Fondue party entertaining tips, recipes, and invites

Add some retro appeal to your celebrations with a fondue party. Fun and interactive, a fondue will suit any palate and is easy on the cook! 

By Christine Picheca

Fondue party entertaining tips and recipes
Heading out for a special evening can be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Hard to find babysitters, expensive drinks, no cabs and overcrowded venues can turn a special night out into a bore. A smaller gathering at home can be a fun, stress free evening on your own terms. A great way to do it is with a fondue party. Fondue has that fun retro appeal that is perfect for a party atmosphere; and having your guest participate in the cooking makes things easy on the host.

How to set up your fondue table
If you are entertaining more than six people, set up a couple of pots so no one has to reach too far. At each place setting include plates to set hot food on and forks for eating, keep fondue forks that are going into the communal pot for dipping only! Set out small vessels for dipping sauces to complete the place setting.

What stock for which meats and veggies
Try a few different fondues varieties for fun; red wine and beef stock are great for thinly sliced beef tenderloin and button mushrooms; chicken stock works for chicken, shrimp, or thinly sliced fillets of salmon and for vegetarians try a mushroom stock with tofu and broccoli, and of course there is the classic cheese fondue that appeals to just about everyone! Use your imagination when picking items for dipping, include a good selection and make your tray bright and colourful with vegetables. Since all of the food is cooked together, make sure you ask your guest about any food allergies, you can always have two types of fondue to accommodate everyone.

Assembly is everything
A fondue party is more about assembling ingredients than it is about cooking. Make sure the meat and vegetables you choose are fresh for great visual appeal and food safety. To keep things really easy, entertaining guru Ryan Jennings (www.cookingwithbooze.com) suggests buying good quality pre-made sauces to cut down on work the day of your party. He recommends cocktail sauce, béarnaise and Dijonnaise for wide appeal.

Drinks: Champagne of course!
For a night like New Year's Eve, and with a smaller crowd you can afford to drink the good stuff all night. Champagne is actually an excellent choice for a cheese fondue; the acidity will cut the richness of the cheese. If you are going with a beef fondue you may want to offer a medium-bodied red wine. If you have an Asian-themed fondue, try serving cold sake.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find great starters, sides and desserts for your fondue party, plus downloadable party invites on page 2



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