The "Must-Know Fondue Tips" cover all the fondue bases. From how much food to prepare, to fondue etiquette, to safety, to choosing the right fondue wine, cheeses and fondue pot, it's all here.
Applying the tips will keep your cheese from clumping, your pots from dumping, and your spirits from slumping. (Too cheesy? What better place for it?)
Figure just how much food you'll need.
One person can eat about 20 one-inch cubes of bread (1/2 to 1/3 of a loaf of French bread), 8 ounces of meat, 6 ounces of fish or seafood, 4 to 6 ounces of cheese, 6-8 ounces of vegetables, before trimming, 6-8 ounces of fruit, before trimming, 2-4 ounces of dried fruit, 4 cookies, 2 to 3 ounces of dessert sauce.
Figure a total of about 1 pound of food, or a little more, per person.
Fondue Tip #2
Serve bite-size food.
All fondue food should be served in one or two bite pieces to allow for easy skewing or hand-dipping. Strawberries, large marshmallows, small cookies, medium shrimp, large scallops, etc., are perfect as they are. Thick bread and cake should be cut into 1-inch cubes. Cut meats into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes.
Use the correct fondue pot.
Ceramic fondue pots for cheese, chocolate, or other dessert fondues. Metal fondue pots for broth, oil, wine or beer fondue recipes in which the food is cooked in the pot. Combination pots are the most practical and are usually very elegant.
Use the right liquids.
Use flavorful liquids only, such as broth, beer or wine, never water. When adding wine to a cheese fondue recipe, use a dry or semi-dry wine, such as a Swiss Fendant, Sauvignon Blanc or California Riesling to help the proteins in the cheese melt more smoothly.
Fondue Tip #5
Cook your fondue sauce on the stove; serve in the fondue pot.
It is best to prepare your fondue recipes in kitchen cookware and transfer it to a fondue pot when ready.
Never let your fondue boil in the pot.
Keep cheese and dessert fondues at a low temperature, just enough to keep them warm, about 120 degrees. Use a very low flame or tea light candle to warm the pot.
Oil for frying should be kept at about 375
degrees. At that temperature, a cube of bread will brown evenly in about
20 or 30 seconds. A tea candle won't produce enough heat in this instance.
Observe fondue etiquette.
Remember you are dipping and swirling from a communal pot; try not to touch your lips or tongue to a fork that goes back into the pot.
When cooking in the pot, skewer meats onto your fondue fork in such a way that the tines protrude slightly. That way, the meat will not stick to the bottom of the fondue pot. Important: Remove the cooked meat from the fondue fork before eating. The fork will be much too hot!
Serve raw meats on a small, separate plate for each of your guests. Provide another plate for eating, and individual dishes of seasoning for the meat, to be applied before cooking. Compartmentalized fondue plates are very handy here, and they can double as appetizer plates.
Fondue Tip #8
Mix cheeses of the same family.
Creating your own cheese fondue recipe? Great. But some experts say only one family to a pot! Here are some examples of cheese families, in case you're not a rule-breaker.