This morning I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Agatha Moir. These dishes are good for any Oscar party. Try some lovely Gimli Fish golden caviar, proscecco or champagne but in this weather, mulled wine.
1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Cave-aged Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch*
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.
Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.
Try with breads (day-old can work the best as it isn't too soft and will stand up to the cheese), sautéed whole mushrooms, apple slices, etc.
*I've used Desorrono or Frangelico when I didn't have Kirsch on hand.
This olive spread can be labour intensive if you are pitting the olives yourself but it goes a long way and the taste is a rich and unique flavour that is quite versatile.
1 cup Moroccan olives pitted
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 cloves garlic
1/4 – 1/3 cup good olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
Blend all ingredients together to a paste. You can enjoy this on crackers and baguettes. A little can be used in earthy tomato sauces to add richness to the flavours. Tapenade can be used to stuff chicken breasts, to coat roasted chicken. As a dip or filling for lamb.
Chocolate Honey Mousse
Sweetening the mousse with honey adds a Provençal touch to a classic French dessert.
2 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons honey
Stir 3/4 cup cream, chocolate and honey in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally.
In large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups cream until soft peaks form. Fold cream into chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Divide mousse among eight 3/4-cup ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Whip remaining 1/2 cup cream to firm peaks. Spoon a dollop of cream in center of each mousse.