- Food and Cooking
It's Fondue Night! Set Up Your Own Fondue Bar
Something Different for Dinner
The weekend is almost here and you're planning a dinner night with friends or family. You're over the pizza. You're tired of the tacos. Pooped out on the Chinese. Why not try something fun and vintage? Have a fondue night!
Setting up your own fondue bar will not be difficult. You just need the right supplies and right ingredients for an awesome fondue night. Check out the easy tips below!
Fondue Set & Supplies
The first thing you're going to need for your fondue bar is the equipment. A quality fondue set is the key to your fondue night success. You can find fondue sets online and in stores ranging in price from $30 to $100, depending on your budget. I would suggest buying a fondue set that's somewhere in the middle and that has high ratings.
Cuisinart makes an Electric fondue maker that is under $60 that is of fairly high quality with an almost 5 star rating on Amazon. This fondue set is also suitable for cheese and chocolate, so you can use it for dinner, appetizers, and even desserts. Don't forget the fondue forks! This Cuisinart set also comes with a set of 8 forks, so don't buy any extra sets unless you plan on having more than 8 people at your fondue night. And in that case, I'd plan on having more than one fondue bowl or people will be fighting over the cheese!
Choose Your Cheese!
After you have your fondue set and supplies ready to go, you'll want to then decide on your ingredients for your fondue bar. The first ingredient needed and the center of the party is the cheese! The right selection of cheeses will set off the rest of the dinner. You want a cheese that is strong but not too strong and also will melt easily and blend well with other cheeses.
Here are some suggestions for the best cheeses for fondue:
- sharp cheddar
- various types of swiss
Make sure to find the right fondue cheese recipe, as you do not just dump the cheese into the pot and hope it turns out right. There are dozens of fondue recipes out there on the internet and probably in your vintage cookbooks, as well. The secret is to put in the right amount of white wine and/or alcohol.
Meats & Seafood
So now that you have your fondue pot, accessories, and cheese, you'll want to choose the main course. If you have meat-eaters in the house, now is the time to choose your meats and/or seafood that you'll include on your fondue bar.
Here are some ideas:
- marinated steak
- marinated chicken
- pre-cooked meatballs
While some people like their meats and seafood in fondue cheese, others prefer fondue oil. The choice is yours, and if you have two fondue pots, then you could make oil and cheese for your guests to choose from.
Perhaps the tastiest and most nutritious part of a fondue night is the vegetables. If you have any vegetarians in the crowd, you'll want to put out a wide array of vegetables on your fondue bar. Go heavy on the veggies and lighter on the meats, is an all-around good tip to follow.
Here are some veggies you might want to include on the fondue bar:
- grape tomatoes
- yellow squash
Don't forget the bread with your fondue bar. Bread soaks up the cheese and wine in the fondue quite easily and will surely be a crowd's favorite on fondue night. Just a tip though, do not serve fresh bread with your fondue because the fresh bread will break up and/or fall off the fondue forks as it is too soft. You want a bread that is at least 2 days old and somewhat crusty or dry (not too dry but just enough to hang onto those forks and soak up the cheese).
Here are some suggestions for the best breads for fondue:
- french baguettes
- walnut bread
- asiago cheese bread
Have an extra fondue set or clean out your cheesy set and make dessert out of chocolate fondue. This completes a fondue night wonderfully! And guys - the women love it.
You'll need a chocolate fondue recipe from Rachael Ray to include dark chocolate chips or chopped blocks and heavy whipping cream, sometimes among other ingredients.
While your chocolate is being prepped, you can set out some of the following dessert dippers:
- angel food cake
Get to Cookin'!
Hopefully this gave you a wonderful idea for your next friend or family dinner night. Providing your guests with a lot of options for dippers is the key to your fondue night success. If you're not sure how to use your fondue set or how to correctly make the fondue cheese or chocolate, I would do a practice run before the big night...this way you know what to expect and how long it will take for you to set everything up on your fondue bar.
And also - just remember to provide a lot of napkins in case things get a little messy! Have a blast!
Written and copyright © KittytheDreamer (May Canfield), 2013. All Rights Reserved.