and the cumin to fully coat. Reserve.
3. Rub the bottom and lower half of the sides of the fondue pot with the cut sides of the garlic clove. Add 1 cup of the beer and the lime juice and set the temperature to Setting 4 1/2 to bring the beer to a simmer (but not boiling).
4. Once the beer begins to simmer, reduce the temperature to Setting 3 1/2. Slowly add the cheese, about ¼ to 1 1/3 of a cup at a time. Use a nonstick whisk (such as a silicone-coat ed one) to work the cheese into the liquid. Once the cheese is fully melted into the beer, gradually add more cheese, little by little, alternating with the beer as you go, about 1 1/3 to ½ cup at a time, while adding the cheese. This ensures that the consistency of the fondue will be nice and creamy. (The beer keeps the cheese from separating and from becoming stringy).
5. Once all the cheese has been added (most of the beer will be incorporated as well, but you may have up to 3/4 cup remaining) make a slurry of the remaining cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the beer by stirring the two together until homogenous. Add the slurry to the fondue and whisk to fully combine. Stir in the strained salsa. Stir in more beer if the fondue is too thick.
6. Reduce the temperature to Setting 3 for serving. The fondue should just simmer, but never come close to boiling. Tortilla chips pair perfectly with this fondue, but pieces of grilled chicken work well, and crusty bread cubes and blanched vegetables also pair nicely.
*For an alcohol-free version, substitute chicken stock or apple cider plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for the beer.