Notice anything springing up in your town lately? It’s fondue! This Swiss based concept is coming back into the foodie world and it isn’t hitting the breaks. Deliciousness is not the only reason people flock to it. Fondue brings people together over a pot of delicious cheese, baskets of bread, steamed veggies, and chopped fruits. One problem – it can be rather costly. For example, my husband treated me to a three course fondue meal and the bill racked up to more than one hundred dollars.The next day I stopped at the nearest culinary supplies store and armed myself with a professional fondue set. Since I know that I am not the only who loves fondue (if you are reading this I am sure you must love it too), I thought that I would help you create your own fondue dining experience in the comfort of your own home.
Fondue is a group affair, thus there are some guidelines to keep the party fun. Refrain from using fingers to dip or grab any items that have fallen into the pot. Use a large spoon to retrieve your goodies! Another rule to follow is to spin the food while still on the skewer to allow excess cheese to drop back into the pot. Last but not least…no double dipping!
The first step that you need to take if you havent already done so is to equip your kitchen with a fondue set or a thick bottomed pot and metal skewers. I suggest investing in a high quality fondue set from All-Clad or Cuisinart because it will last you forever! Planning a fondue night can be great as long as you have the right ingredients and enthusiasm.Hosting a fondue party can be so exciting because you do not have the constraints of a restaurant. Try throwing a movie night, book club, or a themed dinner party! Whether you have been making fondue for years or this will be your first time, each recipe has guidelines, tips, and cooking levels to help make your fondue party a tasty affair!
Beginners Fondue: Cheddar and Beer Fondue
1lb sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup beer
1 tbsp. flour
Dash of hot sauce
1 1/4tsp dry mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
In a bowl combine all ingredients, except the wet ingredients. Mix. Heat the fondue pot up to about 350-375 degrees. Add the beer and Worcestershire sauce. Heat until it begins to bubble. Slowly add the cheese mixture, stirring between additions to guarantee that it melts smoothly and does not clump. After all of the cheese has melted add the hot sauce and turn the pot down to 2-3.
Serve with crusty French bread and blanched veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes…
Intermediate Fondue: Champagne Fondue
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups dry Champagne
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyre cheese
1 1/3 cups coarsely grated Emmenthal cheese
1/2 cup diced Brie
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground white pepper
Stir the cornstarch and lemon together until the cornstarch is well dissolved. Set the fondue pot to medium heat and add the Champagne and shallot. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat off and add the cheeses. Finally stir in the lemon mixture. Turn the fondue pot back to medium heat and allow it to boil, stirring constantly. Turn to low heat, season with pepper and nutmeg.
Serve with cooked prawns, veggies, crusty sourdough bread, and apple chunks.
Advanced Fondue: Fontina and Crab Fondue
12 yellow onions-coarsely chopped
2 quarts veggie broth, unsalted
1 bay leaf
1 branch of thyme
In a saucepan melt 1tbsp butter and cook the onions until golden in color. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to lower heat. Let simmer for 2 hours. Remove the onions, the bay leaf and the thyme from the broth. Set onions aside, toss the herbs. Reduce the broth, so that you have around 2 cups remaining. Puree the broth with the onions in a blender.
For the Fondue Base:
2 red bell pepper, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup nonfat heavy whipping cream(you can go full fat if desired)
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, diced
2lbs crab meat
In the saucepan from before, melt 4tbsp of butter. Once melted, add the flour and stir for three minutes over medium heat until the color is a deep blond. Add the onion puree and stir. Add all other ingredients except the crabmeat. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the crabmeat. Transfer to a fondue pot which is set to low heat and serve with an array of breads