Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fondue Feast - The Recipes

At this point, I feel I need to throw out some warnings.
- Don't eat right off the fondue fork (it could be stupid hot). Put your food on your plate and eat with a regular fork.
- If you're doing the meat course, take necessary food safety precautions (because you're dealing with raw meat), and never put raw meat on the plate you'll be eating off of.

Cheddar Cheese Fondue

Half a bottle of lager (or so)
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 clove (or more) garlic
3 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
80% sharp cheddar cheese
20% Emmenthaler cheese
1 tblsp corn starch (optional)
Freshly cracked black pepper

Grate cheeses and toss with a little cornstarch (this will both absorb some moisture, keeping the cheese shreds apart, and help thicken the fondue a little - it's not absolutely necessary).

Pour beer into your fondue pot and crank it. Add mustard powder, and grate in garlic (or drop in finely minced garlic). Once boiling, lower heat a bit and add cheese, bit by bit, stirring in a figure 8 motion, until melted. Continue adding cheese until fondue reaches desired consistency. It's better to be a little on the loose side than too thick. It will thicken a little as the course goes on. Top with a little freshly ground pepper.

Serve with bread (cubes of french, rye, and pumpernickel, soft pretzel nuggets, cubes of granny smith apples, baby carrots, celery sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever else you can imagine would be great with beery, garlicky melted cheese)

Spinach Salad

Baby spinach, hard boiled egg slice, sliced red onion, sliced cucumber, sliced roma tomatoes, shredded Emmenthaler cheese

Don's Favourite Dressing

1/2 cup oil
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
pinch salt

Put all ingredients into blender (except oil) and blend, then add oil slowly while running blender and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Coq Au Vin Cooking Liquid for Main Course

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup burgandy wine
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tblsp garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced

Heat vegetable stock in a fondue pot until it begins to simmer. Add all other ingredients and bring back to a simmer.

Serve with filet mignon, marinated (or not) cubed chicken breast, marinated (or not) sirloin or NY strip steak, marinated (or not) pork tenderloin, ravioli, partly cooked fingerling potato pieces, mushroom caps, etc. and various sauces.

Make sure to have a slotted spoon at the table for fishing out ravioli and veggies. Don't leave the slotted spoon in the fondue pot when you're not using it because it will get ridiculously hot.

Reminder again: Use all necessary food safety precautions when handling the raw meat and cook to safe temperatures (chicken to 165 degrees and beef at least to 145 degrees)

Green Goddess Dressing

This is one of my favourite things about fondue night. It needs to be made in advance.

8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tblsp finely chopped onion
2 tblsp finely chopped parsley
2 tblsp finely chopped chives

Microwave cream cheese and milk for 2-4 minutes, whisking after each minute until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in sour cream, onion, parsley and chives. Refrigerate. It will thicken as it cools.

This is really good spooned into cooked mushroom caps and served with the potatoes.

Chocolate Fondue

10 oz chocolate chips (milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or a blend...up to you)
1/2 to 3/4 cup half and half cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
(we stir in Skor bits, but you can stir in marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, Bailey's Irish Cream, espresso powder, chocolate cookie crumbs...the sky's the limit)

Melt chocolate in the microwave (medium power, 2 minutes). Stir occasionally to keep from burning. Pour into heated fondue pot (I use my stoneware one for the chocolate) and stir in your choice of add ins.

Serve with pineapple, strawberries, banana slices, brownie bites, pound cake bites, mini cheesecakes (you'll want to put the cheesecake on your fork and spoon chocolate over won't stay on your fondue fork), pretzels, marshmallows, graham crackers...whatever goes with chocolate!

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