"My friend Natalie's mother, who lives in Amsterdam, brings me aged Gouda each year," chef Barbara Lynch says. "I wanted to serve it as a fondue instead of on its own as an hors d'oeuvre." For those without an overseas cheese connection, Lynch suggests buying an eight-month-aged Gouda—"Nothing too smoky; just a beautiful, salty Gouda."
Chef Holiday Recipes Made Easy More 30-Minute Hors d'Oeuvres Recipes
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 baguette (about 12 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, toast the caraway seeds over moderate heat for about 1 minute, shaking the pan frequently. Add the butter and let it melt. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the caraway butter until evenly coated and season lightly with salt. Spread the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast, turning once, until lightly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a basket, reserving 1 teaspoon of the caraway seeds.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, simmer the heavy cream over moderate heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the Gouda until melted. Strain the cheese sauce through a fine sieve set over a heatproof bowl or fondue pot and season lightly with white pepper. Sprinkle with the reserved caraway seeds then serve hot with the croutons and either toothpicks or skewers.
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