Fondue Party

A gathering of your favorite people, revolving around vessels of {typically} cheese or chocolate, accompanied by perfectly paired foods and libations.  The reason to why fondue parties went out of style will forever be a mystery to me. 2019 is the year we are taking back fondue. Foodies, rejoice!

Fondue 4

There are few foods that I love more than cheese. Cheese makes everything better. A close second? Chocolate. But that doesn’t mean cheese and chocolate are the only types of fondue-to-do. For your starter you can easily sub out the cheese with a marinara or Alfredo sauce and go Italian themed. Have breaded chicken/veal cutlets, some spicy or sweet Italian sausage, ravioli, garlic knots, mozzarella sticks,  shrimp & scallops for dipping. Make it southern and have some homemade sausage gravy in your fondue pot with fried chicken fingers, biscuits, hush puppies, potatoes and corn fritters as your dippers. Not one single person has ever said fondue was healthy. For dessert, swap out the chocolate for melted peanut butter and joyfully dunk just about anything in your reach. Caramel or a bubbling strawberry compote are great options too, but I’ll list a ton of great combinations and fondue options below.

You do not need a fondue set to execute the perfect fondue party. You can simply heat up or melt your ingredients on the stove and pour them into a bowl for serving. Keeping it heated is not overly important, as I promise that someone will be licking that bowl clean before it’s even cooled down. I would, however, ensure you have some sort of poker stick/kebobs for dipping purposes. You can find wooden ones at just about any grocery store. Don’t forget to put out some refreshments on your bar cart or counter, some good IPA’s or wine being some of my favorites! However, some bubbly cocktails or fruity mocktails would be just as enjoyable.

Just like there are no rules to cooking, there are no rules to fondue. Have fun with it, try new things! The best part about fondue is how casual it is. It’s not your typical sit-down dinner party. It’s a social gathering, an “experience” if you will. Put on a good playlist, serve it at an area where people can gather around informally while they eat and communicate, laugh, sing, dance. I love serving on a kitchen island or even on a coffee table, just throw a few pillows down for some floor seating and even put on a movie for a more intimate feel. I hope you enjoy all the recipes and pairings I’ve curated below and that your next fondue party is both tasty and lighthearted.

Recipes

Beer Cheese

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup favorite beer
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup mild cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup swiss, shredded
  1. In your fondue pot or in a saucepan, melt your butter.
  2. Sprinkle in your cornstarch and seasonings, whisk until combined.
  3. Pour in your beer and bring to a simmer. Continuously stirring, begin to add your cheese a little at a time. As it melts, continue to add more until desired consistency.

 

Mexican Style Cheese Fondue

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cerveza (Corona, Pacifico, Modelo)
  • 1 1/2 cups mild cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Rotel, drained
  1. In your fondue pot or in a saucepan, melt your butter.
  2. Sprinkle in your cornstarch and seasonings, whisk until combined.
  3. Pour in your beer and bring to a simmer. Continuously stirring, begin to add your cheese a little at a time. As it melts, continue to add more until desired consistency.
  4. Stir in your pickled jalapenos and Rotel before serving.

 

Sausage Gravy

  • 16 oz. Jimmy Dean pork breakfast sausage
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  1. In a large skillet, use your spatula to crumble the sausage and cook over medium heat. Add in your butter and sprinkle flour over entire mixture. Stir until combined.
  2. While whisking, slowly pour in your milk. Continue whisking until gravy begins to thicken. Season with ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Fondue 2

Chocolate Fondue
*I actually prefer to prepare my dessert fondues on the stove, using a double boiler, and than transferring to a fondue pot/serving vessel. Ingredients high in sugar tend to burn faster/easier and fondue pots tend to be difficult to control heat.

  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
    *optional: 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  1. Using a double boiler, pour in your heavy cream & vanilla, followed by your chocolate chips. Continuously stir until smooth & creamy. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to preferred serving vessel.

 

Peanut Butter Fondue
*I actually prefer to prepare my dessert fondues on the stove, using a double boiler, and than transferring to a fondue pot/serving vessel. Ingredients high in sugar tend to burn faster/easier and fondue pots tend to be difficult to control heat.

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  1. Using a double boiler, pour in your heavy cream and peanut butter and stir constantly. As peanut butter begins to melt, stir in the confectioners sugar. Once mixture is completely smooth and melted, remove from heat and transfer to preferred serving vessel.

 

Salted Caramel Fondue
*I actually prefer to prepare my dessert fondues on the stove, using a double boiler, and than transferring to a fondue pot/serving vessel. Ingredients high in sugar tend to burn faster/easier and fondue pots tend to be difficult to control heat. 

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, begin to heat your sugars. Whisking every minute for about 7 minutes until they begin to melt.
  2. Immediately reduce heat to low and add butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir until butter is melted, combined, and beginning to bubble (just a few minutes).
  3. Slowly stir in your heavy cream and let it come to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Add salt and transfer to preferred serving vessel.

 

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

  • 1 package small corn tortillas
  • frying oil, enough to cover 1″ depth in your frying pan
    • canola, vegetable, and coconut oil are my preference
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • fine sea salt

*Please always be careful while using hot oil. You can test if your oil is ready (hot enough) by running your fingers under water and flicking a TINY amount of the water into the oil. If the oil begins to bubble where the water has touched, it is hot enough to begin frying.

  1. Heat your oil over medium for about 5 minutes or until hot enough to fry.
  2. Cut your tortillas in half vertically and horizontally, creating 4 triangles.
  3. Carefully drop 8-12 tortillas (depending on the size of your frying pan) into your oil at a time. Let fry for just a few minutes, until light golden brown.
  4. Remove from oil and transfer to a dish covered with a paper towel. Immediately dust with chili & garlic powder and sea salt.

 

Pairings

*dippers listed are just options, it is not required that you serve alllll of them LOL

Traditional

Fondue: Beer Cheese

Dippers:

  • ham
  • sausage/kielbasa
  • meatballs
  • steak
  • bacon
  • chicken fingers
  • cocktail hotdogs
  • shrimp/coconut shrimp
  • scallops
  • french baquette
  • pretzels/soft pretzels
  • broccoli/cauliflower
  • apple/pear slices
  • potatoes
  • bell pepper slices

Italian

Fondue: Marinara or Alfredo Sauce

Dippers:

  • meatballs
  • spicy or sweet italian sausage
  • chicken/veal cutlets
  • shrimp
  • scallops
  • garlic knots/garlic bread
  • fried eggplant
  • ravioli
  • mozzarella sticks
  • zucchini
  • potatoes

Southern

Fondue: Sausage Gravy

Dippers:

  • buttermilk fried chicken fingers
  • chicken fried steak
  • biscuits
  • hush puppies
  • corn fritters
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • brussel sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • green beans

 

Cinco De Mayo 

Fondue: Mexican Style Cheese

Dippers:

  • chorizo
  • empanadas
  • taquitos
  • taco style meatballs
  • sliced flank steak
  • homemade tortilla chips
  • corn bread bites
  • sliced bell peppers
  • mexican street corn

 

Dessert

Fondue: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Fruit Compote, Peppermint Bark for the Holidays

Dippers:

  • fruit: strawberries, pineapple, banana, blueberries, apples & pears
  • marshmallows (“SmashMallow” has great flavored ones!)
  • graham crackers (teddy grahams would be great for little ones!)
  • wafer & waffle cookies
  • sugar cookies (fun to use cookie cutters and coordinate with holidays)
  • pound cake, cubed
  • cheesecake bites
  • bacon
  • gingerbread cookies
  • homemade donuts
  • pretzels/soft pretzels

*I also love serving a small side of vanilla or funfetti frosting on the side with a spreading knife. Who doesn’t love the funfettis!?

I would love to see all of your fondue creations, so be sure to tag me @jaclyndrift on instagram!

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