Another Snowy Weekend

January28

By Guest Blogger Laura

One of winter’s first snowy Saturdays and as luck would have it, we planned the perfect welcoming event  – a fondue party to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  There are so many different ways to enjoy this congenial way of eating but we have our favourite plan and usually stick with it for the most part.  We use two pots of boiling oil – many people use chicken or beef broth which is terrific too – but we generally go for a combination of canola and peanut oil.    The most exciting part of the fondue for me is the creation and presentation of a wide variety of dipping sauces that allow guests to try new flavours and combinations that they wouldn’t normally try.  Each and every bite can be different from the one before and it’s that experimenting that makes this such a celebration of eating. 

Early in the day I prepare a hearty plateful of each of prime rib steak, boneless pork, boneless chicken breast and peeled and deveined shrimp.  My husband prepares the chocolate fountain and cleans strawberries, cuts bananas, peels mandarin oranges and cuts up sponge cake. 

 I wanted to be sure to have a good variety of choices.  I picked up some store bought sauces…sweet and sour, BBQ, seafood sauce and then had tons of fun preparing the homemades. 

Horseradish Cream – 1 cup sour cream, 3 T horseradish, 2 t lemon juice, 2 green onions, ¼ t worchestershire, salt & pepper

Herbed garlic butter – 1 C butter, 2 T lemon juice, 1 t fines herbes, 2 cloves garlic

Peanut sauce – 1 cup vegetable broth, ½ c peanut butter, 3 T shallots, 1 t worchestershire, 1 t sugar – cooked on stove and allowed to thicken and cool

Honey Mustard – ½ c mayo, 2 T honey, 2 T grainy mustard, salt & a pinch of cayenne

Curry Mango – ½ c unflavoured yogurt, ½ c mayo, ½ c mango chutney, 1 T lime juice, 2 t curry powder, 1 T chopped red onion, dash of cayenne

The surprising hit was one I just invented at the last minute.  I used a small jar of green jalapeno jelly and mixed it with ½ c mayo.  Then I chopped in some fresh red chile pepper and green jalapeno pepper primarily to add some colour because the sauce wasn’t looking that attractive.  Even the guests who don’t usually go for food with too much heat loved this combination of sweet and spicy. 

Our friends brought along a bowl of cheese fondue which we simply heated in the microwave and put on a warmer and then enjoyed with chunks of French bread.  They also contributed mushrooms, peppers and pearl onions along with a beer batter that worked really well in the fondue pots. 

I’m not sure there is a better way to enjoy wonderful dinner conversations than with good friends sharing  a fondue.

“When you ask one friend to dine,
Give him you best wine!
When you ask two,
The second best will do!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

invite someone to warm up at your table


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