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Cheesy dinner

Cheesy dinner

challenge:
fun ideas for a fondue night

This year, Canadian families have been eating at home more than ever before. And while this has numerous benefits, it can also mean that coming up with creative meal ideas can be a little tricky. So, if you’ve been running low on meal inspiration and are asking yourself yet again what to make tonight, look no further than this article! A rich, creamy fondue might be just the answer. As the cold weather approaches, this decadent meal is a satisfying way to keep cozy and combat cooler temperatures. Plus, your kids will seriously love it! In this article, we'll go over some of the best tips for serving up this magnificently delicious and classic dish.

Get all your parts in order

Cheese fondue is a creamy mixture made of melted cheese that also happens to be one of life's little pleasures. But, before getting started with the actual preparation of the fondue recipe, you'll need a few necessary pieces of kitchen equipment to ensure you're delivering the creamiest, dreamiest results possible.

First things first: You'll need the proper pot! Seek out either a stainless steel or ceramic pot to ensure your cheese gets properly melted. Usually, these pots have two handles for easy transport. Most come with a stand so you can heat the cheese over an open flame. Just a quick note: In preparing a chocolate fondue, a tea light is usually all that's needed to ensure the mixture maintains a silky consistency. Unfortunately, the tea light method is unreliable for cheese fondue as it isn't a strong enough heat source. For the cheese fondue, you'll need a burner instead, which keeps the cheese exposed to heat for a long time giving it that smoother consistency. Some electric fondue sets keep your cheese mix consistently warm throughout the evening. Once you've gathered all these components, you're ready to get started and make that coveted fondue course.

You've got (dipping) options

Now that you've decided that you'll be making this dish to serve to the kids or simply to enjoy as a dinner for two, we’re certain that the fondue ideas are a-flowing! But before you go ahead and start melting the cheese, you're going to need to decide what foods to serve with your fondue. Unsurprisingly, fondue goes with so many of your favourite ingredients. Below are some of our most satisfying suggestions:

  • The most classic of all ingredients is a crusty baguette torn into chunks — melted cheese-soaked bread is one of life's greatest little pleasures!
  • Balance out decadent cheese with tart ingredients like crisp apples and fresh pears, some of fall's favourite seasonal harvests.
  • Many enjoy cured meats with their fondue — find a wide array in the deli section and stock up on some of your favourites, then get ready to dip generously.
  • Fans of fondue know that one of the most delicious pairings is potatoes. Whether you prefer crispy roasted potatoes or boiled potatoes for their softer texture, the result is sure to be satisfying.
  • Serve up some variety in the form of crunchy pickled foods, like deli pickles, classic French gherkins, even pickled onions, all of which are delicious when fondue-dipped.
  • Looking to work some veggies into the evening's menu? Cooked or raw vegetables — anything from broccoli, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes — are well-suited for a cheese fondue.

A recipe for fondue success

If you're brand new to the art of fondue, follow these tips to ensure your dish is a success that'll surely impress your family. Whether you're going for that classic Swiss cheese fondue or want to come up with your inventive recipe, we've got you covered.

First off, you're probably wondering just how much cheese is needed to yield enough fondue for a dinner party. That quantity will depend on how many guests will be in attendance, as well as what course you intend on serving this for. If you want your fondue to start the meal off as an appetizer course, plan for approximately 100 grams of cheese per person. But if you plan on serving the fondue as your main dish, double that amount.

When it comes time to prepare the fondue, you’ll want a simple-to-follow recipe, especially if you’re a first-timer. This easy Cheddar and beer fondue recipe with Armstrong Old Cheddar is a mouth-wateringly easy cheese fondue recipe. It even features a surprise ingredient, a dollop of Dijon mustard, which gives every bite of creamy cheese a hit of acidity. That tang can go a long way when serving something as velvety-rich as cheese.

Ready to start making the dish? There are only a few rules to remember when it comes to fondue. Using more customary cheeses, like Swiss cheese as a base to your fondue, will satisfy your guests. But if you want to skip the classic fondue savoyarde recipe in service of something more unique, try mixing it up with using cheese choices that can be easily found at your local grocery store.

Classic Cheddar has a milder profile and broad appeal, so it’s bound to be a hit amongst your guests. For those who like their fondue with a sharpness to it, try making it with an Old Cheddar Cheese block, or for extra bite, try it with Extra Old white Cheddar Cheese, which will infuse your fondue with a richness and depth that's memorably delicious.

Kick things up with smoky or spicy cheeses — for this, the Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapeño or Tex Mex Spicy shredded cheese adds zest to any traditional cheese dish. Finally, Smoky Spicy shredded cheese has a lingering smoky flavour that can add richness and complexity to your fondue’s body.

These are just some ideas — but when it comes to fondue night, you have the freedom to do as you please.

Too thick? Try this

It's rich. It's creamy. It's utterly delectable. All in all, there’s far too much to love about fondue. Perhaps one of its few drawbacks is its tendency to harden or clump up as the cheese cools down. Luckily, there’s a fix for getting the creamy texture back. First, try increasing the heat of the burner to melt the cheese back down. You can also dilute the fondue with more alcohol using the beer or wine you first used to prepare the dish. Beyond helping its texture "loosen up," this step also revives the flavour. If all else fails, the microwave is a quick fix and can melt the cheese back down to its former glory. Second helpings, anyone?

The recipe to an unforgettable soirée starts with some key ingredients: delicious food, a little creative thinking in the kitchen, and sharing a delightful meal with your loved ones. After fondue night, it’s time for a fiesta, so when you’re ready to cook up something creative next, we invite you to check out our Mexican fiesta blog post for all the tips you need to have a tasty time!