Spicy Cheese Fondue with Crudités and Croutons

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1 24-oz round of unsliced sourdough bread

3 cups (12 oz) organic sharp cheddar cheese, grated

12 oz organic Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1 cup organic sour cream

1 cup green onions, chopped

2 (7-oz) cans green chilies, diced 1⁄2 tsp salt

Spicy-Cheese-Fondue

Directions for bread bowl

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut off and reserve the top of the sourdough bread round. Hollow the inside with a small knife, leaving a 3⁄4-inch shell. Cut remaining bread into 11⁄2-inch cubes for croutons.

Directions for fondue

Mix together the cheeses, sour cream, onions, chilies and salt. Spoon the mix into the bread bowl, replace the reserved top. Wrap tightly with several layers of foil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour or until cheeses melt. During the last half-hour of cooking, toast bread cubes. Remove bread from foil and place on a serving tray. Encircle with vegetables and toasted croutons.

Toasted Croutons for Fondue Dipping

Cut one 16-oz baguette of sourdough bread into 1⁄2-inch pieces and add the cubed bread from hollowing the sour- dough loaf. Add 1⁄2 cup of melted butter. Toss bread gently to coat it. Place in oven during the last half-hour the fondue is baking. Remove when crisp, not hard.

Crudités for Fondue Dipping

Plan 4 servings per pound of vegetables of broccoli, zucchini, celery, cauliflower, green cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms and red, yellow, orange and green bell pepper strips. Also consider serving grapes, orange slices and melons as refreshing bites after the cheesy fondue.

Source: Recipes courtesy of Pamela Layton McMurtry

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