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Chili-Cheese Fondue

Yield Makes About 2 2/3 cups; 8 appetizer or 3 or 4 main-dish servings
Notes: For an entrée, you can also dip these foods into the sauce: 3 to 4 cups bite-size vegetable pieces (choose 1 to 4--canned baby corn, cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper strips, zucchini slices) and 3 to 4 cups bite-size pieces cooked meat (choose 1 to 3--chicken, meatballs, shrimp, sausage).

Prep and cook time: about 25 minutes


  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound jack or chili-flavored jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cumin seed
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1 baguette (1/2 lb.), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • or
  • 6 to 9 ounces tortilla chips

Nutrition Information

  • calories 657
  • caloriesfromfat 55 %
  • protein 35 g
  • fat 40 g
  • satfat 24 g
  • carbohydrate 39 g
  • fiber 1.9 g
  • sodium 1206 mg
  • cholesterol 128 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart fondue pan (flame-proof ceramic or porcelain-glazed cast iron) or heavy-bottom metal pan over medium heat, warm 1 cup milk until bubbles form and slowly rise to surface, about 6 minutes.

  2. In a bowl, mix jack cheese, cheddar cheese, cornsarch, and cumin.

  3. Add cheese mixture, a handful at a time, to hot milk, stirring until fondue is smoothly melted and beginning to bubble.

  4. Set pan over an ignited alcohol or canned solid-fuel flame (if pan is ceramic, place a heat diffuser between it and heat source). Adjust heat so fondue bubbles very slowly. Check occasionally to be sure fondue is not scorching; if it is too hot, reduce or turn off the heat, then resume heating when mixture begins to cool.

  5. Spear bread cubes, 1 at a time, with fondue forks or thin skewers (metal or wood) and swirl through fondue (stir across bottom frequently to prevent scorching); lift out and let drip briefly over pan, then eat. If fondue gets too thick for easy dipping, stir in more heated milk, a few tablespoons at a time. After fondue is consumed, scrape the cheese crust from pan to divide and eat; it's considered a special treat.

  6. Serve fondue with tortilla chips instead of bread if you choose.