New Year’s Fondue-Variation on a Theme


Fondue means “to melt” so I suppose our New Year’s tradition wasn’t strictly speaking a fondue this year.  We had reached our capacity at the dining room table so I divided the courses between an appetizer course in the living room, main course in the dining room and then back to the living room for dessert.  I also knew that our oil pots would be at capacity so I made a couple of dishes to nibble on while the veggies and meats were sizzling. 

I chose a Chinese New Year theme, as a vegetarian was staying with us over the holidays and we incorporated her tastes into our tradition with a selection of tempura items.  Turns out they were the big hit and we will always do our fondue veggies this way. Sister #3 provided an entire bag of decorations from her New Moon party.

We started with a spicy appetizer made from melted Bothwell red pepper cheese and red wine with white and whole wheat baguettes.  I usually make my own bread but on this occasion I discovered that the Superstore in our neighbourhood sells them for a buck each and better yet-they were hot when I bought them!

This photo is an illustration that you can set a pretty table very inexpensively.  I use a plastic table cloth when we fondue and I got everything in the 50% off Christmas section. 

I had the kids cut and prep veggies.  We enjoyed sweet potatoes, asparagus, Spanish onions, red peppers and shiitake mushrooms-the mushrooms being THE hit.  We mixed the coating from egg, flour and milk and then rolled everything in panko flakes for crunch. 

I also put together a curry fried vermicelli dish and this quickly assembled salad from broccoli slaw, sugar peas, edamame beans and a creamy sesame dressing.  Chicken, beef, pork and shrimp were seasoned in a variety of marinades.  Remember to drain the proteins well, so that you don’t have an oil explosion at your table.

Our guests Linda and Jessie brought a beautiful selection of wines including an Australian Riesling that we are officially in love with.  I meant to open the champagne with the dessert course but we opted for the Manitoba blend of loose tea from Cornelia Bean instead.  I usually use Toblerone bars for chocolate fondue but the grocery was out and had not had time to restock so instead I purchased pure milk chocolate chips which we melted with cointreau.  We dipped our favourite selection of fruit pieces but I also put out shortbread and almond biscotti and these too were a new hit. 

Kath’s quote: “People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.”-unknown

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posted under Food Celebrations

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