Though plenty of people choose to eat out for Valentine's Day, there's something romantic about dining in, but making a meal that is a little out of the ordinary to celebrate love and friendship. Fondue is a great option for this night, whether you're in a relationship or not -- it's a fun, communal food that definitely isn't anyone's regular Monday night dinner.
If you've never tried fondue before, Michelle Ann Gelder of Cooking Recipe provides a good overview of the process. And Caroline Begin of Chicken Soup Recipe provides an excellent step-by-step guide to having an oil- or broth-based fondue party at home, which is a fun way to feed the entire family.
Jane Evans Bonacci of The Heritage Cook provides a side of history with her Orange-Chocolate Fondue recipe:
Fondue was created in Switzerland in the 1700’s and has become a worldwide favorite. Remote Swiss villages were often cut off from large towns during long winters, making it challenging to find fresh foods. They relied on easily stored items like bread and cheese, put up during the summer in preparation for winter. Warmed stale cheese is much more palatable; when you dip stale bread in it, the bread is softened and together they make a delightful meal. Once the concept was born, it was only a matter of time before it was expanded to incorporate another great Swiss product, chocolate.
Tenaya of Madame Fromage uses her grandmother's authentic Swiss fondue recipe and shares one of the tips that makes it great:
My grandmother made fondue every winter when we visited her in Cleveland. She gathered all her leftover hunks of Alpine cheese, grated them, reached far back into her cupboard for her one bottle of kirsch, and then snapped a garlic clove in half to rub down the inside of the fondue pot. That, I learned, was the key. A good scouring of garlic.
Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen shares another critical tip for making a smooth bath of cheese with her Aged Cheddar & Guinness Fondue recipe:
The secret to a smooth cheese mixture is to toss the flour with the grated cheese before adding it to the fondue pot. This method evenly distributes the flour (which serves as the thickener) and prevents lumpy fondue! The unexpected ingredient is apple juice concentrate – which balances out the Guinness and aged cheddar beautifully with a hint of sweetness. The acidity also helps create a smooth, creamy cheese. Just a great combo of flavors.
If you're looking to try a main course fondue recipe, the Fondue Coq Au Vin recipe shared by Julie of Mommie Cooks is a terrific option. "I love being able to cook my dinner right at the table and subsequently dunk it into all the delicious sauces," Julie writes.
There's no question Tiffany of The Gracious Pantry is passionate about chocolate:
Maybe it’s the German in me, but I really believe that chocolate should be its own food group. What better gift could you possibly get for Valentine’s Day?! After all, chocolate is an aphrodisiac. It inspires passion and all the wonderful things that come with love.
Tiffany shares her Clean Eating Chocolate Fondue recipe, which is written so you can customize it for the number of people who will be dipping fresh and dried fruit into the pot.
Here are some additional fondue recipes to consider when planning your evening:
- Kosher Fondue to Melt the Snow by Elizabeth Brand of Kosher Cheese with the Cheese Mistress
- Cheese Fondue (non-alcoholic) by Sara of Sara's Recipe Spot
- Eggnog Fondue by Mel of Gayer Family Recipes
- Mt. Gretna Chocolate Fondue and Easy Chocolate Bar Fondue by Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations
Are you a fondue fan? Share your recipe suggestions and stories in the comments below!
Photo credit: Photo by titlap, shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.