The dude who helped make “umami” a household word, Adam Fleischman, along with LA-based writer (and former Food Republic contributor) Tien Nguyen, bring us Flavor Bombs, the cookbook dedicated to adding that fifth dimension of flavor to every dish possible. Start with this roquefort and mushroom fondue that offers some funk and a whole lot of flavor.
I first started making this fondue for parties more than a decade ago. I wanted something easy and tasty that I could make in advance, then keep warm and serve as my guests arrived. I also wanted to have something that would go well with anything else I planned to serve, whether it was roasted fingerling potatoes or some crusty bread or charcuterie. This fit the bill.
The superstars of this fondue are the shiitake mushrooms and Roquefort cheese, two ingredients high in umami. The Roquefort in particular is super high in umami. It’s an aged cheese, like Parmigiano-Reggiano. As we know, the longer a cheese ages, the more glutamates concentrate in it; the more glutamates, the more umami.
Use the best-quality cheese you can buy here. I prefer triple crème Brie over double crème because it’s creamier when melted. Pick up a white wine that you would actually drink. The better the cheese and the better the wine, the better this fondue will be.
Flavor Tip: Roquefort is a delicious but super-strong cheese. What’s cool about this dish is that the Brie mellows it out and brings the dish into harmony.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces fresh Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced or minced
- 1 cup dry white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, plus more if needed
- 12 ounces triple creme Brie, rind removed, cut into pieces, plus more if needed
- 2 ounces roquefort, crumbled, plus more if needed
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon black or white truffle butter or unsalted butter
- 1 pound roasted shiitake mushrooms or mini yellow potatoes
- 1 baguette or loaf of sourdough bread
- Charcuterie, like salami or ham
For the fondue
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil starts to smoke, throw in the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute, then add the thyme and shallot. Turn the heat down to low.
While the mushrooms and shallot soften in the pan, place a fondue pot or small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat and pour in the wine.
In a bowl, combine the Brie and Roquefort and sprinkle the flour over the cheeses. The flour will thicken the fondue as the cheeses melt.
When the wine just starts to simmer, add a big handful of the cheese mixture and whisk to combine. When the cheese has melted, throw in another big handful, then whisk again. Keep the pot at a bare simmer; if the heat’s too high, the cheeses will separate.
Add the remaining cheese, as well as the pepper and butter.
When everything’s nice and smooth, add the mushroom-shallot mixture, whisking constantly. If the fondue has a thinner consistency than you’d like, no big deal, just add a bit more Brie or Roquefort to taste. Conversely, if you think it’s too thick, pour in a little more wine.
When the fondue hits the consistency you like, bring the fondue pot or saucepan, roasted vegetables, bread, and charcuterie out to the table for your guests. If you’re using a fondue pot, set it over the flame to keep it warm; otherwise, the fondue will stay warm in the saucepan for 15 minutes or so. Return the pot to the stove to warm over low heat as necessary.
Serve the fondue with the rest of the wine, and if you have another bottle of white wine, bring that out, too.