Like bell-bottoms, Fondue is back. The fun of serving fondue is communal eating and the variety of dipping sauces. We've got 5 here, but you can create your own. Let your imagination loose.
Beef: cube the meat shortly before ready to serve; otherwise, it will dry-out and toughen at the edges. Heat oil in a large pot on the stove till it begins to bubble. Carefully pour into a fondue pot, placed over an alcohol burner. The oil should fill the fondue half-way.
Serve: give each guest a long fondue fork to spear the meat cubes. Dip beef into the cooking oil: 30 seconds for rare; 60 seconds for well-done. Serve with salad, sauces (below), cornichons (see sidebar), and a loaf of crusty French bread to mop up sauces.
1. Bearnaise Sauce
In a small saucepan, heat first 6 ingredients. Continue cooking till reduced by half. Strain and cool. In a double boiler, beat eggs till frothy, add wine-vinegar mix, beating constantly. Make sure the upper bowl is not touching the water, and make sure the water is hot but not boiling. Begin adding butter, slowly, teaspoon by teaspoon, stirring vigorously to incorporate butter into a thick, creamy sauce. Pour into a warmed up bowl, sprinkle with fresh parsley or tarragon and serve hot or cold.
2. Horseradish Sauce
Combine and chill till ready to serve.
3. Mustard Sauce
In a small saucepan, heat first 3 ingredients. Stir constantly until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Shake flour and water together in a jar and add to mustard mix, stirring to incorporate. Simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in capers. Serve hot or cold.
4. Parsley & Chives Sauce
Mix ingredients and served chilled.
5. Tomato Provencal Sauce
Bring to a boil all ingredients, except capers, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add capers and serve hot or cold.
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.
Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.
Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.
Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.
Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.
Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.
Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.
Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
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