Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Fondue Recipe


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Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate those you love and also a day to make those who don't have a special someone completely aware of it. As my friend Greg cleverly calls this holiday, Singles' Awareness Day.

But don't fret because if you don't have someone to melt over you -- you can have something melt over you instead.





Fondue was a popular party dish from the 50's - the 70's. Fondue comes from the French word "fondre" which means "to melt"; and it is slowly making its way back into the limelight again. But I think it's the perfect way to get in the mood for love this Valentine's Day. And if you don't have love well then love food :0.

Now I know the excuses you're probably coming up with and you won't get away that easy because even if you don't have a fondue pot you can still make this wonderful treat.
A more economical way is to use a crock pot or medium sauce pan and melt the cheese and/or chocolate over very low heat. If you don't have a crock pot and have to get super ghettofied with it then use a microwave safe bowl and microwave. Use the low temperature setting on the microwave and heat it up in small increments of about 15-20 sec until it melts.



** Now if you want to get a little funky with it then make Mac and Cheese Fondue,which was inspired by my friend Greg. Simply prepare some pasta al dente and dip it in the cheese sauce. I prefer to use rigatoni because it is large and the cheese sauce can get all in the nooks and crannies. **


Chocolate Fondue



Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, reserve 1/4 cup to thin if fondue begins to thicken
  • 4 bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped, 3 1/2 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur, optional
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or almonds, optional

Suggested Dippables, choose 3 or 4 selections of the following:

  • Hazelnut or almond biscotti
  • Salted pretzel sticks
  • Cubed pound cake
  • Sliced bananas
  • Stem strawberries
  • Sectioned navel oranges
  • Ripe fresh diced pineapple

Directions

Heat 1/2 cup cream in a heavy non-reactive saucepot over moderate heat until cream comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate. Let the chocolate stand in hot cream 3 to 5 minutes to soften, then whisk chocolate together with the cream. Stir in liqueur and/or chopped nuts and transfer the fondue to a fondue pot or set the mixing bowl on a rack above a small lit candle. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in reserved cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency. Arrange your favorite dippables in piles on a platter along side chocolate fondue with fondue forks, bamboo skewers or seafood forks, as utensils, for dipping.

Cheese Fondue, from Betty Crocker’s Big Red Cookbook
4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 cup dry white wine or white cooking wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons kirsch, dry sherry, brandy or white cooking wine
1 loaf French bread, cut into bite size pieces
Place cheese and flour in a resealable plastic bag. Shake until cheese is coated with flour.
Rub garlic on bottom and side of saucepan, discard garlic. Add 1 cup wine. Heat over simmer setting or low heat just until bubbles rise to surface (do not boil). Stir in lemon juice.
Gradually add cheese mixture, about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly with wooden spoon over low heat, until melted. Stir in kirsch, sherry, brandy or wine. Once liquid is incorporated, transfer cheese fondue to a preheated mini crock-pot.
Spear bread with forks; dip and swirl in fondue with stirring motion. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in ¼ cup to ½ cup heated wine.
The trick to remember with cheese fondue is to use LOW heat. I kept my burner at two or lower the entire time. If the heat is too high and you try to melt the cheese too fast, the whole thing will curdle and be ruined. It will be a yucky, clumpy mess. So don’t be in a hurry. Slow and steady will get you better fondue in the end.
Besides bread, other dippers that are excellent with cheese fondue are Granny Smith apples and assorted vegetables.

2 comments:

plentyoffish.com said...

That's a romantic dish to whip up on the event.

Charlotte said...

Thanks for the great recipe! Looks delicious, I will have to make this for my husband!
Chocolate Fondue Dippers

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