Learn How to Fondue With 4 Easy Recipes
Why Should You Try Making Fondue?
Contrary to popular belief, fondue wasn't invented in the late 60’s but instead in 18th-century Swiss villages. Fresh food was scarce during harsh winters, and stale bread and cheese were dietary staples. Continually eating old, hard foods was a challenging routine, so villagers began heating cheese over fires and using sticks to dip bread chunks into it. Over time, people started seasoning cheeses with wines, herbs, and spices to create a tasty meal the family could enjoy while standing around a warm fire.
Regardless, fondue has long been considered a retro-sixties dish, and the mere mention of the meal conjures up visions of platform shoes, double-knit pants, and the summer of love. In recent years, the fondue pot made a come-back and evolved with the available food options. Cheese doesn't have to be the main ingredient of fondue, and skewers hold more than little chunks of bread.
Fondue recipes are quick to prepare and only require few ingredients, making them a popular choice for casual gatherings. The good news is that you aren't limited to the classic bread-and-cheese combination. Instead, try setting out a variety of foods and dips to satisfy sweet or savory cravings. Whatever type you choose, a fondue night is sure to encourage lively conversations around the pot!
Savory Fondue Recipes
1. Garlic-Cheddar Fondue
- 12 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ cup roasted garlic, pureed
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 1tsp red wine vinegar
- 1tsp corn starch
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tops off two heads of garlic to expose the inner cloves. Drizzle olive oil on top and wrap both heads in aluminum foil.
- Bake them for roughly 40-50 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and golden brown. Allow it to cool completely and then squeeze the cloves into a bowl. Discard the husk and puree the remaining garlic cloves.
- In a bowl, mix the cheeses and corn starch. Toss until until the cheese is coated.
- In a medium-sized pot over low-to-medium heat, add the wine and vinegar. Once the contents start simmering, add the cheese mixture one handful at a time and stir continually until it's completely melted.
- Add the garlic puree, pepper flakes, and onion powder. Stir to combine.
- Pour the hot mixture into a warmed fondue pot and serve immediately.
2. Bonaparte Fondue by Alexis de Portneuf
- 1 cup water, boiling
- 1cup white wine/apple cider
- 1 package Bonaparte cheese, chilled
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2/3 oz shiitake mushrooms, dried
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Pinch of sugar
- In a small bowl, pour boiling water on the dried mushrooms. Cover the bowl and let it stand for 30 minutes. Drain and chop the mushrooms, then return them to the water and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine melted butter and shallots over low heat and gently sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and water to the pan and bring everything to a boil. Reduce until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Add wine and return to a boil.
- In medium bowl, toss the cheese and corn starch together until the cheese is thoroughly coated. Add the cheese to the saucepan a handful at a time while stirring gently. Keep the mixture at just under boiling. Remove from the heat and add garlic and sugar. Pour the mixture into a heated fondue pot and serve immediately.
Sweet Fondue Recipes
3. Orange Chocolate Fondue
- 12 oz dark chocolate, broken into chunks
- 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange liqueur
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- Fruit, sliced
- Over medium heat, combine the orange juice and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat to low.
- Slowly add chunks of chocolate and stir constantly until they're fully melted.
- Add orange liqueur and orange zest to the mixture and beat until it's smooth.
- Pour everything into a heated fondue pot and serve immediately.
4. Butterscotch Fondue by Sharon Mensing
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter in small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a heated fondue pot and serve immediately.
Oil fondue is not an authentic fondue, but it's an easy and delicious way to cook your meal. You need to heat a pot of oil to about 375 degrees. After that, dip vegetables or meat cubes into it until they're cooked how you like them.
Keep these tips in mind for a safe and enjoyable experience:
- Cut the meat into rough 0.75" cubes. Blot them on a paper towel to prevent the moisture from causing the grease to pop and then burn your skin.
- Never have more than half a pot of oil over the heat. Too much fat increases the risk of fire and burns.
- It is NOT recommended to use a burner-type fondue pot to cook meat. Use an electric model for cooking oil or grease of any kind to be safe.
Nothing will ruin a nice fondue meal like an individual who “defiles the pot.” Since the fondue pot is communal, it's important for you to follow a few rules:
- Dip the food into the fondue and gently rotate the skewer to coat it. It is not ok to stir the pot with a chunk of food on a skewer.
- Hold the skewer over the pot for a few seconds to allow excess fondue to drip. This keeps the outside of the pot clean.
- When taking the food from the skewer, keep the fork end of the skewer from touching your mouth, lips, or fingers. It's best to place the food on a plate and leave the skewer clean to dip the next morsel.
Fondue Pot Options
The two basic fondue-pot styles are electric or fuel burning. It's a matter of personal preference as to which type you want to use. The electric models are similar to crock pots because you simply plug them in and use the on/off switch or temperature gauge. The burner types can be used anywhere and are a popular choice for outdoor dining. A set of skewers and a few recipes should come with each fondue pot.