Our Annual Fondue

January10

Here is Daughter #2 with that “Mom, you aren’t going to take another fondue picture of me when -I- have- just- put- food -in- my- face expression.”

It is fun to go back over the years and the photos of our annual family fondue party.  There have been various friends invited to join us and the date has sometimes been New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day or the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s but the one thing that remains the same, is that it must be scheduled.  Last year when we spent New Year’s on Isla Mujeres, I even tried to gather up some fondue pots on the island, to no avail.  We are a family who love our traditions.

The key to a successful fondue party is being well prepared.  I layout a plastic table cloth, ensure that we have lots of fuel on hand and that every place setting has an adequate share of forks.  If you are queasy about cross contamination (we have many safe food handlers in our family), you can eliminate concern by placing  stack of paper plates in front of each of your guests.  You would think that this would cut down on dishes to be done but the dirty dishes still seem endless.  One small drawback to a fondue evening, but still well worth it.

I also like to provide lots of variety, not only on the nightly selection but the choices from one year to another.  We started making tempura vegetables the year that the Frenchman’s sister (who is vegetarian) joined us and now that has become a staple.  But this year was the first time that I prepared an authentic tempura dipping sauce to have with it-that was a big hit. 

I also mixed things up a bit by preparing a spicy chicken coating and a meatball stuffed with camembert.  Here is the recipe for the latter:

 

Fondue Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
 
Original recipecalled for ground veal.
Ingredients
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ c tomato, diced
  • 1 t basil, finely chopped
  • 1 T parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • ½ lb camembert cheese, thinly diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Warm the canola oil in a pan and add the garlic, tomato, basil and parsley.
  2. Cook these ingredients for about three minutes then turn off the heat and let cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and mix the ground meat and the contents of the pan.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Using a piece of cheese as the center, shape the ground veal mixture into balls.
  6. Keep the meatballs refrigerated until fondue time.
  7. Let your meatball cook into the hot oil for a few minutes.
  8. Note: if you use ground chicke thigh, meat with still remain pinkish even when fully cooked.
  9. Once cooked, remove from the oil and let cool for a few minutes.

We always have a bazillion sauces on our refrigerator door so I pour out a variety of these.  I also made Bearnaise to have as a treat with the sirloin strips.  To add more veggies, I prepared a broccoli cheese fondue rather than our typical cheese only one.

For dessert: angel food cake, strawberries, pineapple and banana are always dipped in melted chocolate.  This year we added a salted caramel sauce and the piece de resistance-we dipped the most amazing shortbread (a Christmas gift) into chocolate (salty/sweet-I’m in heaven)!

Kath’s quote: “Well loved he garleek, oynons, and eek lekes. And for to drinken strong wyn, reed as blood.”-Geoffrey Chaucer

Love-that is all.

 

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