Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cheese Fondue

So Valentine's Day is kind of a strange holiday.  I think personally some people put way too much emotional investment in it.  Thankfully, since I am not a huge "HAS TO BE LOVEZ DAY!" when Brett told that he had a work dinner on Valentine's Day, I decided instead to make Valentine's Day a ladies night.  I gathered three of my very lovely friends and had a fondue night.  

And disclaimer, this is not a recipe.  It is my tips for fondue.  Over the last few years I've made different variations of fondue.  From scratch, from a box, a combo of both.  I've used swiss, gruyere, parmesan, and cheddar.  But I've actually found that my favorite is from a *GASP* box.  Whole Foods usually sells it, I wouldn't really trust other boxed fondue from other stores.  Yes, cheese snob, right here.  

The original recommendation to buy fondue from a box actually came from my mother.  And as I've mentioned in other posts, she's got pretty good taste.  

I decided also not just to use bread, but also roasted broccoli.  I had some in the fridge, but also I love broccoli cheddar soup more than most, so I knew that broccoli + cheese = love. 

Fondue is a great meal for a group.  We had a great time and were happily full of bread, cheese, champagne, chocolate....everything.  And it's a great Tuesday night special.

Cheese fondue
2 boxes of fondue
1 large baguette
1 large head of broccoli
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Chocolate fondue
1 box chocolate fondue
~30 strawberries

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Chop the head of broccoli, separating the florets.  Bake the broccoli in the oven with the oilve oil, salt and pepper drizzled on it for 25 minutes.

Cut the baguette into 1 inch pieces.  It's best to get really crusty bread or bread that's actually a day or more old.  The crunchyish bread will help to hold the cheese and not fall off into the pot.

This is what the fondue box looks like.  Although I've seen different variations.

Heat up the pot and put the fondue in the pot to melt thoroughly.

Once the broccoli has cooked, it should be browned on the edges and cooked through.

Once the fondue is liquified and bubbling, remove from the heat and put on a fondue stand or on a heat proof pad.

Serve immediately (and yes, champagne makes a wonderful accompaniment) and enjoy!

And for the chocolate fondue?  Heat it up.  Eat it.  Preferably with strawberries.  Or pineapple, or marshmallows, or anything (read: everything) that goes well with chocolate!

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