Hosting a Fondue Party

Consider hosting a fondue party the next time you're planning a get-together. Fondue parties cut down on your prep time, and the food is delicious. If guests don't know each other that well, the act of communal eating offers an immediate conversation topic. It's the ultimate in social dinner experiences. Here's how to do it right.

Fondue Courses
Plan a three-course fondue meal. The first course is cheese fondue, the second course is the meat and veggies and the dessert is chocolate fondue, of course. With these ideas in mind, you have many options when it comes to flavors, so be sure to be creative in your selections.

Number of Pots You Need
For the most comfortable fondue experience, have one pot per every four guests. Fondue pots with the Sterno can beneath are easiest to use, as electric fondue pots have cords that you need to find an outlet for. Avoid long cords unless you tape them down because a guest could trip and get scalded. That's a fast way to end a fondue party.

Supplies You Need
Fondue pots and long skewers with wooden or rubberized handles are best. You can also use bamboo skewers. It's important that the skewers have different color tops so guests can know whose is whose. For bamboo skewers, just mark the top with a different color marker. If using a Sterno fondue pot, be sure to get a can of Sterno for each pot. One can should last through all courses. You will also need a slotted spoon for fishing out dropped food items for each pot. Provide bowls for sauces, a serving platter for each course and plates for each guest should do it.

Fondue Food

  • Cheese Fondue: Try a combination of cheeses, including gouda, gorgonzola, and gruyere or the basic Swiss cheese. Mix the grated cheese with some white wine and stir all in the hot fondue pot until melted. To dip in the cheese: sliced apple, sliced pear, cubed bread, florets of broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Broth Fondue: Although the main fondue course often calls for oil, broth is healthier and still flavorful. Go with beef or vegetable broth seasoned with a splash of wine and your herbs of choice. Prepare cubed meats (preseason if desired), shrimp, scallops, vegetables and potato chunks. Remind the guests that meats, vegetables and seafood have different cooking times, so combining them on the same skewer is not advisable. Be sure meat is cooked through before eating. Set out cocktail, horseradish and teriyaki sauces for dipping.
  • Chocolate Fondue: A mixture of chocolates makes a rich fondue. Try a little white chocolate with milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Splash in a little liquor if you want to jazz it up. Some chocolates need oil added for a smooth consistency when melting, so find a good chocolate fondue recipe first. Dip in cherries, marshmallows, pound cake, grapes, pretzel rods, strawberries, pineapple and banana slices.
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