Fondue POTS

Fonduing meats and seafood has to be one of the easiest ways to gather around a table and enjoy a meal with family and friends. It takes a little bit of prep and a fondue pot or two, or three and you will be on your way to a fantastical night of Fondue!

One rule if you are setting down for a meal of fondue is to make sure you have no more than 4-5 people at a pot, 3-4 is the perfect number. We use two pots for 9 people (5 adults, 4 kiddos). Too many forks in the pot at once will bring down the temperature of the oil, and crowd the cooking space. Do not use a ceramic pot for meat, the high cooking temperature will crack the pot, you will want to use metal pots with a fuel heating element or an electric fondue pot for meats and seafood.

Here 7 easy tips for Fondue that will get you off to a wonderful night of food, fellowship, and fun!

TIP#1 PREP! Prepping ahead of time is KEY! I usually will have all my meats and seafood cut and in separate bowls, in the refrigerator, the morning or even the night before we are planning to fondue. You will not need as much as you think you would.

Suggested amount for 8-10 people. (I always have left overs, I throw leftovers in freezer bags, and freeze to use for the next fondue or in other recipes.)

3 chicken breasts trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 1/2 -2 pounds of filet mignon trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes (don’t chince out on the steak filet is so tender and cooks up to perfection)

5-8 medium sized shrimp per person, I buy the shelled, tail on, raw ship in the 30-40 count bag

5-8 sea scallops per person, if they are super large I sometimes will cut them in 1/2. I would not recommend using bay scallops, as they are too small.

TIP #2 Fill your metal pot 2/3 of the way with cooking liquid (oil or broth). Make sure you light cooking element a 1/2 hour before you want to eat. We use cans of Sterno Cooking Fuel. Warming your oil or both on stove top before filling pot, will cut down on the time it takes to bring liquid to a boil. You want your liquid to be bubbling, at about 350, degrees before you start to cook your food. An electric fondue pot takes the guess work out of getting the temperature right. If cooking with sterno cooking fuel make sure you have extra cans handy in case fuel burns out and you need to light another can of fuel.

TIP #3 We use vegetable oil for our oil pot. But there are many other options. The website GoFondue will give you other ideas if you want to try something different. I spice up our broth with, 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic, 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, and the juice of one orange, I use chicken or vegetable broth. Feel free to use your imagination when spicing up your broth!

TIP #4 Divvy up each choice of meat into 3 bowls each and spread them around the table so everyone has each choice within reach. Do not put raw meat on your eating plate…this gets tricky with kids, touching raw food and such…I feel like the raw meat nazi by the end of the meal with my kiddos. It helps to keep wet wipes and plenty of napkins with in reach.

TIP #5 Know which fork is yours! Fondue forks usually have different colored tips or special markings on the ends. Take note of what forks you have so as not to get your bites mixed up with your other table guests.


TIP #6 Keep it CASUAL. I buy the nicer disposable plates. Then if there is raw meat contamination you can just grab a new plate and start over. Use your judgment, we always have kiddos at the table, if you are doing adults only then by all means use your nice plates if you want. There are even some fun plates, with compartments, you can buy if you want to have compartments for raw meat and then a spot for your food after it’s been cooked, they are super nifty.

TIP #7 Relax, eat slow, enjoy! If you are fonduing with kiddos let them get up and move around. Sometimes we are at the table for 1-1 1/2 hours, there is no way my 8 year old can sit that long. As long as she stays in the same room, I let her get up from the table.


SAUCES

Butter is always the favorite. I have these cute little butter warmers that have a candle under them to keep the butter melted and warm. But my sister always makes a few dipping sauces. Here are a few of our favorites. We also use bottled sauces like Sweet Baby Rays, and Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, and Soy Sauce.

Ginger Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup shredded fresh ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sweet sherry or Mirin

1/4 rice vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Whisk together in a saucepan, bring to low boil, cook for 3-5 minutes, remove from heat, let cool.


Sweet and Tangy Sauce

1/4 cup Asian Fish Sauce

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (bottled works too)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 minced garlic cloves

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Whisk together in a saucepan, bring to low boil, cook for 3-5 minutes, remove from heat, let cool.

Horseradish Cream Sauce

3/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 whole scallion, white and green parts finely chopped

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Whisk together and store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

The above recipes were taken from Rick Rodgers cookbook “Fondue- Great Food to Dip, Dunk, Savor, and Swirl”, which I would recommend having if you are into the Fondue thang… There are also many helpful hints on the “world wide web”, if you Google fondue millions of options will come up…..but on second thought, if that will stress you out, just stick to what I have told you and you should be just fine.

ONE FINAL NOTE: This is the only official time chart I could find. But I don’t totally agree with it. I would cook the steak at least 90 seconds. Shrimp is done when it is pink, and shrinks up which is usually 90 second or 2 minutes at the most, same for scallops. Chicken I would go a good 3 minutes. These are the cooking times I have found to work. Here’s a chart I found.

This table was taken from Recipetips.com

I hope all this information is helpful and does not overwhelm. Fondue is so easy and fun! I hope you try it. If you don’t have a Fondue pot, I am sure someone you know does and would be willing to let you borrow it. I have lent mine out many times. It’s nice to share. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I try to help you out the best I know how.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. 1
    Amanda :

    What a wonderful post… SOOO much information here, and fantastic tips!! This should be THE Fondue guide!

  2. 2
    Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out a Choice, Not a Chore} :

    Great tips! Fondue is so fun and now I'm ready to find a pot for myself to try this. Happy New Year!!! PS ~ I think I would be totally focused on the chocolate part of the fondue. :)

  3. 3
    strawberry CAKE :

    Kim, I plan on getting to that….hopefully today. : D Saving the best for last!

  4. 4
    C :

    I got a fondue pot and cookbook for x'mas this year. So excited to incorporate your tips.!

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