Other Delicious food

The essentials for a fondue dinner

Who says return of the cold season says… Comforting , warm and friendly dinners! And a fondue , whether as a couple, with family or friends, is always a winner, while remaining fairly easy. It’s traditional, it’s nostalgic, even a little  kitsch , it suits all tastes, it allows the meal to be stretched out a bit… Everything we love!

Here’s what to expect.

In general, dinner is much more enjoyable if no more than 4 people share the same pot. If you invite more people, ask them to bring theirs! 

Ideally, each guest would be entitled to two forks. If you don’t have enough, it’s also something that is easy to borrow!

Do not forget either the gas (or the gel version, which lasts longer) to feed the burner if your fondue pot is not electric. It only costs a few dollars at the grocery store and it’s the kind of thing you don’t always think about (or tend to overestimate the amount left), so don’t hesitate to buy more!

Finally, there are plates specifically made for fondue , with separate compartments. These can, among other things, avoid mixing raw meat and cooked meat! But neither are they essential.

With a small number of people, it can be interesting to really do like “the Chinese” and use small individual strainers (with a sufficiently long handle) instead of forks!

Broth

There are many kinds of store-bought broths, but it’s so easy to make yourself! Thus, the broth is usually less salty and we know the ingredients better. There are many, many possible recipes, but here is my favorite fondue broth recipe (for a fondue pot):

4 cups reduced salt beef broth

¾ cup of red wine

1 ¼ cup of water

2 onions, very finely chopped

1 head of garlic, cut into cloves then minced

2 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2-3 bay leaves

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

The proteins

For  meat , some are limited to thin-sliced ​​beef (and maybe chicken), but there are so many meat options now! Try the duck, the guinea fowl, the elk, the bison, the rabbit, the ostrich and even… the kangaroo!

Like  seafood , there could be shrimp, scallops, squid rings, but also large cubes of salmon, tuna or other firm fish. With fish and seafood, you really don’t want to cook them for long, about 1 minute!

As  a vegetarian option , there are cubes of firm cheese: for example, aged cheddar (this one has its place in every fondue at our place, it is my favorite element. It should not be left over. A minute!) Or halloumi. As  a vegan option , there are cubes of firm tofu. Everyone can find something for themselves! (It may of course be necessary to adapt the broth on the other hand).

As an amount, one can expect a total of about 150 grams of meat per person (1/3 of a pound). Up to 200 grams (about ½ pound) if you get heavy eaters or want leftovers!

The sauces

When I was little, my mom made 7 different sauces for fondue , which took her all day. It was fantastic, but today I am looking more for simplicity. With us, there are 3 sauces , all made very quickly with ingredients already prepared. Each has its own particular taste which provides a great variety and appeals to everyone.

The fondue sauces can be prepared in advance during the day and stored in the fridge. Do not be afraid to adjust the amount of sauce to the number of guests!

Onion sauce (savory and tasty)

¾ cup of mayonnaise

½ bag of onion soup

(I have also done this before by mixing the mayo with 2 caramelized onions, crispy limit (cooked in a butter / olive oil mixture, in a cast iron pan). It’s really good and less “processed” but it is also really longer! and everyone loves the one made with the sachet soup).

Mustard sauce (tangy, with a little texture)

¼ cup of mayo

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup of yellow mustard

2 tbsp. prepared (or homemade )  relish 

2-3 sprigs of green onion, very finely chopped

Ketchup sauce (sweet and smoky)

¼ cup of mayo

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup of ketchup

2 tbsp. barbecue sauce

1 C. smoked paprika

The accompaniments

To be served in addition to protein:

Broccoli florets

Cherry tomatoes

White mushrooms

Baguette, which allows you to soak in the excess sauce

A green salad with a tangy rather than a sweet vinaigrette!

A good wine

Leftovers

The rest of the broth can be filtered and reused in a soup! On the other hand, it is a good idea to stretch it with water to prevent it from getting too salty.

The remaining meat and veg can be sautéed together, then served over rice or noodles! Another delicious option:  Korean bulgogi , which is prepared precisely with very thin sliced ​​meat. It’s a classic for fondue days with us!

We must try to prevent cross-contamination, i.e. mixing raw meat with cooked meats or other foods! But it is not always easy, precisely because of the convivial side, “good franquette” of the fondue. As a general rule, leftover raw meat can be stored for a few days, since it will be cooked before eating. 

But for the rest, it’s less secure. I do not keep the sauces after the evening to reuse them for example. That’s why it’s important not to over-prepare! 

The remaining vegetables can also be eaten, but cooked and not, for example, eaten raw as a dip.

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There are many kinds of store-bought broths, but it’s so easy to make yourself! Thus, the broth is usually less salty and we know the ingredients better. There are many, many possible recipes, but here is my favorite fondue broth recipe (for a fondue pot):

4 cups reduced salt beef broth

¾ cup of red wine

1 ¼ cup of water

2 onions, very finely chopped

1 head of garlic, cut into cloves then minced

2 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2-3 bay leaves

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

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