Fondue Feasts Article -
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Fondue Feasts

Fondue goes in and out of style, but at heart it’s an ancient form of one-pot-cooking. And right now it's hot, hot, hot.

Fondue can be a pot of melted cheese, liquefied chocolate, or boiling-hot oil for cooking meats. The fun part is skewering nibbles on long forks and dipping into the communal pot. What better way to gather your best pals and truly share a meal.

Fondue for All Reasons

Girls Night In: chocolate fondue, baby! Get your best-friends-forever in front of the widescreen, tune in a chick flick and pull out all the forbidden goodies: brownie bites, Oreos, marshmallows, angel food cake, and strawberries. Now get dippin’ and dishin'.

Little Dippers: cheese fondue. Let the kids pick and prepare the dippers (sliced sausage, mini hot dogs, pretzels, veggie bites) because sometimes everything is better with melted cheese. Make it nacho cheese fondue by adding bottled salsa. Make it a total dip experience by serving it at your kid's next pool party.

Double Dip: cheese fondue for dinner; chocolate fondue for dessert. Turn this into a romantic dinner for two with candlelight, music, wine, and lots of succulent nibbles to feed each other.

All Dips, All the Time: entertain buffet style by setting up several fondue stations. Let guests wander and cook their own meats, vegetables, and desserts.

    Planning the Menu

    Start the meal with a salad. It's not fondue, but it's a nice way to whet the appetite for the main course.

    Pick at least two savory fondue options to give guests variety.

    Pull out all the stops for dessert by taking a basic recipe and embellishing it with added liqueurs and inventive dippers.

    Fondue Tricks and Tips

    Best food size: Aim for 1-inch cubes, just enough for one or two bites.

    Best fondue pot: Ceramics work best for showcasing dessert fondue; metal pots work best for cooking meats and vegetables in oil, wine, or broth.

    Best temperature: A tea light candle or low flame (a warm 120 degrees) keeps cheese or dessert fondues at perfect melting temperatures. If you’re cooking meats in a pot of hot oil, the oil needs to be kept at 375 degrees to cook food quickly and evenly.

    Best oil: peanut oil. A low smoke point makes it best for high frying temperatures.

    Best wine: Something acidic (like Sauvignon Blanc) helps keep cheese fondue smooth.

    Best fast fix: Cheese mixture clumping? Add a few drops of lemon juice. Chocolate or butterscotch mixture separating? Whisk in a little more cream.

    Best fondue fork stand-in: Long wooden skewers. Find them at the supermarket along with other supplies for outdoor grilling.

      Dec. 21, 2009 9:16 pm
      any suggestion for which oil to use to make fondue? since i'm allergic to Peanut/peanut oil kat
      Dec. 23, 2009 6:27 am
      We've often substituted veg. oil or canola oil instead of peanut. Just smokes easier. Have fun!
      Dec. 29, 2009 2:18 pm
      I have been doing a fondue New Year's Eve dinner for years, with a small group of close friends. We have a ball. Usually do a cheese fondue and a hot oil fondue with a variety of dipping sauces, meats, shrimp, tempura batter and veggies. Everyone has a great time trying different combination of things.
      Dec. 29, 2009 3:41 pm
      I'm going to a fondue party...they requested I bring an appetizer...any ideas what would go well with fondue?
      M Peoples 
      Dec. 30, 2009 7:24 am
      A helpful hint to Kathryn. My family has horrible peanut allergies. Most people do not know that the peanut oil you find at your local grocery store and used in most restaurants does not contain the protein that causes the allergic reaction due to the processing of the oil. But as always consult with your allergist or doctor, Hope this helps and Bon appetit.
      Dec. 31, 2009 6:09 am
      To note the peanut allergy, refined peanut oil is actually non allergenic "Research shows that highly refined peanut oil, which has had all of the allergic proteins removed, does not cause an allergic response in severely allergic individuals. A controlled human study published in the British Medical Journal that tested refined peanut oil in 60 severely allergic individuals, found that “refined peanut oil did not pose a risk in any of the subjects” who were allergic to peanuts." We used it for deep frying our Thanksgiving turkey and had to do some research.
      Dec. 31, 2009 10:56 am
      Sounds like a Mouth Burning Time!
      Jan. 31, 2010 12:36 pm
      Instead of oils, try using broth and wine based cooking. Not only healthier, but they add a wonderful flavor. My husband used about 2 c Swanson's vegetable broth, about a cup of white wine and a bit of condended fish sauce (found in oriental section of grocery store), and it was wonderful.
      Apr. 14, 2010 1:29 pm
      I just had a birthday, and a small group of friends took me to the "melting pot" for dinner.I must admite it was a blast, but quit expensive, Im looking to get a pot and throw a fondue party, I am loving all the idea's! Thanks all you fun fondue'ers!
      Jun. 9, 2010 8:23 pm
      We are doing fondue for our luau party, any ideas on what fruits go good with chocolate fondue?
      Jul. 23, 2010 7:21 am
      strawberries, bananas, pineapple, tangerines,cherries--just about any fruit! and add chunks of angel food cake as well
      Oct. 7, 2010 12:51 pm
      Yum! Good ideas for our weekly game night. :)
      Cathy O 
      Dec. 3, 2010 5:58 pm
      Fondue's have been a tradition of our family during the holiday season for as long as I can remember. We never use oil, but instead use in separate pots - chicken broth and beef broth. Awesome flavour, and the left over stock, along with any meats may be turned into a wonderful pot of soup the next day :)
      Dec. 7, 2010 7:16 am
      We're planning on a Fondue party for Christmas Eve. I'm going to have prawns, chicken and beef tenderloin for the meat course but need some suggestions on where to find some (easy?) recipes and ideas for the sauces.
      Dec. 12, 2010 1:53 pm
      Can anyone tell me what wines they would use to cook meat fondue? Also, do you just recommend chicken and shrimp (that is what most people use i see) or can you cook beef in a wine fondue broth also? thanks!
      Jan. 13, 2011 11:51 pm
      For Dipping Sauces a general rule I use is if it taste good on a salad, it will taste good as a dipping sauce, and the combinations are endless. Use your imagination and mix and match spices along with mayo-mustards, oil and vinegar, etc. Just be sure to taste when mixing, dont want to serve a yuckky to your guests. lol Have fun! Fondues are a fun social for all ages.
      Jan. 26, 2011 1:12 pm
      Does anyone have any suggestions on a replacement for wine as the base for cheese fondue? Neither husband nor my I like the taste of alcohol (wine, beer, etc) and have found the taste too overpowering in the cheese fondues we've tried so far (though I do love using wines in marinades).
      wannabe caterer 
      Feb. 10, 2011 12:08 am
      What many people are looking for in adding a wine to a dish is the acidity I think. That little added zing. Try a smidge of a good balsamic vinegar, white or red depending on the color you want. I think the red has a stronger flavor too by a little, or some rice vinegar which is mild and a little sweetish too.
      Feb. 13, 2011 2:36 pm
      For anyone who doesn't like or can't do peanut oil, we always use plain old Wesson oil - my dad thinks peanut oil overwhelms the flavor.
      Feb. 25, 2011 12:24 pm
      I bought a pot and the directions don't tell you what to use to heat the oil or wine for beef fondue...
      Mar. 19, 2011 9:27 am
      Mar. 24, 2011 2:36 pm
      Love fondue, just don't like the idea of everyone eating from thier fork, then dipping it back into the pot. Communal germs especially with cheese or chocolate. The temp can't be high enough to kill any germs.
      Mar. 31, 2011 5:13 pm
      As for your answer: I say with children, keep the dippers small and generic. Do cheese and chocolate, since most kids will eat these. And try a cheddar fondue and large cooked pasta shells. Tell them they're making their own macaroni and cheese. They'll love it. Just supervise them so they don't burn themselves. Always have a search-and-rescue spoon handy, or turn down the chocolate and have them dip animal crackers in it. Have a great time and be careful!
      Mar. 31, 2011 5:20 pm
      Ariel, there is certain fondue etiquette utilized that hopefully ensures that germs don't get shared. For a great fondue experience, I must recommend going to "The Melting Pot" at least once. Since it's expensive, save it for a special occasion. They give you a crash course in fondue etiquette. Have some plates and forks handy so people can have a place to put their already-dipped food, and they hopefuly won't shove it in their mouths before they realize they didn't get enough cheese on the bread/apple/etc. You actually cook cheese fondue with liquor, so that should kill any germs. Have a search-and-rescue spoom handy for any lost food. But set some ground rules before everyone digs in and hopefully you won't have too many fondon'ts! :-D
      Apr. 8, 2011 7:17 pm
      I don't use oil at all for Beef, Chicken and Shrimp Fondue..... I use Canton's Red Wine Fondue Broth and it is delicious!
      Jun. 16, 2011 12:36 pm
      Love the reviews! Especially the rule for sauces given 'if it good on salad' however I would like more dipping sauce ideas
      Jul. 19, 2011 10:04 pm
      We used to fondue with oil and would take little hot dogs and dip them in cornbread batter and make little corn dogs. My son loved it!
      Jul. 19, 2011 10:06 pm
      We also dipped cauliflower in a batter to fondue. Then we would have cheese sauce to dip our cauliflower into before we ate it. Yummy!
      Dec. 17, 2011 10:27 pm
      To prevent double dipping in any fondue pot or dip, just provide lots of skewers, toothpicks and fondue forks... and side plates, some for the appetizer fondues and others for the dessert fondues, so when someone uses a fondue fork to dip their bread or other goodie, then they put the cheese sauce coated bread/goodie on their plate and return the fondue fork to its own platter with the other fondue forks. Always offer lots of serviettes/napkins of paper or cloth to your guests and put a roll of paper towels on a stand in each of your bathrooms and kitchen for them to wash their hands. If someone double dips you can have a lot of "crazy rules" they have to follow such as licking their own eyeballs or some other fun impossible rule. And just try and enforce it. The wine won't kill germs and some bacteria produce toxins that can't be killed by cooking!!!! Such as staphylococcus bacteria - let's say you are grating cheese for your fondue and your nose itches and you just brush it with
      Dec. 30, 2011 8:35 pm
      Thank you Vivc! I'm a HUGE hand washer and have been told often I am over doing it. I now have someone else to back me up! With your ideas I might be able to have a dipping party. I come close to losing my cookies when I see a chocolate fountain. ughhh...nasty! But, having a fondue party sounds like fun now! Thanks!!!
      Pilotco77 semi 
      Feb. 24, 2012 10:49 am
      We fondue every chance we get and no double dipping as we give a bowl lined with paper towels to drain our meat fondues in. Also we serve lots of pickles, deviled eggs and raw veggies as well. Do provide forks and knives to your quests and they will use these instead of the hot fondue fork,ouch!
      Oct. 4, 2012 8:51 am
      Velata is perfect for chocolate fondue...premium Belgium chocolates in White, Dark, Milk and Caramel Milk flavors melted to perfection in electric warmers. Find me on Facebook to find out more!!
      Nov. 7, 2014 5:39 pm
      For those of you who don't know, it is very bad etiquette to double dip for obvious reasons. Everyone should also know that fondue forks can be very hot after sitting in a pot of oil or broth when cooking a piece of food. You must transfer your food to a plate and eat it using a regular fork to avoid burning your mouth. Use the same process when having a cheese or chocolate fondue to avoid contaminating the pot of food.
      Michelle Simpson 
      Dec. 21, 2014 5:37 pm
      A half of a small potatoe in the pot helps oil splash and smoking.
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