Like to have friends and family over and enjoy a long-lasting meal enriched by conversation , good food and good wine? The fondue party is the best way to achieve this!
Choose the type of fondue you will be serving
To start, you need to know which type of fondue you would like to serve. There are three main types: cheese fondue, oil or broth fondue and chocolate fondue.
Mixing a variety of cheeses is best when serving a cheese fondue. Before you start, rub a garlic clove inside the pot for added flavor. Shred all cheeses that will be used to create the fondue before melting it. You can add wine to taste and to liquefy the preparation. You can dip baguette cut into squares (with the crust), pieces of potatoes, vegetables such as broccoli flowers, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini or any other vegetable that will stick well to the skewers. Meats can also be used such as cooked sausages or seafood. Use your imagination!
Oil or broth fondue
Oil fondue is also called Bourguignon fondue. It can use any type of oil: peanut, vegetable, canola, olive. You will need to get oil at 375F (just below boiling) to cook meats and vegetables that you will use.
Broth fondue is also called Chinese fondue. It uses beef broth or any other type (to taste) and food cooks into the broth, giving it lots of flavor.
Food used in both these types of fondue can be meats, vegetables or seafood. Meats used will need to be cut into small pieces and fat removed. Vegetables will also need to be cut into bite size pieces. If you are using potatoes, pre-boil them to make sure cooking time is shortened. You can also use seafood – make sure shrimp are deveined and are bite size.
As the name states, this fondue is made of melted chocolate, sometimes with cooking cream to liquefy the mixture. You can dip anything you like, such as strawberries, melon, pineapple, bananas, kiwis, or even pieces of white cake cut into squares. Some also like to dip marshmallows if getting a sugar rush is your thing! To make sure chocolate does not harden while on the burner, make sure it’s set at a very low temperature, or use a candle.
Choose the appropriate fondue set for the type of fondue you will be serving
Ceramic fondue pots: best when you don’t need high heat, such as cheese or chocolate fondue.
Metal fondue pots: best when preparing fondues that need high heat, such as meat and seafood. You can also use them for cheese or chocolate fondue, but make sure the heat setting is at its lowest and be prepared to scrape the bottom of the pot once the fondue is over as food can stick with the heat.
Enamel cast iron fondue pot: can be used for any type of fondue, but typically used for cheese fondue.
Tips and tricks of the trade
Here are some tips that will help enjoy the best fondue party.
- Always heat the fondue contents on the stove before transferring to the table.
- Use a trivet to protect your table or use a large wood board – the heat from the fondue might damage your table if it’s not protected.
- Use more than one fondue set – if the guests at the table exceed 4, think of using a second fondue set. If there are too many fondue forks in the pot, they get easily intertwined and food drops more easily in the pot.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the fruits and vegetables when cutting them into bite size portions to avoid browning.
- Never leave a pot unattended. It’s an open flame and can be dangerous. If flames scare you, opt for an electric fondue pot – temperature setting is easier and reduces the risk of fire.
- The fondue fork is made to cook the food. Once cooked, place food in your plate and eat with your regular fork. This will help reduce the spread of germs.
- Cook your leftover meat right away or store it 24 hours in an airtight container. Make sure the raw meat is cooked quickly – it’s great for hearty sandwiches the next day.
- Don’t forget to add dips – with meat fondue, offer from 2 to 4 different kinds of dips. You can make your own or purchase a wide variety in food stores.
- For cheese or chocolate fondue, soak the fondue pot right after the meal is over. You’ll find cleaning it easier.
- For oil fondue, pour the oil into a container and let cool before putting it away.
- For broth fondue, you can keep the broth to make soup! It has great flavors.
- As you might drop food into the fondue, make sure you have a strainer available at the table – mini strainers made for fondue can become very practical at times!
- Use fondue plates – this will avoid contaminate raw meat with cooked meat in your plate.
Once all the preparation is done, the fondue sets all set on the table, it’s time to ENJOY your meal. Plan having hours at the table, serving wine and water, and make sure you make the most of it by enjoying the presence of your guests! Fondue is perfect for discussions with friends and family and helps slow down the pace in this quick lifestyle we all seem to have these days.