Sunday, November 2, 2014

Let’s Have Some Fondue Fun!

Fondue Cookbook Rick Rodgers

November is no slouch when it comes to food celebrations. Granted, it may not have as many monthly celebrations as October but Peanut Butter Month, Pepper Month and Pomegranate Month are just a few food holidays celebrated the entire month of November. I guess I should mention National Bread Month AND National Raisin Bread Month as well. All fun causes don’t you think?

And then there’s Fun with Fondue Month! Do you fondue? I’m a fonduee from way back. But you know that already because we’ve celebrated fonduing on more than one occasion on this blog. I think the most memorable was National Chocolate Fondue Day back in February when I shared a recipe for Mt. Gretna Chocolate Fondue. Oh yum!

Although I’ve been fonduing since the 70s, I’m not as ancient as the first fondue record I discovered in a book titled American Meat Cooking by Jessup Whitehead. I found this rather “curious recipe” for Fish Fondue in the second edition published in 1884!

Fish Fondue

Chef Jessup has a list of cookbooks to his credit. He was an influential food columnist for Chicago’s Daily National Hotel Reporter and "Chef de Cuisine" at Hotel Monte Sano in Alabama, which opened its doors in 1887.

Oh, and in case your wondering about the rest of that Fish Fondue recipe, here it is:

Fondues sure have come a long way! Even the fondue recipes of the 60s and 70s were a bit more creative than fishy mac and cheese, lol…Don’t get me wrong, some of those “retro” recipes are horrid, fondue or no fondue! Some haven’t change much at all. Take this Noodles Alfredo Fondue recipe I found in The Fondue and Buffet Cookbook from the Southern Living Cookbook Library published in 1972. The coolest thing about this recipe is the fondue pot which is the reason why I chose it:)

Noodles Alfredo Fondue

I was always under the impression that fondue pots were a modernized replica of the chafing dish which has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. Asian Hot Pots would also fall into the same category when you consider Janet Mckenzie Hill’s explanation in her book Practical Cooking and Serving: A Complete Manual of how to Select, Prepare and Serve Food,

The origin of the chafing-dish dates back to the period of unwritten history. Its use was common at least two thousand years ago. Like the brazier, chafing-dishes were once made of bronze and rested on the floor. As occasion demanded they were carried from room to room by means of handles on the sides...the Greeks and Romans—a saucepan of Corinthian brass—was also a species of chafing-dish, having several features of the modern chafing-dish...All of these appliances were a combination of sauce-pan and heat generator. Formerly the heat was supplied by live wood coals or the flame of burning oil. The ancient dishes were intended for gentle cooking or simmering, and for keeping hot food that had been cooked by other means. This is the rightful province of the modern chafing-dish and all other cooking, save that of a gentle simmering, should be left for some more appropriate utensil. This degree of heat, that of simmering, is well adapted to the cooking of eggs, oysters, and cheese, and the reheating of cooked materials in a sauce, the sauce having been first made in the blazer of the chafing-dish.
The blazer, a hot-water pan and a lamp are the indispensable parts of the chafing-dish—the hot-water pan is some, times though erroneously, omitted. A tray upon which the dish may rest, while the lamp is lighted, insures the tablecloth against fire from below.

Many of us think cheese when planning a fondue party. (National Cheese Fondue Day is April 11:) It’s understandable. When you have “played” at a Cheese Fondue of any kind, it isn’t one you quickly forget. Yes, with the right amount of people dunking away at all that melted goodness; ooo la la! But, there are meat fondues too that can be just as much fun. Imagine two fondue pots lighting up the night? Where cheese fondue pots are usually made of ceramic or pottery to help prevent the cheese from scorching, fondue pots used for cooking meat are most often made of metal. Metal fondue pots absorb the heat of the hot oil to cook the meat. Meat fondues are usually served with a selection of tasty sauces. Here’s an International Fondue also from Southern Living. (1972)

Fondue Recipes

See that Fondue Cookbook waaaay up at the top? It was published in 1998. I must say, that Fondue book by Rick Rodgers really manages to introduce the fondue in a whole new light. From the inside cover:

…Rediscover the pleasure of cooking food at the table with your friends and family with contemporary flavors and ingredients-roast garlic, fresh ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and expresso-are stirred into today’s fondue pot…If you love the classic cheese version try dipping shrimp or artichoke hearts into Italian Fontina and Porcini Fondue…

His book isn’t very big and doesn’t have more than perhaps 50 recipes but, it does give the “newbie” a fairly good introduction to the art of fonduing (I know I’m really pushing my misspelling with these fondue words:) in the present. I’m sure there have been fondue books published since his book but, if you happen to see it at a low price somewhere, pick it up! Here are two sample recipes. It was difficult to choose but I went with the Caribbean Edam and Habanero Chile Fondue and German Sausage Fondue with Apple Mustard Butter because they were the easiest to adjust to page size:) I didn’t include the Hot and Sweet Mustard or Quick BBQ Sauce recipes because they were pretty typical recipes.

Edam Habanero Chile Fondue RecipeApple Butter Mustard

And for you Hot Pot aficionados we have a Japanese Chicken Noodle Hot Pot with Ponzu Dipping Sauce to warm up those future chilly evenings:)

Ponzu Dipping Sauce

I’m so excited to finally present the finished logo I created for Cookbook Wednesday. Frankly, I stink when it comes to graphic anything. Sure, this logo looks basic and simplified, but let me tell you, I spent hours trying to make it. However, the challenge was fun most of the time and I still have all of my hair, lol…I do hope you will dig out those cookbooks and join us. They don’t have to be old, new, or fancy. That’s the thing about cookbooks that we love. No matter what they look like on the outside, or even how splashed their signatures might be on the inside, they hold cherished memories as well as favorite recipes. Grab the logo; Share Your Favorites! And, Wiggle Those Toes while you’re at it!

Previous Fondue Posts
1. A French Almond Custard Fondue right out of Betty Crocker's recipe file.
2. Chocolate Fondue
3. Pizza Fondue from Winners; Winning Recipes from the Junior League of Indianapolis (1985)
4. Brillat-Savarin's Fondue
5. Ode to Janet Mckenzie Hill


  1. My mother got into the fondue craze in the 1970s. I wasn't that big a fan, myself. But there is something appealing about putting ingredients on the table and letting everyone cook their own, one bite at a time, isn't there?

    1. I wish I still had my fondue pots from the 70s, Marjie...I had that popular green color back then. I think they called it avocado. There is a measure of intimacy when everyone gathers at the fondue table Marjie but usually it is best to stick to around 6 people.

  2. Good evening Louise !
    I love to fondue and these recipes is so mouth watering . The fish fondue sounds interesting , got to try it , love all the ingredients . Now for the Caribbean Edam Habanero Chile Fondue , now you know I am going to try that one for sure , love the heat (giggling) . The German Sausage Fondue with apple butter is a winner also . I grab the Logo and a job well done .
    This was a great read and very interesting post on fondue and I am pinning it all , Thanks for sharing and so glad you still have all your hair (Laughing my butt off) wiggle, wiggle those toes . ;-D ~Nee~

    1. So glad you liked this post, Nee. It was such fun to share. I'm really liking that German Sausage Fondue. I'm going to have to go out to the shed and see if I have a fondue pot back there:)

  3. I remember when fondue was alll the rage and we all needed a fondue pot :-) I really enjoy a good fondue and it can make for an absolutely delightful meal. A good dessert fondue is fabulous too.


    1. A Fondue Party is so much fun, Velva. I'm in for a good dessert fondue!

  4. We lived on fondue when I was in college! It was my favorite thing to make.

  5. I'm pretty sure Marjie and I had the same mother... I do enjoy fondue as an appetizer or dessert though.

    1. It's all about the guests too when it comes to a good fondue, Channon...We should try it, lol...

  6. I remember going to parties in the 70s and having fondue. Chocolate was a popular one that I remember.

    1. Chocolate fondues are still the favorite Dawn but I'm pretty sure cheese fondues are a close second:)

  7. Hi ~~Louise~~....
    I hosted many a fondue dinner in the mid 70's!
    Such a great way to enjoy a meal with friends...
    You always find all the info on everything....good job!
    Great post!
    Enjoy your week...
    Linda :o)

  8. Hi Louise,
    So cool! I love to Fondue! Years ago we used to have Fondue parties all the time. Fondueing seems to have moved on, but I agree with that we have to bring back the pots and Fondue! Loved your cookbook and all the recipes. They sounds so good and yummy! It makes me want to pull out my Fondue pot from storage and give a go at it. My favorite thing was cheese especially swiss cheese and also chocolate. (with fruit) I love the Logo you made for "Cookbook Wednesday", it looks like you put a lot of effort in creating this perfect widget. Wonderful post full of info and brings back memories of a time long ago! Have a blessed week!
    Dottie :)

  9. Hi Louise. wow so many food celebrations in the month of November. Well, it's the end of the year now and we seem to be getting heavier too, hahaha... During such celebrations, it's usually parties everywhere be it fondue, bbq, hot pot, steamed boat, etc, we just like the idea of getting together and sitting around having food with friends. Naturally, the food also taste better in the company of good friends. Thanks for sharing about fondue and hope to have it with you one day too. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead and warmest regards :)

  10. Louise I love fondue and I have also the appropriate gadget for it. Thank you for all the different versions you listed, some of them gave me lots of ideas!

  11. Such interesting ideas! I don't think I ever even bothered thinking that there might be other kinds of fondue beside chocolate :D

  12. A lovely post. I love all types of fondues, but especially Swiss cheese fondue and fondue Bourgignonne.

    Have a wonderful week!



  13. I wish I had my mother's orange fondue pot (in the best 70s color).

  14. I love that Brillat-Savarin post you linked to from your early blogging days! We once tried chocolate fondue for Thanksgiving ... too rich!

  15. Lovely post! Definitely love to try fondue with many flavours :D

  16. I used to fondue when I was younger, but that was a long, long time ago. :-) I should do a fondue again -- they really are good. Fun post, and like the Cookbook Wednesday logo.And yes, I'm wiggling my toes!

  17. Fondue seems to be back on trend! I remember having them in the 80s. It is such a nice way to share food, great as a socializing tool. I guess cheese and chocolate have to be the most trendy ones!

  18. There's a restaurant around town that serves their meals fondue style that I've always wanted to try. We don't have a fondue pot, but I bet they would be neat to have for entertaining. My kids always go crazy for the white chocolate fondue at the buffet.

  19. fish fondue might be the most repulsive thing i've imagined for a while! not my cup of tea, for sure. :)

  20. Noodles fondue?? You got me, Louise! I've tried cheese & chocolates, but noodles is unheard of.........

  21. Hi Louise, thanks for sharing about fondue. Fish fondue, noodles fondue has never cross my mind. Here, I do see cheese fondue introduced by some cafes here but very rare. Most common is the fruits & chocolate fondue. Sometimes, I have this at home too using a cute mini fondue pot with 4 little small skewers.
    The logo you've created for Cookbook Wednesday ....thank you, I like it. Appreciated your time and effort. Okay, shall dig up any more cookbooks to join ... yes .. let them be 'uncovered' and 'discovered'.
    Have a great week ahead.

  22. Hi Louise, love it! Though I don't think I have ever heard of bread and cheese soup before, sorry to tell the guys at the UN.

  23. Ooooo, I was just thinking it's time for a new fondue recipe! My youngest is doing a play every weekend in December this year (including New Year's Eve) so our usual fondue New Years will need to move. Sounds like a reason to try something new! I'll be sure to consult your fondue Pinterest board!

  24. Hi Louise, very impressive posting. Love to drop by cos you always got something interesting and classic to share with us. Love this posting too, very interesting information. I love hotpot meal and chocolate fondue... but yet to try cheese fondue. Your fish fondue is something new to me, sound interesting.

    It's year end. Lots of party, wedding and all the jazz and our waistline going to split LOL
    After this posting, glad to know that you still have all your hair. hahaha....

    Have a lovely week, warmest regards.

    P/S Thank you for your kind thoughts, I certainly would love to have some autumn leaves, walnuts and acorns from you. Especially the acorns... it's so cute and great for craft works. hehehe.....


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise