Hello, 2010. Let’s Have Fondue.

I typically hate New Years. There’s so much pressure to maximize your fun… just thinking about it makes me tired (see Caring for your Introvert by Jonathan Rauch)!


But yesterday someone posted on their facebook page “2010 new years goals (if you call them resolutions, you never ever do them).” Huh.. that seems so true! So here are my DinnerCakes goals for 2010; we’ll see how I do:

1) Read the cookbooks I already have
2) Experiment more
3) Work with foods I’ve never cooked with before
4) Try cooking things I think I won’t like (…many things)
5) More vegetables!

Let’s stick with that for now.


So far this month I’ve made fondue using an electric fondue pot. If you’re trying to make meat fondue, this is really the only way to go. The word fondue is from the French verb fondre, which means to melt. It’s actually a Swiss dish in origin. HungryMonster describes:

During the frigid Swiss winters snow covered mountain valleys isolated villages and towns. Consequently fresh food became scarce. Towns people had to rely upon locally made foods. These were produced by area cheese makers in the summer months. During winter months these cheeses became dryer and more unpalatable. Out of necessity came a wonderful dish, the fondue. It’s named derived from the French word fondue – meaning to melt or to blend. This was exactly what the stale cheese needed to make it more digestible. The cheese was melted in a earthenware pot called the caquelon. Local wines and seasonings were added and even the stale bread tasted delicious after it was swirled in the creamy cheese sauce.


I don’t know how accurate this information is, but it makes a nice story! I was inspired to experiment with fondue after a friend’s sister had my husband and I over for a fondue night. She used to work at The Melting Pot, so she had some good advice along the way. She made a cheese fondue with cheddar, white wine and garlic, a meat fondue with chicken broth and red wine, and a smores chocolate fondue dessert complete with flambee!


In my own adventures after this dinner, I just made the cheese and meat fondue… I probably didn’t need two chocolate fondues in one week (though I wanted it). This is only round one of me & fondue (you’ll be hearing more later as I learn more), but so far some tips I can pass along include


Cheese Fondue (dippers this time – cauliflower, crusty cubed bread, apples)
1) Flour your cheese – more than you think you need to
2) Beer in the cheese is delicious, but only use about 1/3 of the bottle
3) Use more than one kind of cheese for depth of flavor
4) Keep the temperature hot but not boiling

Meat Fondue (dippers this time – chicken and beef, new potatoes and mushrooms & teriyaki and BBQ dipping sauce)
1) Use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth – the veggie broth made the beef taste more like beef stew
2) Don’t use beef that is specifically for beef stew
3) Use dry red wine in the cooking base, like Pinot Noir
4) Veggies like new potatoes and baby bella mushrooms are excellent choices

My friend’s sister also gave me an awesome recipe for Green Goddess vegetable dip. I haven’t tried to make it yet, though, so I’ll let you know how that goes soon!


3 Responses to “Hello, 2010. Let’s Have Fondue.”

  1. Kristin says:

    i can has fondue?

  2. Wish you could have come visited our quaint home in Cville while you were on the east coast! Next time we will fondue it up 🙂

  3. Chef Edwin says:

    Dun dun dun! Perhaps Biscuit can be your seeing eye dog.