Fondue. That mainstay of 70s dinner parties is back. Whether it’s dipping hunks of bread into melted cheese, or strawberries into silky chocolate, it’s the retro-cool way to get your family and friends around the dinner table, and, as the cold nights close in, we’re 100% here for it.
HOW DO YOU FONDUE?
Whether you choose a cheese, broth, oil or chocolate fondue, step number 1 is having the right equipment.
There are plenty of quality electric fondues on the market, where the heating element is plugged in. Or you can try out the old-fashioned fondue pot, heated by a fire gel or similar heating source. Whichever you choose, make sure you have (at least) two forks per person, so about four people per fondue pot.
Next up it’s time to decide what you’re going to set out as dippers. Choose cubes of assorted bread (rye, sourdough or ciabatta are best) and bite-sized veggies such as mushrooms, broccoli and baby potatoes.
If you’re keen on trying the oil or broth fondue, meats can include seafood such as shrimp and scampi, chicken, beef and even sausage. For a dessert fondue, set out marshmallows, angel food cake, and fruit like pineapple chunks and strawberries.
We like to start our fondue on the stovetop, heating up broth or oil, or melting cheese or chocolate in a double boiler, then transferring to the fondue pot to serve.
COMFORTING, CREAMY, GOOEY CHEESY FONDUE
Image by Camille Styles
- The classic cheese fondue. Choose a selection of quality cheeses like gruyere, gouda and fontina, grate ahead of time and toss through some cornstarch for thickening. While most fondue fans recommend adding a little white wine to keep the sauce smooth, unsalted chicken or vegetable stock will do the job just as well.
- Roasted garlic cheese fondue. Pump up that savory deliciousness by adding some mashed roasted garlic and thyme to your cheese sauce.
- Gouda, pancetta and onion fondue. Introduce a little spice with some cumin, build flavor with pancetta and onion, and you’ve got yourself a cheese sauce that’s begging for a giant pretzel dipper.
- Spinach & artichoke fondue. Why not turn your usual game day dip into a fondue? Gruyere, mozzarella and parmesan create the base, then throw in spinach, artichoke, a touch of garlic and a splash of white wine.
OIL & BROTH FONDUES FOR MEAT, SEAFOOD & VEG DIPPERS
Image by Oh So Delicioso
- For a broth fondue, simply heat up 4-8 cups of broth on your stovetop, season well, then transfer to your fondue pot.
- Adapt your seasoning to your personal taste. We like a Roasted Garlic Broth, or adding cilantro and lemongrass, or even chiles, garlic and cilantro to the broth for a variety of flavor.
- For an oil fondue, bring 2-3 cups of canola or peanut oil to a simmer on your stovetop, then carefully transfer to your fondue pot.
- Set out dippers like raw, de-veined and peeled shrimp, thin slices of chicken and beef, cubed tofu, and bite-sized veggies.
- Don’t forget sauces for dipping – BBQ, teriyaki, and a 70s-style avocado sauce for example. We found some fresh sauce ideas here, including recipes for bearnaise, honey mustard, garlic lemon and creamy wasabi sauces, and even a cranberry dip for meatballs.
Note: Be sure to keep raw meats and seafood separate from cooked food, with separate platters or boards. And double-check food to make sure it’s properly cooked before eating.
SILKY CHOCOLATE & CARAMEL FONDUES FOR DESSERT
Image by Carlsbad Cravings
- Get your crockpot out for a simple, no-fail Crockpot Chocolate Fondue, which will slowly melt a quality chocolate of your choice, heavy cream, milk, vanilla extract, butter, corn syrup and a touch of salt.
- Alternatively, win Parent of the Year with this easy Snickers Bar Fondue, mixing different types of Snickers with chocolate chips, Marshmallow Creme and whipping cream.
- If you’re looking for something different, try out this easy Salted Caramel Fondue – it only needs three ingredients, and is amaaazing with pretzel, graham cracker and even apple dippers.
For more fondue recipes, sauces and dipper ideas, visit our Pinterest board, Let’s Do Fondue!
(Image credit: Main image by Camille Styles)