Fondue 3 Ways for the Ultimate At

If you are looking for the perfect opportunity to impress your guests, why put it off? This article will show you 3 ways that fondue can be a great at-home activity.

Fondue is a dish that can be made in many different ways. The “fondue recipe” is an easy way to make fondue. Fondue can also be made at the table with a pot of boiling water and some chocolate bars.

It might be difficult to come up with the perfect food for an at-home dinner date, whether you’re commemorating an anniversary in the middle of a pandemic or just trying to save money. Obviously, you want something that tastes excellent. In order to reproduce the restaurant atmosphere, you want it to seem sophisticated and opulent. And, rather counterintuitively, you want something that can be spread out and not digested in under 20 minutes; excellent dialogue may take some time to marinate on its own. 

Why not take your next at-home date back in time a half-century to the marvels of the fondue pot?

Fondue was popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and restaurants that specialize in dipping different delicacies into pots of cheese and other delectable meltables have witnessed a rebirth in the recent decade. The fondue eating experience is indeed enjoyable, but these meals are astronomically priced. At least part of it is due to the length of time you take up a table – by the time you’ve finished three courses, you’re looking at a three-hour meal. Even if you purchase a new fondue pot, you can replicate that menu at home for a fraction of the price. 

My wife and I experimented with numerous recipes and cooking techniques to create three fondue meals, and I’ve included our findings and preferred recipes below. 

The First Question: What Kind of Pot Do You Have?

A flame is used to heat a traditional fondue pot, which may be either specialist fire gel or sterno canisters. Typically, the pot is composed of hefty cast iron or porcelain. When using these pots, it’s normally best to first heat the meal on the stove before transferring it to the pot; a sterno flame doesn’t create enough heat to quickly get whatever you’re cooking to the correct temperature. It’s more about maintaining a consistent temperature. 

The conventional cast iron pot has a few advantages: it looks great on a table (which counts for something), has an unquantifiable sentimental appeal, and can keep a temperature rather well. I was certain I would like the conventional pot going into it. 

However, in my experience, the practical disadvantages exceed the positives. When using a sterno flame, you have little to no temperature control, which is critical for making the greatest fondue possible. It works fine for low-temperature foods like cheese and chocolate, but there are just too many temperature issues when using broth or oil to cook meat to make it a pleasurable experience. I was continuously fidgeting with the fire, attempting to determine if the liquid was sufficiently hot. The traditional pot caused more tension than delicious food. 

I’m a huge fan of the electric fondue pot for these reasons and, to my surprise, I’m a big lover of the electric fondue pot. No, it doesn’t look as beautiful on a table, and having to use an extension cable to plug it in is inconvenient; but it just can’t be topped for generating the greatest end result. It’s worth it for the precise temperature control that an electric pot provides. Making a fantastic pot of food often necessitates changing the temperature as needed; sometimes a bit more, sometimes a little less is required. In that aspect, the traditional pot fails miserably. 

 

My last recommendation is to use an electric fondue pot and never look back. 

Putting the Meal Together 

While it may be tempting to go all out and prepare three fondue meals for your special date night, I would advise against it for many reasons. To begin with, preparing three fondue dishes in one evening requires a lot of preparation, and not all of it can be done ahead of time. You’ll undoubtedly spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, cutting, cleaning, and so on. Second, with just one pot, cooling it down, cleaning it out, and swapping out the contents in a reasonable amount of time might be challenging. Finally, by the third course, the novelty of dipping objects in a hot liquid may have worn off a little. My tip for a fondue date night is to order two courses: either the cheese starter or the main dinner, and certainly the chocolate dessert; it was the fondue highlight in our tests. 

Cheese as an appetiser 

Cheese. 

Cheese fondue is both delicious and deadly. I’ll warn you that it’s all too simple to keep dipping bread into the cheese, and it’ll make you feel heavy if you eat too much. My wife and I both had too much cheese on our first effort and had to miss supper completely. However, it’s a terrific appetizer to serve a bit earlier before dinner than normal, and to combine with something lighter for the main course, such as fish and salad. Furthermore, the recipe may simply be scaled down if necessary. 

Traditional bread cubes are used to dip into cheese fondue, but blanched vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, and broccoli also work well. Don’t forget about more unusual options like potatoes/french fries, sausages, and so on (just be sure to pre-cook those types of things, as nothing will cook in the cheese itself).  

A word about the cheese: purchase it in blocks and shred it by hand. Some chemicals in pre-shredded cheese make it difficult to melt smoothly. 

Ingredients 

Fresh beans and bread crumbs in a dish.

  • 12 pound shredded Swiss cheese (I used emmentaler).
  • 12 pound shredded gruyere
  • cornstarch, 2 tbsp
  • 1 quart of white wine (or chicken broth) 
  • 1 minced garlic clove 
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice 
  • Cubed French bread, practically any vegetable, apples, boiled potatoes, cooked meats, and other dippers (I’d say 3–4; there’s no need to go overboard on the appetizer.)

Directions 

Cheese with the cornstarch in bowl.

1. Combine the cheese and cornstarch in a mixing bowl and toss to coat evenly. This prevents the cheese from clumping and gives it a wonderful smooth texture. 

2. Toss the fondue pot with the wine, garlic, and lemon juice. Set the temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and stir until the mixture begins to boil (this should only take a few minutes). 

3. Stir in a handful of shredded cheese at a time until it melts. Slowly add the cheese, a handful at a time, until it’s all incorporated. You’ll get a smooth final result if you stir the whole time. 

 

4. Reduce the temperature of the fondue pot to a low simmer and enjoy. Surprisingly, the cheese keeps nicely in the refrigerator. It may appear strange in the fridge, but it will reheat perfectly in the fondue pot or under the broiler for nachos (trust me on that one). 

Asian-Inspired Broth is the main course. 

Making of Broth.

If your only fondue experience has been the conventional cheese variation and/or the dessert version with chocolate (maybe in the shape of a chocolate fountain at a wedding), you might be amazed at the possibilities for cooking a major meal in a fondue pot. In a pot filled of heated oil (to fry the food) or broth, a variety of meats and/or vegetables may be prepared (sort of a combination of sous vide and braising).

While oil is likely the most well-known cooking liquid for a fondue meal, and frying your add-ins can lend a nice texture, I prefer a more flavorful liquid foundation. 

And, let’s face it, cooking with oil is a little frightening. You’re looking at a massive mess at best if you get it too hot or don’t completely dry off your meats/veggies. It’s an especially bad idea if you’re having a fondue party with kids. 

Using broth as a liquid is a tastier, more flavorful, and risk-free approach to make a delicious fondue entrée. It’s really simple to bring the broth to a mild boil and maintain it there with the electric pot, which will cook all of your meats and veggies safely and swiftly (though not as quickly as oil, to be sure). 

For meats, I prefer red meats to white meats to avoid the concerns about doneness that arise with white meats (pork can and did work in our taste testing, but it takes longer to cook and tends to have a weird texture, in my opinion, even when cooked safely to medium-rare). Naturally, the greater the grade of meat you purchase, the more delicious your ultimate product will be. 

Carrots, potatoes, broccoli, and other fresh vegetables work well. They’ll take a bit longer to cook, but they’re worth it. 

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make broth.

Tenderloin of pork, ribeye of beef, tenderloin of bison, and rainbow carrots Yum.

  • 3 to 4 cups beef stock (start with 3, but you may need to add more as some boils off) 
  • a quarter-cup of soy sauce 
  • 1 minced garlic clove 
  • 3 chopped green onions 
  • 1 tsp ginger powder 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • To make the dip: 
    • 13-12 pound beef per person, cut into 1-2″ pieces (since you’re cooking/eating bite-sized chunks every few minutes, you’ll likely eat less than normal) 
    • Cut up a variety of veggies into bite-size pieces 

Directions

1. In a fondue pot, mix all non-dipping ingredients and stir thoroughly to blend. (Scale down the liquid quantities by half if your fondue pot is on the tiny side.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bring the liquid to a boil. Set it to the lowest temperature that will sustain a low boil, which is roughly 200 degrees. 

 

2. Place the meat in the liquid to cook using fondue forks. Allow it to cook for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on your choice for doneness. Most pots have 6-8 forks, allowing you to cook a few pieces of meat per person at once. Vegetables take a bit longer to cook — generally 8-10 minutes — since they may be thrown into the liquid without forks and picked out once done. 

Dessert is chocolate. 

Chocolate in a bowel with semisweet baking bars.

Though fondue originated with cheese, in my opinion, chocolate is the true star of the show. Given the great number of products that may be wonderfully dipped, it’s the simplest of the recipes to create and is as widely liked as any cuisine can be: 

  • Fruits: berries are particularly excellent, but sliced bananas are also delicious. 
  • Cookies: Oreos, Milanos, shortbreads — just much anything in your grocery store’s processed cookie department will taste fantastic. 
  • Pretzels, simple potato chips, and bacon are all salty treats (cooked, of course)  
  • Large marshmallows, angel food cake, and brownies, among other things 

Ghirardelli’s Melting Chips are excellent when it comes to chocolate. Regular chocolate chips should be avoided since they don’t provide the desired texture. If you can’t find melting chips, purchase some semisweet baking bars and break them up into little parts. 

Ingredients 

Different ingredients used in making chocolate dessert.

  • Ghirardelli Dark Melting Chips (10 oz bag) (if not available, 8 oz semisweet baking bars (because they generally come in 4 oz bars)) 
  • 13 gallon milk 
  • a third of a cup of heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 teaspoon extract de vanille 
  • Dippers of many kinds (see above)

Directions 

Mixing of Chocolate chips in milk.

1. In a fondue pot, combine the chocolate, milk, and cream. To heat the mixture gently, use the “warm” setting. Stir constantly and avoid bringing it to a boil. If it happens, just reduce or eliminate the heat while continuing to stir. Stir in the vanilla when the chocolate has melted and become smooth. 

2. Enjoy the delicacies once they’ve been dipped! Keep the fondue pot “off” until the chocolate has warmed up, then turn it back on for a minute or two if it becomes too stiff. The chocolate may be refrigerated and used in the fondue pot again, or cooked in the microwave to make hot fudge for ice cream.

Are you looking for additional at-home date ideas? Here are 18 fun, inexpensive, and innovative ideas.

 

 

A “grocery list for fondue party” is a list of the ingredients needed to make a delicious fondue. The list can be used as a shopping list, or as an ingredient guide.

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