Delicious Dishes

Fondue Chinoise

You may think you know fondue, but if you haven’t tried Fondue Chinoise, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Fondue Chinoise is two meals in one. First, you create a broth in the pot. Then you take a piece of cheese, and wrap the cheese a piece of thinly shaved slice of meat. You submerge it in the broth and let it cook. Give it three or four minutes, then take it out of the broth, let it cool for a minute, and then pop the cheesy filled piece of meat in your mouth and go “mmmmmmmm!!!”

photo: Kae Yen Wong

photo: Kae Yen Wong

AND THEN, when you’re done dinner, you throw the leftover meat into the broth. Let it simmer and save it for the next day. It’s the most decadent, best beefy onion soup you’ll ever have. Toss in some cheese topped toast and you’ve got French Onion Soup.

What you need:

– 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 2 big bay leaves
– salt & pepper to taste
– 1 cup heavy red wine (or half cup win,e half cup brandy)
– one beef bouillon
– 6 cups water
– 2 large onions – halved and then sliced into long narrow strips, sauteed until deeply caramelized

Meat & Cheese
– 1 pound of cheese, cut to half-inch cubes: Jarlsberg, Swiss or Havarti are best
– 1/3 pound of meet, thinly sliced, per person – usually found in the meat or freezer section

What you do:

Put all contents of the broth into the fondue pot and get it simmering for an hour or two. You may need to top the pot off with water if you let it simmer long. You want to make sure that the onions are very caramelized as this will make the flavour really come out. You’ll get the best results by sauteeing the onions slowly, on medium-low heat in vegetable oil.

The fun of fondue (or “fun”due as my brother likes to say) is that everyone cooks and eats at their own pace. The fondue pot is placed in the middle of the table with a burner beneath on medium to keep the broth simmering. You wrap a piece of meat around the cheese and secure it on the fork (you can pre-roll them or have guests wrap up their own). Then put the fork into the pot for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the cheese has melted. Serve with some crust bread. And wine, this goes great with deep, rich red wine. You can also serve with a garlic aioli dip. It’s great for a dinner party or a family meal – or even an intimate dinner for two!

It’s hands-on and social. Depending on your family and friends, a little stealing may go on, but that’s only because it’s so delicious, and it’s hard to be patient waiting for those little morsels to cook up.

After cooking all that meat and cheese, the broth will be rich and flavourful. Dump the rest of the remaining meat into the broth and let it simmer. Serve the next day as soup, or you can add toasts with melted cheese and it makes the best French Onion Soup!

Thanks for the recipe AP. I’ve made it many, many times, it’s always a hit, and it always reminds me of you!