Summer is now a thing of the past and fall is upon us. In parts of the country, you may already have turned on your furnace during cold nights. In many northern U.S. states, temperatures have already dipped into the 40s and high 30s. Cold weather is coming and now’s the time to get ready. It’s especially important this year, with energy costs at record highs. But don’t worry, it’s not all hopeless and bad news.
Looking for a fun and different way to entertain this holiday season? Warm people up with a fondue party. Fondue is the perfect way to mix dinner with company and conversation. Follow these tips to guide you through the three courses of fondue for a fantastic party.
Before you begin the journey through the delicious fondue courses, you’re going to need a fondue pot. Ask some of the people coming to your party if they have one you can use – having multiple fondue pots will help with clean-up between courses. If you’re looking to keep things warm, a slow cooker can help you out!
Course One: Cheese
Start the dinner off with a cheese fondue. The variety of cheese dips you provide will depend on the number of fondue pots you have. Start by simmering a cup of white wine in your pot. Then choose your favorite cheese and shred about one pound of it. Feel free to mix cheeses – maybe a half-pound of Swiss and a half-pound of cheddar? Stir in the cheese a little bit at a time. Once all the cheese has melted, add in some extras like paprika, salt, pepper, nutmeg or lemon juice.
Pieces of crusty bread are a perfect option for dipping in cheese fondue. Offer a variety of different breads to choose from. Fresh fruit like apples, pears and grapes are also good to serve. Other options include lightly steamed veggies like asparagus, broccoli and zucchini or roasted artichoke hearts. Cooked meat can also be served, but you might want to save that for the next course.
Course Two: Broth
Broth fondue is typically served with thin-cut cubes of meat like beef, pork, chicken or lamb. Take caution dealing with raw meat – do not take it out of the refrigerator until it is ready to be cooked, and keep all the meat separated from each other.
There are many different options for a broth base. You can use chicken or beef broth, white wine or oil to cook the meat in. Add different spices to your broth to adjust the flavor. Spike the different meat cuts with your fondue skewer and set the meat in the broth until it is fully cooked. Consider serving an array of dipping sauces.
Course Three: Chocolate
Time for dessert! This is probably my favorite course. Everything tastes better with chocolate. Start with eight ounces of heavy cream in your fondue pot. Slowly bring it to a boil and then add 12 ounces of your favorite chocolate. You can stop right there, and I guarantee it will be delicious, but you can add other yummy things like nuts, caramel, chocolate liqueur, coconut or peanut butter.
For dipping, serve a variety of fresh fruit, like strawberries, bananas, pineapples or oranges. Also set out some cubes of pound cake, cheesecake, Rice Krispies treats and biscotti. Other options include pretzels, cookies, marshmallows and thick-cut potato chips.
The great thing about fondue is that each course is great on its own. It’s a wonderful option if you just want to have cheese as an appetizer or chocolate as a dessert. Let us know if you have any yummy fondue tips you want to share!