There are two Christmas Eve traditions in the SavoryGirl household: Everyone gets to open one small gift and we celebrate the night before Christmas with a 3-course intimate fondue party, complete with board games, crackling T.V. fireplace and all!
I know a 3-course fondue party sounds like it may be a bit of an effort, but to be honest, beyond cutting up all of the things you want to dip in the fondue it's a super easy and very festive meal.
But before we get started with the specifics for each course...a few "Fon-Don'ts" (he he).
- No double dipping. That's pretty much it for the cheese & chocolate courses...but for the meat course there's a few more.
- Don't eat off the fondue fork...it will be really hot since it stays in the pot for a while until the item is cooked and trust me, you will burn your mouth.
- Don't ever let the raw meat touch the plate your eating off of...so get the raw food straight on the fork and directly into the fondue pot. If you mistakenly do touch it to your eating plate, get a new plate immediately so you don't get sick.
- Don't forget what you put in the pot...the different items for the middle courses have different cooking times so you have to pay a bit more attention to this course so you don't over or under cook anything.
Okay...onto the fun!
When it comes to the cheese course, I'm a traditionalist and like the European Style fondue, which is Swiss cheese based and a bit more pungent than if you went with a cheddar or other style fondue. I really love cheese...so I think this is the true cheese-lovers way to go. The recipe I use is here. And what to dip? Cauliflower florets and chunks of celery, green apple and dark rye bread are our favorites.
The meat course is really simple, so I don't have an actual recipe that I use. However, one key difference in our household from traditional fondue is that we use chicken or vegetable broth instead of oil. Much healthier and more flavorful in my opinion. Safer too! Speaking of safety - make sure to read the "Fon-Don'ts" at the top of this post since most of them are in regards to this course which has a few more potential safety concerns than the other two. When it comes to what to dip we do a variety...chicken (often marinated), beef, scallops, shrimp, mushroom caps, broccoli & thin slices of small potatoes. We often find that it's easiest to throw a bunch of veggies in to the bottom of the pot an fish them out with a slotted spoon vs. everyone having to skewer and cook their own. We also make sure to have lot's of sauces on hand to serve the cooked food with. We like cocktail sauce, a horseradish sour cream dip, honey mustard, steak sauce, etc... The horseradish sour cream with the potatoes & mushrooms are to die for!
We prefer dark chocolate in our household so that is the base of our chocolate fondue recipe...but you of course can use milk chocolate or white chocolate as well. Or get a bit fancy and add in some caramel or liqueur, it is the holidays after all! We tend to get a bit carried away with the items to dip for this last portion...but it's worth it because they're all so good! We dip strawberries, pineapple, marshmallows, bananas, cheesecake (slightly frozen so it doesn't fall apart in the chocolate) and pound cake. For the last two, sometimes it can be better to drizzle the chocolate on this vs. dip so you don't end up with crumbs in your fondue pot. Can you say yum?!