Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Has Cheese, Broth, and Chocolate? Fondue!

I love fondue and we knew the kids would love it too. However, taking my young kids to a fondue restaurant is a recipe for disaster. I had plenty of scenarios play out in my head: the kids catching something on fire, the kids knocking the pots over, the kids whining they were hungry and it was taking too long for the food to cook, and finally (and very likely) the kids burning themselves. This was one of the things on the Kids Experience List, so we decided to make the fondue at home. I am really glad that we made it at home. Both boys got bored waiting for the meat to cook and wandered off to play with their toys.

We decided to do three different fondues. We were lucky enough to borrow an electric fondue pot, which we used for the cheese and chocolate fondues. We also had a cast iron fondue pot, which used for the broth fondue. We began with the cheese fondue, followed by the broth, and we finished with the chocolate.

The kids loved the broth and chocolate part of the meal, but not the cheese part so much. Bernardo  does not like cheese to begin with, but I thought Higgins would gobble it up. I used a Colby and Swiss mixture, but it was Emmentaler cheese (a Swiss made Swiss cheese) so it had a stronger flavor. The adults seemed to like it, but I think for the kids I would use an American version of Swiss cheese next time.
The boys loved dipping their fondue forks into the broth and chocolate (with help, of course) to make their own food. It is something I am glad we did with the boys. If you want to try making fondue at home, I have the recipes below!



RECIPES:

CHEESE FONDUE:
You will need:
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Dash of cayenne. It's a little less than 1/8 tsp.
  • 6 oz Colby Cheese, diced
  • 4 oz Swiss Cheese, diced. If you want to use a stronger cheese, use a Swiss made Swiss cheese like Emmentaler.
  • Saucepan
Directions:
1. Melt butter. Stir in flour and cayenne. 
2. Add in broth and stir to make a smooth mixture.
3. Add milk and heat until almost a simmer.
4. Add in the cheese and stir until completely melted.
5. Serve. I served mine in a fondue pot to keep the cheese mixture melted. A crock pot would also work.


BROTH FONDUE:
You will need:
  • 5 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp line juice
  • 1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • Dash ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • Saucepan
  • Dippers: 
    • Veggies: carrots, potato pieces, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini
      • Estimated Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes
    • Meat: steak chunks, shrimp, chicken pieces
      • Estimated Cooking Times:
        • Beef: Well done, 45 seconds. 
        • Seafood: 2-3 minutes. Shrimp turns pink when cooked.
        • Chicken: 2 minutes.
        • Cut into meat before eating to make sure it is cooked through.

CHOCOLATE FONDUE:
You will need:
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 12 oz dark chocolate (chop from block or use chips)
  • Dippers: Strawberries, banana chunks, pineapple chunks, dried fruit, apple slices, Rice Krispe treat bite sized squares, pound cake pieces, angel food cake pieces, marshmallows
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
Directions:
1. Heat cream over medium heat. Watch carefully. When it starts to boil, pull off of the heat. Add in chocolate and whisk until completely melted and mixture is smooth.
2. Transfer the chocolate to a warm fondue pot. You want the mixture to stay warm, or it will harden. Eventually it will harden on its own if it is left out long enough. If it starts to firm up, add a little bit of cream and stir together.

Optional: Add in 1 tablespoon coffee or vanilla extract to the mixture to add additional flavors.


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