Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve Fondue - A Tradition Continues

It's time to ring in the New Year!

Our family tradition is to take out the fondue put and get ready to snack!

Do you have one of these?  We got this when we first got married and thought to ourselves, "we'll never use this."  Never say never!  We have used it every year, at least once a year on New Year's and apparently we aren't alone.  Our kiddos make sure that this tradition is one to stay!

Did you know that having fondue is actually really simple.  The time is in preparing what you will dip.  You can keep the choices limited or GO CRAZY! has some great ideas for dippers, different, non-traditional melted cheese recipes as well as some delicious melted chocolate recipes.  Make sure to check out their blog page!
The normal fondue process is a 3 course process and is great over the long evening, awaiting midnight (especially for those of us whom are ready for bed by 9; that would be me).
Fondue usually begins with melted cheese for the first course, then hot oil for the main dish and finishes with the melted chocolate.  There are many variations to each, but here are my favorite varieties for each course.

Swiss Cheese Fondue

Swiss Cheese Fondue has a really good recipe for swiss cheese fondue, the more traditional kind.

2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pound Swiss cheese, grated
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 garlic clove, cut in half

In a saucepan, heat up the wine and lemon juice on low. Do not boil.  In a separate bowl, mix together the grated Swiss cheese and flour.  Slowly add the cheese and flour mixture to the wine and lemon mixture in the saucepan, one handful at a time. Stir until completely melted.  After the cheese is melted, add in the ground pepper and nutmeg. Stir well.  Rub the cut garlic on the inside of your fondue pot and then discard.  Pour heated cheese mixture into the fondue pot. You are now ready to serve the fondue.

You can dip chunks of bread, soft pretzels, veggies and anything you love with cheese on it!  How about tortilla chips or even Fritoes???

Clean out your fondue pot before you begin the next course, the hot oil part.  Just heat oil in the fondue pot and when it is hot, you are ready for the main course.  Our favorite is to make a tempura batter (which can be store bought) and then dip strips of chicken, meat, shrimp and mushrooms into the batter.  Once coated, we skewer them on the fondue forks and into the pot they go.  They only need a minute or so to cook.  You can provide ranch, bbq, sweet and sour and honey sauces for dipping!

Finally, the best part...the CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Fondue Recipe

Who doesn't like chocolate?  This one is super easy and rivals the one served at The Melting Pot.  Clean up your fondue pot from the oil before you begin the last course.  All you need is 12 oz of milk chocolate and 1 cup of heavy cream.  Melt both in your crock pot and get ready for dipping!  Some must have dippers...strawberries, angel food cake cut up into chunks, pound cake cut up into chunks, pretzels, bananas, marshmallows and anything else you love chocolatized!  You can change up the chocolate flavor by adding mint extract or nuts or caramel.  Really anything goes!

Maybe this will be a new tradition for you or maybe you will revive an old one.  Dust off your crock pot!

If you need help staying awake on New Year's Eve, this just may do the trick!

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet!