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Dining at fondue restaurants such as The Melting Pot is always delicious, but it doesn’t always fit into our budget. With Valentines day coming up I thought I might give you a little heads up on how to host a frugal “fun-do” dinner for two.
Fondue Need to Know:
For each course you will want to have a separate pot on hand for cheese, broth/oil and chocolate. That way you won’t have to waste time washing your fondue pot in between each course!
There are two common ways to cook fondue cheese or chocolate at home, either with a fondue kit which uses a Sterno fuel cell or using a stove top double broiler. You never want to heat up fondue cheese or chocolate in a pot directly on top of the stove. This usually results in burned and over cooked dipping sauce which can be extremely disappointing.
For the main course, using broth or oil, you may use direct heat from the stove but be careful to keep it at a low simmer. You do not want to overcook your meat, making it tough and dry.
For your first and third courses you will want a significant amount of your base cheese or chocolate (several cups), adding only small amounts (teaspoons) of liquid ingredients. You can stir, test and add until the recipe is suited to your personal taste! Try mixing in a small amount of suggested seasoning for a little boosted flavor!
Cheese Fondue Ingredients
1. Swiss Cheese, Dry White Wine and Brandy
2. Emmental and Gruyere Cheese, Dry White Wine and Kirsch
3. Cheddar – Mild or Sharp, Cream and Worcestershire Sauce
To add a little flavor to these recipes use a combination of: Nutmeg, Lemon Juice, Garlic and other spices!
Dipping: Some great things to dip in cheese fondue are small cubes of bread, carrots, broccoli and apples.
Oil or Broth
1. Oil: Peanut or Canola Oil
2. Broth: Vegetable Stock, Vegetable Both
Dipping: Small chunks of chicken, beef or shrimp work best! 1-2 inch chicken and steak pieces take 2-3 minutes to cook. Shrimp only take about 1 minute!
Be sure that you oil or broth is hot enough to cook the meat of your choice thoroughly. This means that it should be slightly boiling. Always be careful when handle raw meat! Be sure your meat, especially chicken, is well cooked before you eat it!
Chocolate Fondue Ingredients
2-4 oz Dark, Milk or White Chocolate – In chip or small disk form
2 oz Sundae Caramel Sauce
For extra flavor add a little extract; such as almond, orange or vanilla. Also try adding in 1 oz chopped pecans.
Dipping: Some of my favorites are small cubes of pound cake, marshmallows and pretzels. Don’t forget the fresh cut fruit! Apples, bananas, pineapple and strawberries… yumm!
For a mix of savory and sweet, fry up some bacon to dip in your dark or milk chocolate!