It’s that time of year where there are leftovers from your charcuterie board, the last bits of fruit not used in your pies and fruit salad and, of course, plenty of turkey and ham ready to be eaten. When planning out how to use up these remnants, make use of the cold nights at home and plan a fondue night for your family.
Fondue, a melted cheese dish served in a pot over a portable, heated stove and eaten by dipping food into the cheese, was first popularized by the Swiss Cheese Union to increase cheese consumption across Switzerland, before later introducing fondue to Americans at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. (Though, really, how do people need to be encouraged to eat more cheese?) A shareable meal, fondue is most likely found in restaurants or at parties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the cheesy goodness home.
Fondue has come to mean any dish in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of liquid kept hot in a fondue pot, mainly chocolate fondue to dip fruit or hot broth to cook pieces of meat. With the right cooking equipment, a ceramic or cast-iron, pot skewing forks, a burner, and trivets, fondue, whether cheese or otherwise, is easy to make and share with your favorite people for a pleasant night in.
To make cheese fondue, combine and melt butter, milk, and lots of cheese with cornstarch and your favorite spices as you put together a selection of foods to dip. While, traditionally, fondue in Switzerland is accompanied by a plate of pickles, pearl onions, and dried meats, when dipping in cheese, what food can’t you use?
Don’t be shy to experiment with what pairings go best with fondue when browsing your holiday leftovers. Select a variety of sliced fruits, crunchy greens, and diced potatoes, bread, and cured or prepared meats for dipping in a fondue pot or slow cooker. Just be careful not to eat so fast that you lose your manners, as fondue etiquette declares no double-dipping and no eating directly from the skewer. Sorry—you probably shouldn’t use your fingers, either!
While enjoying your holiday leftovers, come together with your family for a delicious night in over fondue.