Just seeing the word party after more than a year of avoiding them like the actual plague, makes me excited for what is to come! I am ready to GATHER. And I’m talking less than 6 feet away! Until the time comes that we can safely do that, this will have to remain a party with your family members or whomever you’ve chosen to remain close with…I don’t even want to try to figure out a way to make individual or distanced fondue pots…it’s just not as fun!!
Fondue started out as a meal made in order to use up items that you may only have a bit of. The winters in Switzerland are harsh, and this was a meal to get by. The heel of some stale bread, ends of the cheese, bottom of a bottle of wine, a little fruit, a little veg etc etc. It is a great way to do a fridge & pantry cleanout, or a fun ‘event’ to plan & purchase items specifically for. And it is an event! Anytime you can spread out ingredients across your kitchen table and share in the joys of dipping & trying different combinations is a party to me:)
Some variations that you may want to try:
- Trying a beer cheese by replacing the wine in the recipe with a good brown ale.
- Using cheddar cheese & adding 1-2 T. of whiskey at the end.
- Adding chopped cornichons or caramelized onions.
- Make it Mexican with chiles in adobo sauce & monterey jack…top with bacon.
Have fun with variations, as well as all the endless possibilities for dippers! Here are some of my favorites, but the world is your fondue pot!!
- Steamed Vegetables – halved mini potatoes, broccol or cauliflower, green beans.
- Raw Vegetables – carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, radishes.
- Pickled Vegetables – the acidity of the pickles with the richness of the swiss cheese & bite of white wine is DIVINE!! With pickles, make sure to blot them dry with a paper towel before placing them on your tray, so the cheese sticks to them better.
- Fruit – ENDLESS!! A sour grannysmith apple pairs wonderfully, assorted berries, dried fruits such as apricots & figs are delicious, Asian pears, fresh figs etc.
- Chunks of crust bread – stale or fresh. A good sourdough or a seedy multigrain are my favorites.
- Pretzels (I love the braided honey wheat sticks!), assorted crackers & breadsticks.
I recommend serving the same, or similar, alcohol as you use in the fondue, it will pair perfectly! And no stress if you do not have a fondue pot & dippers. You can make it in a saucepan and serve it right out of it, for easy reheating, or pour into a bowl & periodically microwave it for consistency! Bamboo skewers work great for dipping. Enjoy!!