Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fondue for Date Night!

Date Night

Last weekend I was in the mood to make something totally different, something beyond the norm of a workweek and something that I can really dig into. And dig I did. I had made fondue before when I had a fondue party for my old dogpark committee. That was probably about 7 years ago! Wow... what took me so long to do it again? Good question.

So off to create my surf and turf fondue night. For my meat selection, I chose sirloin steaks and medium shrimp. I cut the steak into cubes for easy dipping. I also purchased some Parmesan and herb bread from Harmon's grocery that I cubed as well (for the cheese fondue mentioned later in this post). I had the perfect serving dish for it too.
Date Night
For my broth, I combined the following
2 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup dry white wine
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste

To cook, simmer the above ingredients in a saucepan for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 2 hours. Yes, two hours. The time is needed to allow the flavors to blend. Then just before you are ready to serve, strain into a fondue pot and bring to a boil. A lot of meat fondues use oil instead of broth. I find it makes the meat way too heavy and using broth cuts way down on calories. 
Date Night

Meanwhile, which my beef broth was blending, I made three sauces to dip my meat into. The first was a combo of 1/4 cup fat free sour cream and some adobo sauce mixed in. If you like hot spicy, use a lot of adobo. If not, just a bit will do. Chill until ready to serve. 

Another sauce I made was a horseradish sauce. All I used were 1/4 fat free sour cream, 1 Tablespoon strained prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and a dash of paprika. Paprika is a strong flavor for me so I used a mini-dash. Chill until ready to serve.

The final was a Roquefort butter for the beef. It only took 1 oz Roquefort cheese, 1/8 cup butter (softened), 1 teaspoon of brown mustard, 1 small clove of garlic (crushed) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. You can make this just before you are ready to eat. 

What's a fondue meal without a cheese fondue to dip the bread? I love cheese fondue and I can actually say that I have made cheese fondue in Switzerland! Really! What an amazing experience that was.
Date Night
Here is the recipe for my cheese fondue
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
salt to taste
dash of Cholula hot sauce
1/2 cup fat free half and half
3 oz Swiss cheese, cubed
3 oz fontina cheese, cubed
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup good beer

For nutrition information on the cheese fondue, click the magic button  

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and seasonings and let it bubble. It will look like paste or at least it did for me. Remove from heat and slowly add in half and half. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheese and sherry and stir until cheese is melted. Blend in the beer and serve.

Since we only could find one of our fondue pots, we used the fondue pot for the broth since it needed to stay super hot for cooking the meat. We got creative for the cheese. I set the oven to 350 and basically "cooked" a baking dish until the dish was hot. I served the cheese in that and it kept it hot. Be sure to use a hot plate.
Date Night
There you have it! It's a bit complicated and takes some time and planning, but worth it for a nice date night at home. I added a salad and some white wine and it was just hubby and I, having fun creating our dinner together and having some much needed one-on-one time.  When is your next date night? What do you do to spend some romantic time with your spouse or significant other? Let me know!
Date Night

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