April 12, 2009

Fondue for You

A thing of beauty, isn't it?

K. and I bought a Cuisinart electric fondue pot from a Linens 'n Things that was going out of business. We didn't want it to go to waste, so we invited five friends over to enjoy a three-course fondue dinner.

I only have photographic documentation of the chocolate course, but I'll walk you through the other courses, as well.

Our first course was, of course, cheese fondue. I've never done cheese fondue, but it was relatively easy. I deduced from recipes that cheese fondue has an alcoholic liquid base. For ours, I used some leftover Woodchuck hard apple cider (with a few squirts of lemon juice). Once you bring that to a boil (in the fondue pot or over the stove), all that remains is to grate some cheese into a bowl, toss it with cornstarch (to keep the grated cheese from sticking together), and add it to the boiling liquid. I used about 2 cups of Woodchuck and 1.5 lbs. of smoked cheddar cheese. We dipped all sorts of roasted vegetables: potatoes, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and brocolli (the latter two kindly provided by A. Fiercehair). We also dipped a number of bread products, including croutons (yum!), croissants, and french bread. Everyone deemed it a succcess.

The face of contentment.

Our next course was a meat fondue. Meat fondues can be either broth- or oil-based. All my friends concluded that oil was too oily, so I went with chicken broth. I boiled about four cups of broth in the fondue pot, tossed in an ounce of star anise, and set the pot to boil lightly. We dipped raw shrimp (peeled and deveined), chicken breasts, chicken sausage, filet mignon, and mushroom caps. Everyone (except me) was scared of having to cook raw meat in the pot, but they quickly got over themselves and had a lot of fun. The shrimp cook quite quickly and dip well in butter. The filet also cooks quickly; the rest of it takes about two minutes to cook through.

I'm sure you're all waiting for the chocolate fondue, so I will not make you wait any longer. I've done chocolate fondue several times before, so I will provide my own recipe:
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup skim milk
30 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon crème de cacao
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

Bring the heavy cream and skim milk to a rolling boil. Add chocolate chips slowly, stirring to melt the chips.

Ceremonially add the crème de cacao.

At this point, let your creativity take over. You can add anything you want to the fondue. Flavored liquers go particularly well. We took a vote and decided to do a relatively plain fondue. I'm a pyromaniac, though, so I added some rum to the top of the fondue and light it on fire. Fun.

We dipped some crazy shit in the chocolate fondue, including Easter Peeps and Twinkies. Yes, Twinkies are delicious dipped in warm chocolate. As various people said throughout the night, "It's _________ + chocolate. No surprises here."

We followed the fondue up with an embarassing round of Trivial Pursuit.

My team lost by one wedge. My teammate's roommate, though, won on "dental floss." We were all kind of pissed.

At least she seems happy.

There were a lot of dishes, but, all in all, it was a wonderful night of gluttony.


  1. It was magically delicious. The roommate and I were reminiscing about the cheese course earlier today. That, of course, led to loving talk about the chocolate course.

    Great night!

  2. Tony and I had a similar discussion! Great time, we must have a few more nights like this before everyone departs on their own adventures.