“Fun-due” for the Whole Family

The term ‘One-Pot Meal’ usually congers up images of hearty Irish lamb stew or spicy chicken curry, but perhaps not as often, the idea of a cheese fondue. That is unfortunate, because a fondue is a perfect dish to linger over with your family during cold winter evenings and dirties only one lonesome pot in the making.

We ate traditional Swiss fondue regularly before we had children, but when my son’s palate turned out to be not favorable to strong cheese (and nearly everything else, but that’s beside the point), I gave up on attempting a happy family meal of fondue. Fortunately, Lynn, a wise mother of five, worked the kinks out of this recipe and developed it to be practically irresistible to small hands. Talk about a winner!

This recipe is proof that children’s food doesn’t have to be limited to mac & cheese. As you will notice, children will find the fondue forks irresistible fun. What better way to get them to eat their veggies than to coat them in cheese sauce?

Notes

  • Don’t be put-off by the richness of the recipe, remember that the accompaniments such as small boiled potatoes, steamed broccoli and cooked shrimp help to make this a well-balanced meal. Serve with a tossed salad, if you like.
  • Much of the meal can be prepared in advance, like grating the cheese and fixing the ‘dunkers’, and fondue becomes a quick and easy fix for dinner. How perfect for an apres-ski or afternoon of sledding.
  • Don’t worry if you are missing the ‘gear’ for fondue. Sure it’s fun to haul out the pot and those special long forks, but more often than not, I just bring the bubbling pot of melted cheese to the table and everyone digs in. Leaving the fondue in the pot is more convenient for reheating as well, but who am I kidding, it never lasts long enough to warrant a reheat!
  • While stirring the bubble pot of melted cheese is a grown-ups job, little hands can still help to grate cheese, wipe mushrooms clean, or peel shrimp.

Cheddar Cheese Fondue

Via Lynn, adapted from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated

  • 2 cups half-and-half, or light cream
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1-1/2 pounds mild or sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 6 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • Crusty bread, cubed
  • Accompaniments of choice (see below)

1- In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat half-and-half, Worcestershire, mustard and garlic, stirring until hot but not boiling. Discard garlic.

2- In a medium bowl, toss the cheese with the flour until well mixed.

3- Gradually stir the cheese into the hot mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth and bubbling. Add salt to taste. Pour into a warmed fondue pot and keep over low heat on fondue stand. Serve at once.

4- Spear dunkers on fondue forks, dip in cheese sauce, and try not to drip!

Any leftover cheese can be gently reheated and poured over vegetables or baked potatoes.

Extra suggestions for ‘dunkers':

  • ham, cubed
  • cooked shrimp
  • sausage chunks such as Kolbassa
  • steamed broccoli
  • steamed cauliflower
  • green apple chunks
  • button mushrooms
  • asparagus spears
  • brussels sprouts, halved and steamed
  • small boiled potatoes

Have you given up a favorite meal since becoming a parent? Do share and perhaps we can help bring it back.

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About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. Yum! We had fondue for Valentine’s Day, and the kids were thrilled. Of course, they really preferred the bourguignonne to the cheese sauce that we wouldn’t let them do alone, which left me managing about 8 skewers in the pot at once, but oh it was worth it.
    .-= Shaina’s last blog: Kugelhopf, My Grandma’s Way =-.

  2. Looks delicous. The recipe is similar to my favorite cheddar fondue recipe, but that one calls for quite a bit of beer. Not exactly kid friendly! :)
    .-= Kare’s last blog: Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing =-.

    • Kare, before I found this recipe, I always made one that engulfed an entire bottle of white wine. Again, not so kid friendly!
      I still make it on occasion (it’s fantastic) but after the little ones are in bed!

  3. Yay! I love this idea so much! My son is a little young yet to be dipping anything into a pot.. but I am thinking that I will cut some extra small stuff for him and poor the sauce over top. That way everybody wins. :) Can’t wait to try it!

  4. We LOVE fondue and haven’t pulled out our pot in a while. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I love this. We are big fans of fondue as well, but have the issue of the strong-cheese-dislike as well. Perhaps this could be the answer to our problems. Thanks so much for another fab idea!
    .-= Jan (Family Bites)’s last blog: Chicken-Club Pizza =-.

  6. Oh my goodness, Aimee, this looks sooo good. When we’re back to normalcy and have a kitchen of our own, we’re definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing!

    Favorite meal…. Perhaps anything that takes more than a few steps to create? Lame, I know, but I feel like I’ve been in survival cook mode for a few years now. I miss creative cooking.
    .-= Tsh’s last blog: The Things You Don’t Need (But They Say You Do) For a New Baby =-.

  7. Delicious! I love that first picture where you can see all the vegetables waiting to be dipped in the reflection….yum!
    .-= Nutmeg Nanny’s last blog: Out and About: NYC =-.

  8. A great idea, my kids always loved doing the fondu thing. In your first photo, that forked tidbit sure looks like a marshmallow. Hmmm? Dessert fondues are great fun too, using a plain custard instead of the super rich chocolate ones.

  9. My kids often request fondue for their birthday dinner, or I make it for special occasions, like Christmas eve supper.
    .-= Jennifer Jo’s last blog: The morning after =-.

  10. This looks like so much FUN! :-) My kids, even my oldest who can be a tad on the picky side, LOVE to dip things – oh the potential this has!

    Now, I’ve never made fondue before, so I’m just going to make it on the stove for now and serve it in the pot like suggested :-) But, for future reference: what does one look for in a fondue pot when purchasing? Thanks!
    .-= Kara’s last blog: Today on Simple Homeschool: At the Heart of Homeschooling =-.

    • Good question, Kara. I was fortunate to receive mine as gifts, and haven’t exactly scoped out the market for fondue pots; however a heavy bottom is a must to prevent scorching!
      .-= Aimee’s last blog: Weekend Links =-.

  11. I love fondue but always think of it as a party food. I think my husband would be thrilled to find fondue night as one of our dinners.
    .-= Melissa’s last blog: Decadent Double-Chocolate Brownie Torte =-.

  12. We are adding this recipe to our meal plan this week! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks!

  13. Looks delicious! Great idea for “dunking” veggies.

  14. Oh My I think I know what we will be having for dinner tonight!!!
    Thanks for this wonderful idea!

  15. Wow! I think my picky 2-year old would really get into this. I’ve always thought of fondue as fancy food that takes lots of prep, but this is just as easy as the mac & cheese sauce my son helped me make for lunch the other day. And he ate that… This is on the menu for next week (’cause this week’s plan is already solid!).
    .-= Alissa’s last blog: What’s Working =-.

  16. We do fondue for Christmas or Christmas Eve every year. This year’s favorite with the kids was a Pizza Fondue, where we dipped cheese cubes, bread and pizza “toppings” into a fondue of a homemade meat-filled pizza sauce.
    http://noemptychairs.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/four-fun-fondues/
    .-= Kelly’s last blog: Cinnamon Twists =-.

  17. I love this. I just have to remember the recipe for when it’s not 100 degrees every day here in Baltimore. I think this is going to be a winner with my family. Husband likes dipping things and my oldest like cheese.
    Stephanie’s last post: Peter Piper

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