A few times a year, usually a holiday celebration, we invite family friends to join us for a 3 course fondue night. Fondue nights are an event in our household that gets everyone in the family spirit. It’s a very flexible meal plan in which it’s easy to give kids a lot of input. The kids love to go to the store to help pick out the ingredients. My kids even look forward to shredding cheese and making sauces in preparation for the meal.
This post will be the first (as we crazy Americans always do cheese first) of several fondue posts.
Some important things to consider when doing fondue with families include providing options for kids as well as an elevated feel for the grown ups. With the cheese course I have found that trying to stick with a traditional Gruyere or Swiss cheese fondue isn’t the best choice. Most kids don’t like Swiss cheese. Most kids also don’t like beer flavor- which is good- and we should embrace that sentiment even if it goes against what we might prefer as adults. The following recipe is for a kid friendly cheese fondue that EVERYONE will enjoy. You can find more great cheese fondue recipes from traditional to boozy at bestfondue.com.
I like to go to a store that has a good cheese selection and someone who knows a little about how cheese melts. My local Whole Foods Market has such a counter, and will even let us taste the cheese before we buy it. Our most recent purchase was a white cheddar that had hints of Italian Parmesan. It melted beautifully, and tasted great with all of our dipping choices.
Another thing to note with cheese fondue, is that it works wonderfully in a little crockpot if you don’t have a fondue pot, or you are doing multiple courses and want to make life a little easier on yourself. The mini crockpot option also allows you to prep the cheese fondue long before your guests arrive and you can then enjoy the first part of the evening serving drinks and properly welcoming your guests.
Favorite cheese fondue dippers in our house include: all natural mini smoked sausages, pretzel bread (bites or cubed), pumpernickel bread (cubed), tart apples, firm pears, cauliflower, and broccoli. Crackers, pretzel thins, ham cubes, and chips can also be good. It’s all up to your tastes and what is in your pantry! Get creative! It’s fondue.
Cheese FondueCourse: Appetizers, Cheese
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
2 cups half and half
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
24 oz shredded mild or aged cheddar (something that melts well)
3 Tbsp unbleached, all purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Dippers: breads, tart apples, firm pears, pretzels, little sausages, blanched or lightly steamed veggies
- Combine all ingredients (except the dippers) in a fondue pot or mini crockpot set on low-medium.
- Stir occasionally (every 5 minutes or so) until fully melted and smooth.
- Keep the crockpot or fondue pot on lowest setting once melted.
- Fondue is usually set in the center of a table so everyone can dip!