Last night was to be Parent’s Night Out. However, you learn quickly as a parent to become flexible. So, when my son was kept home for two days with a nasty cold and my daughter started showing signs of the same symptoms, I knew Parent’s Night Out was becoming Parent’s Night In. Determined not to give into my evening entirely, I started scourging my cookbooks for something unusual and romantic. I completely struck out. Nothing appealed to me. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time and I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients on hand. I finally settled on cheddar cheese fondue, partially because it feels a little devious to eat a meal that doesn’t have the five food groups properly portioned out on a plate.
To make matters less creative, I decided to use the simplest cheddar cheese fondue recipe I have ever seen. Yes, The Melting Pot apparently gave out their recipe on an early morning show awhile back and a clever person had copied it down and posted it on food.com for the rest to copy when we have that craving for melted, gooey cheese and no way to leave the house!
Normally, when you try to make fondue, you start with a base, flavoring, and the worst part – the thickening agent. Whether it be corn starch or flour, no matter the recipe, this part of the task always ruins my fondue. I never get the consistency just right. But, the Melting Pot’s recipe has NO THICKENER! What? What? Yes, I said it, no thickening agent! It’s brilliant!
You start with a base of beef broth (or beer) and add in garlic and mustard powder. Then you add the cheese – the recipe says “a small amount”. I went with the reviewers and used 8oz of finely shredded sharp cheddar. Yea, I used the pre shredded grocery bag stuff – my budget has a limit too, you know!
Next you add in fresh ground pepper and Worcestershire sauce and fold that into the cheese. Pair with some fresh sourdough french bread or pumpernickel and cut up green apples, and I had a late night dinner ready in under 20 minutes. The dessert took a lot longer and we didn’t even eat it we were so full from the fondue, but more about recreating a chocolate peanut butter mousse cup from my favorite restaurant, Bern’s, in an upcoming post. Happy fonduing!