Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fondue Season


Where the Magic Happens

Oh, the weather outside is frightful ... somewhere. Here is OC we recently got some much-needed rain and it's cooled off a bit.

I.C. Wiener

OC Weather
Still, just because we don't live in the lands of ice and snow doesn't mean that this isn't fondue weather (although, we do visit part of TLoIaS yearly and love going out for fondue). In fact, we've already had fondue fun twice this season.

What's that? You loathe Sterno? Me too. That's why I found this great electric fondue set with breakaway power cords. Fondue can dangerous enough with the hot oil and raw foods and the glaven. The breakaway cord keeps the oil in the pot and off of your un-seered flesh. You can find one at a variety of places around the Internoodle, or you can just give Jeff Bezos more money.

Note: If you don't have a double boiler or a way to fake one you're going to need it to melt the cheese and the chocolate. Just sayin' ... er, typin'.

Double Boiling the Cheese

I bought two of these sets, because one didn't seem like enough fun. Usually we have one pot of hot peanut oil* for cooking raw beef, raw shrimp, breaded tofu cubes, and even ... bread. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but if you let it drain a bit it's good, although I don't recommend eating a lot of it. If you do, however, have a little cheese on your plate to add to it. Delicious.

Then we have a garlic-rubbed pot of melted Emmental and Gruyere cheeses for bread, carrots, broccoli, and par-boiled potatoes.

Lastly, there is the blend of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and heavy cream that awaits a marshmallow or bread or both. Heat a cup of cream in the ceramic pot of your fondue setup (which is placed into your double boiler), add chunks of dark and milk chocolate and whisk like the dickens until smooth. Don't want to make chocolate fondue? Have cheese or oil fondue with hot cocoa. You make your hot cocoa with heavy cream or half and half, right? Of course you do.

If you want more information there are loads of books and Internet resources  out there to guide you to a great fondue experience. Make some Swedish meatballs, why don't you?

If drinking's your thing, you'll want to consider having beer or wine with your fondue. One beer that I  recommend is an old favorite of mine, Spaten's Optimator. I've heard that it's been absorbed by ABInBev (the monster that swallowed Buttwiper) but it still tastes like what I remember from thirty years back. Of course, that was a few shots to the head ago. ;)

Welcome back, old chum.


You could also try a nice eiswein with your fondue. This one was decent and paired well with the spread.

However you enjoy your fondue, enjoy your fondue. It makes dinner into a party.

Fondue-ing it right!


*Under the right conditions you can re-use cooking oil. There's more about it on Serious Eats.