A warm comforting and decadent fondue is perfect for a chilly night in the Succa. I love the fact that I can throw all the ingredients in my slow cooker and with minimal prep, I can have a stress free and delicious party. The slow cooker becomes my sous chef and keeps my fondue at the perfect temperature; warm and gooey without overheating.

Cheese fondue

- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- 3/4 cup dark beer such as Guinness or Aventinus, or apple juice
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, about ½ pound
- 1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese, about ¼ pound
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Harissa or favorite hot sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper

Suggested accompaniments:
- Cubes of hearty bread, toasted pita, bagel chips, cooked new potatoes, crunchy vegetables crudités, cut-up apples and pears, pretzels

1. Rub the inside of the slow cooker with the garlic. Discard the garlic.

2. Pour the beer into the slow cooker insert.

3. In a large bowl, toss the cheeses with the cornstarch, taking care to coat all of the cheese with the cornstarch. Add the cheeses to the slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on Low for 1 hour.

4. Stir the cheese; add the harissa and the black pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more.

5. To serve the fondue, remove the cover and keep the slow cooker on low. Serve with your choice of accompaniments.

This recipe was adapted from Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes by Laura Frankel (John Wiley and Sons).

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Rosemary-Parmesan Popcorn

I love homemade popcorn. Does anyone make their own popcorn anymore? I do! I like to sprinkle herbs, cheese and lots of black pepper on the popcorn when it is hot right out of the pan.

I like to have bowls of popcorn spread around for kids and adults to munch on. If you want to make the popcorn parve, sprinkle the popped corn with tasty olive oil, fresh herbs, pepper and salt.

Canola oil or other neutrally flavored oil
- 1/4 cup unpopped popcorn, preferably an organic heirloom variety
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Lots of freshly cracked black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with canola oil. Add the popcorn and cover the pan so that a crack remains open. This allows the steam to escape and keeps the popcorn from getting tough.

2. Shake the pan periodically until the corn starts to pop. Continue shaking the pan until the corn popping slows down. Remove from the heat and allow the corn to finish popping.

3. Transfer the popped corn to a large bowl and sprinkle with the rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Finish with cracked pepper. Toss lightly.

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.



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