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What do you dip into fondue

In the heat of the summer I am finding solace in thinking of the foods I will make when the temperature cools. It got me thinking, what are the options for cheese fondue and oil fondue? I would love to hear everything but especially out-of-the-ordinary ideas.

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  1. Back in the sixties, my Mother was heavily into fondue. The cheese always had just good crusty bread for dunking. In the oil, she did plain beef tenderloin cubes, but she served this with really yummy dipping sauces. I don't recall thinking that improvements were called for.

    1. Anything that'll stick into my fondue fork.

      1. I know you are asking about cheese, but I was assigned a chocolate fondue at one of our dining groups for dessert and the big favorite were the fresh cheries I just happened to find in the market.

        But beef tenderloin cubes, & shimp in oil. I am a purist when it come to cheese, but I can see how one might pizza it up with a tomatoey cheese and spearing maybe pita and sausage or pepperoni to dip in the the tomato cheese sauce. You could go wild here with any number of combinations

        1. Here's my take: I have traveled much and have lived in other countries. When I was in Belgium, a special oil was used for their fondue. I was so hooked, that I brought a bottle home to the U.S. w/me. In Belgium, the favorite is thin slices of beef and chicken- oil is very hot, and meats thinly sliced b-cuz you want meats to cook in the oil. Shrimp may even work. Serve w/aioli, already made salads, bread and a good beer. Switzerland is famous for fondue. I was in Appenzell (NE corner) where their own special fondue cheese is made. The swiss top their fondue with a good kirsch and wella, ready for bread dippin' - a good crust on the outside, chewy in. Their chocolate fondues are served with cakes but, here, you should add fruits -bananas, strawberries and marshmallows, small donuts, pretzels, skewers w/peanut butter balls, etc.-
          In Japan, their style is called Shabu Shabu- a rich clear soup base that's hot enuf to cook whatever is put inside. Typical is (fresh)shitaki and enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, fish, thinly sliced beef and chicken, shrimp, scallions and rice noodles. Serve with a bowl of rice. Great for the winter cold. And, it does get cold in Japan! Hope this helps...:) KQ

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            Could you expound on the oil you bought? I'm really curious.

            Also, what is wella?

            1. re: bryan

              Sorry Bryan - The oil journey was 26 years ago! Wella -just the expression not an item. Ya noe the word-sort of what a magician would say.....wella! Now it's done. :) KQ

              1. re: Kitchen Queen

                :) voila, it's french. "here it is"
                Fondue is not really a hot summer weather type of food. In Switzerland, only the tourists eat it in the summer (and they are snickered at by the locals).
                That being said, I love it all year round.
                If you don't care about being traditional and you would like to get a little creative, most things that go well with cheese in general can be used as fondue dunkers if you have the correct cheese.
                For a heartier meal, you could dunk small rounds of cooked spicy sausage or chunks of roasted chicken. For kids, you can substitute hotdog rounds and tatertots (this would give traditionalists fits!).
                For a lighter meal, very lightly grilled pieces of eggplant or zucchini are tasty. The slippery issue can be overcome by dusting them lightly in very very fine bread crumbs. The other option (as mentioned by another poster) is to spoon out the cheese goodness onto your chosen treat.
                There are tons of tasty options limited only by your creativity.
                Have fun!
                Just pay attention to the pairing of cheese to dippers.

          2. My parents lived in Switzerland for five years, and we ate numerous fondues, very yummy. For beef, I think the key is the dipping sauces. I'm sure it is not traditional, but I've got a chimichurri sauce in my fridge that I made the other day that I think that would be an excellent dipper.

            For cheese, I guess I'm kind of traditional, so crusty bread is my favorite. We always had fresh grated nutmeg and fresh ground pepper to dip the cheese and bread in, also.

            But I bet fondue would be delicious with blanched broccoli and/or cauliflower. Other veggies I think of either wouldn't stay on the fork, or wouldn't hold cheese. Of course, raclette is wonderful also, which is cheese toasted and eaten with little boiled potatoes, very delicious, but I don't think you could keep a potato on the fork in fondue-- also, I'm inclined to say raclette cheese goes better with potatoes, but that may all in my mind. Still, if I had boiled potatoes and fondue in the same room, I'd be spooning cheese onto my potatoes for sure. The cornichon that you eat with raclette are not eaten with fondue, perhaps the pickles and wine do not compliment each other.

            Now I have pulled a "Le Creuset Fondue Cookery" book off my shelf, it has all kinds of variations, including black currant fondue with cassis, into which you dip honeydew and other fruit; a recipe for prawns you dip in batter at the table and then into oil; a fondue made with apple cider and cheddar cheese, into which you dip apples, ham, and parsnip. They say you should dip apples, celery, and tomato wedges along with bread into traditional fondue. Another recipe involves brie, onions, chicken stock and cream, and you dip bread and button mushrooms.

            I'm getting hungry thinking about this. Let me know if you want any of the recipes.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Anne H

              Yeah - I'd like the brie fondue recipe. This reminds me of when I was in Neuchatel and went w/my friend on the funicular up to the local fondue retreat. Crusty bread, cornichons, small new potatoes, and white wine (to drink). Do you have a Trader Joe's where you live? They usually will have very small potatoes in a red mesh bag. Those would be perfect to parboil then skewer. You could even skewer cherry tomatoes. How about making large homemade garlic croutons then dip those into fondue or raclette YUM!! T.J.'s even sells the cheese fondue in a box. It's not bad...:) KQ

              1. re: Kitchen Queen

                I recall a wonderful fondue in Chillon, at the eastern end of Lake Geneva, after we had toured the very drafty but magnificent castle, and we went across the street (as I recall) and had a very alcoholic and incredibly delicious fondue, and a bottle of wine, which warmed us right up. I've never tried fondue with potatoes, but raclette is just wonderful. Though the electric cooker with individual little trays can't hold a candle to the Swiss method of melting it by a fire and scraping servings off the huge cheese wheel as they melt. Luckily, I was either too young for the fondue craze of the 60s, or it didn't make it to Central Ohio, so all of my associations with fondue are positive... My husband is not a crazy about fondue as I am, and so I have been known to make an individual serving in a pan on the stove for my lunch. The recipe you requested is below; I've never made it, but the cookbook it comes from looks terrific.

                French Brie and Onion Fondue

                2 oz butter
                2 medium onions, chopped fine
                1 oz flour
                1/2 pint chicken stock
                12 oz ripe Brie
                1/4 pint double cream
                2 T chopped parsley
                salt and pepper

                Melt the butter and saute the onions 10-15 minutes until softened and light golden.
                Sprinkle on the flour, and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring.
                Gradually add chicken stock, stirring until mixture thickens. Simmer 4-5 minutes.
                Meanwhile, cut off rind and slice brie thinly. Stir into stock mix, with the cream. Cook gently, stirring, until the mixture is smooth.
                Stir in salt, pepper, and parsley.

                Serve with French bread, mushrooms, garlic bread cubes, etc.

                1. re: Anne H

                  This sounds great -
                  I'm going up to Big Bear this coming weekend for a family rendevous-Parents, Brother, sister in law and the kids, My husband and child...Think I'll make this in the mountains. How sexy!!! I can dream of my days in Neuchatel! - 20 some odd years ago. :)KQ

            2. For cheese fondue we use crusty bread, apples, grapes and sometimes strawberries near the end. I really like the sweetness of the fruit paired w/ the salty, winey cheese.

              Have yet to like oil fondue. Just doesn't do it for me.

              1. I LOVE fondue, mainly cheese, but yet it seems I only have it once a year, around March when I know the licence to indulge in such foods is about to pass (it's damn expensive to make for one thing).
                But why are you torturing yourself like this in the summertime? This is when the living is easy and there's all this exciting and wonderful produce around us.
                When I first read your post, I immediately thought you meant chocolate fondue, which wouldn't be completely out of season now esp. since it could double as a hot fudge sauce for ice cream, have pieces of banana and strawberries to dip.
                OK Brooklynmasala, get yourself into Chinatown (the stalls under the Manhattan Bridge is one spot for sure) and get two bags of those plain cakes ($1 each)... the absolute #1 chocolate fondue dipping item. I think they're made for just that.

                1. from the 70's: canned mandarin orange segments for the choc fondue. Walker's shortbread fingers too. and pretzel rods.

                  sourdough for the cheese, along with slightly tart apple slices.

                  1. A very interesting, and new fondue treat for my family this summer, was freezing fruit and dipping it in melted chocolate or cheese fondue. The sensation of cold meets hot was really unique. We tried frozen green seedless grapes, whole strawberries, triangles of watermelon, large cubes of cantaloupe and honeydew and bananas chunks. The kids dunked using fruit fruit on wooden popsicle sticks (another kid friendly tip). Give it a try!