Gonna let you in on a secret: I’m a self-proclaimed fondue freak.
It probably just has to do with the simple act of dipping cute tiny foods into a giant vat of cheese (which is the exact same reason my husband refuses to ever go to the melting pot, claiming that he’s “not paying $100 to cook his own food in a restaurant.”) and it also probably has something to do with my mom making us fondue when I was a kid on special occasions.
Oh, and maybe it has something to do with it being RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS.
Like so delicious that I hate it. It’s that good. I just can’t even stand it.
And I have to make a case for traditional fondue. It’s by far my favorite version – I’m all for the Swiss-iest of cheeses in my fondue to a point where it almost tastes sour with that hint of wine. GAH. Flipping out over it. Forever and ever
Last year I made a goat cheese fondue. It’s pretty fantastic, but nothing does it for me like the real old-school stuff. My mom was the fondue queen in the 70s and this is the reallllll deal. She made it countless times for us in the 80s and I think I can still smell her Obsession perfume when I think of it. Well, that, or White Diamonds. Obviously. Good olds 80s and 90s perfume. (my drug of choice was Sunflowers, btw.)
My inspiration for this recipe came from our traditional Christmas Day dinner. My grandma always made a wonderful tenderloin and since she passed away, my mom has kept up with the meal. This is my solution to our leftover filet after Christmas, but also a simple snack or party food that you can throw together with a few smaller filets.It’s pretty darn easy but has tons of flavor because uh, hello? You are putting fondue on a sandwich. This is a thing.
Basically, it’s like entire holiday life smashed together in a slider. Memories for dinner!
2 (4 to 6 ounce) beef tenderloin filets (petit filet mignon)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups freshly grated gruyere cheese
1 1/4 cups freshly grated emmentaler cheese (or another form of swiss cheese)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon cherry brandy
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg nutmeg
2 cups fresh arugula greens
10 to 12 slider buns/dinner rolls
Season the beef with the salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once it's hot, add the filet and cover the skillet. Sear the filet on both sides until it's golden brown and cooked to your desired doneness. I like mine cooked medium, and that takes 2 to 3 minutes of searing when the skillet is covered. Once the beef is cooked, place it on a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
Rub a fondue pot with the garlic clove. Chop the clove in half and mince it. Add a sprinkle of salt to the garlic and mash it with a fork and knife to create a paste.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer over medium heat. Toss all of the grated cheese with cornstarch. Add the cheese to wine in batches, stirring constantly until smooth. Add the garlic paste and nutmeg and stir. Pour the fondue into a fondue pot (preferably one that is heated underneath) - use the fondue for dipping the sliders, or simply use it as a cheese sauce op top the sliders.
Add the arugula to a bowl and toss it with a drop of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. To assemble the sliders, toast the buns if desired. Add slices of the filet topped with the fondue and arugula.
[fondue recipe from my mom]