Fontina Cheese Appetizer
This is our favorite appetizer recipe by far that we make. It is best when served with a fresh baguette. But we also have served it with Triscuits, Wheat Thins, and have even used the left over fontina to top our steaks after the appetizer!!! (Oh and grill cheese with the day old fontina is amazing too!!!)
Before I even give you the recipe, I want to strongly recommend that you acquire a cast iron pan first. This is what makes this item cook so evenly and stay warm while serving. Fontina is a cheese that will harden as it cools, so keeping it hot while serving is important!
One like this is fine. It won't take an expensive cast iron pan to do the trick. We have even found the Lodge to work just fine. The one below is sold at Kohls for $34.99 and will work great. You can find cast iron as high as $100-$200 for this same pan, but not really needed for this recipe. My favorite cast iron are ones you can find at antique shops or estate sales that have been used for years, because they will be seasoned so well.
The only other tip I would like to give you for using cast iron is to never use soap on it. Wash in hot water (preferably when it is still warm from cooking) and use a scrapper if you have anything stuck on it. Then dry and coat with vegetable oil after each cleaning. This keeps the pan seasoned and stops food from sticking during cooking. By the way, this fontina recipe is a great one to season your pan with on the first purchase as it has lots of olive oil in it. (Otherwise I like to cook bacon in my cast iron as my FIRST thing to cook when I purchase cast iron new, because it is great at seasoning your pan!)
- 3/4 lb of Fontina Cheese (red outside cut off and cubed into small even size cubes!)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of salt (Kosher salt works great too!)
- 1/2 tsp of rosemary
- 1/2 tsp of thyme
- Using a cast iron skillet, place all ingredients in a skillet.
- Preheat oven to broil
- Place skillet into the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly
- Serve hot (caution your guests that the first bite is INCREDIBLY hot....let cool for just a few minutes, otherwise they will burn all their tastebuds to enjoy the rest of their food that night! ALSO skillet stays pretty HOT so watch any children around this very hot dish!!!)
- Trick, as you are enjoying at any time the cheese becomes too cold or begins to harden stick back into a broiler oven and reheat until hot. It will soften right back up again.
- To store left overs, allow to cool and place in a refrigerator safe container, to reheat just place back into skillet and reheat as above. Or great to use on grill cheese, to top your steak or chicken, etc.