6 March 2010
Done did fondue
Sometime in the 70s, my family acquired a fondue pot – avocado green, needless to say. One year my family had chocolate fondue – I remember arguing with my sister who wanted to use semi-sweet chocolate, while I thought the only chocolate worth eating was Hershey’s milk chocolate. She won. My current self looks back on that incident with shame – although I will admit that once I realized chocolate chips were semi-sweet, I was sold on the idea. But our typical fondue meal (which wasn’t very often – maybe once a year?) was swiss cheese with wine. Jonski Papa’s family had meat fondues – expensive cuts of meat, sliced very thin, cooked in oil and dipped in various tasty sauces. They never had cheese, we never had meat, so the first time we had fondue together (in Brazil, one Thanksgiving in the mid 90s) we ordered both.
At some time in the past 20 years, I acquired the fondue pot from my parents. It came in handy on Saturday night when I went to a MLFB fondue party, hosted by Victoria who blogs at eclecticgrub. I didn’t have my camera so have no photos of the event, but others did and they may show up at their blogs eventually. Wanting to branch out from my childhood experience, I made a cider fondue.
2 to 3 Tab butter
2 lbs grated cheese (I cubed it, small cubes)
2 cups dry cider
1 tsp corn flour
1 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend the corn flour and mustard with 1/2 cup cider. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the cheese and remaining cider. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture is melted and smooth. Add corn flour mixture and seasonings. Blend well. Pour into fondue pot and serve.
I took chunks of (fresh, homemade) bread and chunks of apple to dip. Some of the veggies and cooked meats also ended up in there! I wasn’t quite sure what dry cider meant, but rather than look it up I decided to use our favorite non-alcoholic cider. I used a mix of cheeses: a sharp white Wisconsin cheddar and a bit of mild (yellow) Wisconsin cheddar (both from Busch’s), and 3 white cheddars from Trader Joe’s: New Zealand sharp, Dubliner, and something I’m forgetting.
We also had a beef broth (Victoria) and oil (Jeanette) for cooking meats and veggies, as well as a pizza fondue (made by Patti) that was amazingly flavoricious and chunky. Even after all that, we weren’t done – for dessert, Amy (who did not run with her spatula while there) brought a slightly spicy chocolate fondue along with a pound cake, fruit, and many crunchy treats. We did our best to finish it, but she had lots left over, so I got to bring some home (score!).
My boys have only ever had chocolate fondue (via fountains), so I guess we need to introduce them to this interactive dining experience. I’m thinking the cider fondue will be a good one to start with – they like cheddar, and it has no strange alcoholic overtones to set off their taste buds.