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Family fondue night tips and recipes

By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Author: Canadian Living

Menus & Entertaining

Family fondue night tips and recipes

By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Cheese fondue makes a great family dinner because there are so many steps in which the whole family can get involved. Here are a few ways everyone can pitch in to help prepare for a night of fondue fun.

Kid-friendly fondue night jobs:
•Measure ingredients for cookies.
•Assemble ingredients for cookies.
•Shred cheeses.
•Cut bread.
•Prepare vegetables.
•Cut and arrange pineapple.
•Choose favourite pickles and smoked or cured meats, and arrange them artfully on the pickle plate.

Note: Consider age appropriateness around the kitchen, and avoid giving tasks that involve heat and knives to helpers who are too young.

Fondue night recipes:
Choose a favourite cheese fondue recipe below, and don't miss our broth-based Japanese Hot Pot recipe for a different kind of fondue.

Canadian Cheddar and Oka Fondue

This nutty, full-flavoured cheese fondue with spell fun for the whole family. Like sweeter cheeses? No problem. A variation of this fondue featuring a milder flavour can be found in this recipe. Let the dipping begin!

Canadian Cheese Fondue
A real cheese-lover's fondue featuring one - or all - of these Canadian-born favourites: Oka, Mont St.-Benoit, Kingsberg Emmental, Miranda and Canadian raclette.

Traditional Three-Cheese Fondue
The principal ingredients of traditional fondue are cheese, white wine, kirsch and garlic. This one not only has all the classic flavours but also additional depth from Gorgonzola cheese. Serve with dippers listed below.

Swiss Cheese Fondue
A simple, classic recipe featuring Swiss and Emmental cheeses.

Japanese Beef Hot Pot
A departure from cheese fondue, this broth fondue makes for an easy entertaining evening. Guests first spear paper-thin slices of beef and a variety of vegetables and mushrooms and simmer them in broth, then, when everyone has almost reached the point of satisfaction, they can add noodles to the broth and enjoy a delicious soup.

Lime-Glazed Coconut Butter Cookies
Baking cookies together is always a fun way to spend time with the kids. Plus the refreshing taste of lime featured in these cookies makes them the perfect end-note to a rich fondue meal.

Veggie Dippers
Bread cubes are classic dippers for cheese fondue, but providing vegetable options makes the fondue more balanced and nutritious. Prepare and cook the vegetables beforehand. Have a heatproof spoon in the fondue pot for stirring and spoon the cheese over the vegetables instead of dipping them (because they will fall off the forks). Here are some of the best vegetables for a fondue.

Mini-potatoes Peel and boil 10 to 12 minutes
Broccoli florets Steam 3 to 4 minutes
Cauliflower florets Steam 5 to 6 minutes
Green beans Steam 3 minutes
Whole mushrooms Trim and sauté 5 to 7 minutes
Sweet peppers Slice and blanch 30 to 60 seconds

Fondue know-how
Cook fondue on the stove and serve it in a fondue pot. This is a cinch when using an enamel-coated cast-iron fondue pot. Le Creuset makes a fine one that can go directly from stove top to fondue stand.

Remember fondue etiquette. This is a communal pot, so to avoid double-dipping, use long fondue forks to spear and dip bread, then transfer bread to plate and use dinner fork to eat.

Don’t let cheese fondue vigorously boil: keep it warm at around 120°F (50°C). Stir fondue with bread or vegetables on fondue fork while eating to keep heat evenly distributed.

When choosing the type of fuel to keep fondue warm, refer to the fondue pot manufacturer’s instructions. It’s common to use either canned Sterno or gel Sterno poured into a gel fuel fondue burner unit. Avoid tea lights or votive candles, because they don’t provide adequate heat for anything other than chocolate fondue or melting butter.

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Family fondue night tips and recipes