Fondue is a dish in which small pieces of food are dipped into a hot sauce or a hot cooking medium such as oil or broth. Fondue is commonly served as dessert, such as strawberries dipped in melted chocolate; but it is lots of fun to make an entire meal of fondue! And it's a really fun way to enjoy Traditional Foods such as bone broth, cheese, and pastured meats.
A few weeks ago, our family gathered with a few of our favorite friends for a Real Food Fondue party. What were we celebrating? Why, the food itself, of course! 😉
It was so much fun to gather around a table and enjoy this amazing finger food. (Your hands and a skewer are all you need!) The adults and kids alike experimented with various food and fondue combinations, and each of us definitely had our favorites by the end of the meal.
The roasted potatoes were amazing in the gruyere cheese fondue; the chicken practically melted in your mouth when dipped in the garlic broth; and the roasted broccoli dipped in the Irish cheddar-whiskey fondue was heavenly.
And then there was dessert fondue … Need I say more??
Our Dinner Fondue
Our friends and we are foodies, so any get-together we have is always pretty over-the-top when it comes to food. We've never even come close to not having enough food because we're all eager to bring an abundance to share with everyone.
These are the fondues we enjoyed for dinner:
- Roasted Garlic Broth Fondue
- Irish Cheddar-Whiskey Fondue (We used Kerry Gold's Irish Cheddar.)
- Carmelized Shallot and Gruyere Fondue
- Real Food Queso (w/ tortilla chips — It's always nice to have something “safe” for pickier guests to enjoy.)
These were our dipping foods:
- cubed sirloin, filet, and ribeye
- cubed chicken thighs
- local jalepeno-cheddar sausage
- mushrooms lightly sauteed in red wine and balsamic vinegar
- roasted baby carrots and broccoli
- roasted potatoes with herbes de Provence
- grain-free and sourdough baguettes
- green apples
Our Dessert Fondue
I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was more excited about dessert fondue than dinner. Don't get me wrong: dinner was delish! But…I'm a real sucker for chocolate. 😉
For the chocolate, we simply melted milk chocolate and dark chocolate (72%) together with some heavy cream and coconut oil over a double boiler. Picture three food-giddy ladies adding various chunks of chocolate to the boiler, and that's pretty much how we did it!
These were our dessert dippers:
- homemade marshmallows
- crispy bacon
- homemade angel food cake
- broken waffle cone pieces
We also had a lovely assortment of toppings to roll our marshmallows, fruit, or cake in — and I'm pretty sure I tried every topping combination I could think of!
- various sprinkles (without food coloring)
- crushed peppermints
- organic sandwich cookies (think: not healthy, but better than Oreos)
- toasted, unsweetened coconut
- crushed almonds
If you want to host a Real Food Fondue party for your friends and family, here are some tips:
1. Plan to spend a lot more time preparing than eating.
It took three women, including myself, nearly four hours to prepare the food for our fondue party, but it was so worth it! The time spent in the kitchen, cooking and figuring out new recipes together was my favorite part of the day. You'll want to read over your recipes the night before and allot yourself plenty of time to prepare before the party starts.
2. Don't be afraid to ask your guests to contribute.
We had just two cheese fondues, however some of the ingredients were pricey because they used things like specialty cheeses, white wine, and liquor. We also had three types of meat, plus veggies; and dessert was a whole other “meal” on its own. 🙂 If you're planning your fondue party with a few other friends, families, or family members, don't be shy about asking your guests to bring food items to offset your costs.
3. Make sure you have plenty of plates and bowls to serve your foods.
Spreading everything out on a large surface is probably the easiest way to do fondue, but you'll want to make sure you've got enough serving pieces. Don't feel like you have to go out and buy a bunch of stuff; just take advantage of whatever you have, including mixing bowls, measuring cups, dinner plates, and ramekins.
4. Having a fondue pot isn't absolutely necessary, but it sure is nice.
My friend Meg, who hosted our party, wanted to purchase fondue pots for the occasion. If you have a way to keep your fondues warm, such as an induction or countertop burner, you can make due with those. You may even be able to borrow fondue pots or burners from friends, neighbors, or your church.
5. Consider spreading some brown packing paper on your surface before setting the food out.
We went a step further and used a black marker to label each food on the paper. This helped everyone to know which fondue was which, and it was just really cute. When dinner fondue was over, we rolled up all the crumbs and bits of food, threw it in the trash, and started over with clean paper for dessert. Clean-up was a breeze!
Having a fondue party was totally out of the ordinary for our group of friends, but it was so much fun! Even though it was a lot of work and we were all exhausted by the end, I can't wait to do it again!
Have you ever made fondue? Would you like to have a fondue party?
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