- 1 ounce dried Chanterelle or Porcini mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound coarsely grated Oklahoma Toma cheese, about 4 packed cups (Gruyère and/or Emmenthal can be substituted)
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup High Violet ale*
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or Poire William (pear brandy)
Sautéed and thickly sliced smoked sausage, sliced Granny Smith and red apples, steamed fingerling or new potatoes and cubed French bread, for serving
Place mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let stand until soft, about 25 minutes. Remove mushrooms from water with slotted spoon and chop finely. Transfer soaking liquid to a large skillet, discarding any gritty sediment, and bring to a simmer. Add garlic and chopped mushrooms and simmer gently until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Toss cheese and cornstarch in a large bowl to coat. Bring hard cider and vinegar just to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low (mixture should be barely simmering). Add a handful of cheese to simmering cider mixture. Stir until cheese is melted. Add remaining cheese 1 handful at a time, stirring until melted between additions. Increase heat to medium and cook until fondue begins to bubble, stirring constantly. Stir in Calvados. Season to taste with pepper.
Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot and keep warm. Arrange sausage, apple, potato and bread cubes in bowls or on platter alongside fondue pot.
*High Violet is an open fermented table ale brewed by Heirloom Rustic Ales. Almost any beer with some acidity or hard cider works well here.