My sister and her kids gave my little family two fondue pots for Christmas, one is for chocolate and is kept warm with a candle and the other is cast iron enamel and heavy duty. Came with a cook book, too, and that’s where I discovered some new uses for a fondue pot that I had never considered.
For instance, there is this thing called Asian hot pot, which no doubt you’ve all heard of but I had not. In any case, we had it for New Year’s Eve supper. We cleaned and sliced a ton of veggies and arranged them on a platter — oh so artistically — and we cut some chicken and some beef very thinly on the bias, so to speak. I heated veggie broth until it was boiling and separately cooked some Chinese noodles, which I made into little nests in individual bowls for each of us, with sliced green onions on top.
We sat around the fondue pot and dipped our meat and veggies into the hot broth to cook it, nibbling as we went. I made a few sauces for dipping: hoisin, terriyaki, garlic and ginger, Thai peanut.
AWESOME! And as far as Weight Watchers goes, this was tops, I tell you. First, it’s very healthful eating with all those vegetables and lean meat. Second, it takes so long to cook the whole meal, one bit at a time, that you eat less but are still full. Third, it is ever so charming to sit around such a flaming contraption chatting and eating — it is supposed (according to the cookbook) to be reminiscent of cave days. Communal living and all. Which is why one never fondues alone
Of course, knowing I was having such a low-point supper, I knew I’d have time for those 10 points of cheese fondue in the other pot, but, hey, it was New Year’s Eve (and I had the points saved anyway). My ten-year-old son went absolutely nuts for the cheese fondue. When I was a kid, fondue was all the rage. Funny how the wheel turns. Here we are again.
Did you know that you are SUPPOSED to scrape the browned bits of cheese off of the bottom of the fondue pot after you are done? Seriusly. It’s a rule! It’s not something to do in secret. No, this is the bit that is to be given to the guest of honor. Or broken up and distributed among all guests. We all took a bit, though I teased my son by saying that I was giving it all to Daddy. Anyway, that bit of browned cheese … heaven! It pops right up with a fork, just like the goofy old book said.
I wonder if they have fondue in Peru. Maybe I’ll find out. Leaving in just one more day!