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Gouda, Pancetta and Onion Fondue with Pretzels

Photo: Quentin Bacon
Total time 40 mins
Yield 8
Leyden, a Dutch cheese flecked with cumin seeds, inspired Laura Werlin to create this cumin-spiced Gouda fondue. Serve it with soft, warm pretzels or pickled vegetables for dipping.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound Gouda, coarsely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dry Riesling
  • 8 soft pretzels, warmed
  • seeded rye bread, cornichons and other pickled vegetables, for serving

How to Make It

  1. In a medium skillet, cook the chopped pancetta over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet. Add the sliced onion, cover and cook over moderate heat until it is softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the cumin and season the onion with salt and pepper.

  2. In a bowl, toss the cheese with the flour. In a medium saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the cheese in handfuls and stir constantly until each batch is completely melted before adding more. Cook, stirring vigorously, until creamy, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the pancetta and half of the onion and season generously with pepper. Float the remaining onion on top of the fondue and serve with warm pretzels, rye bread cubes, cornichons and pickled vegetables.