Caroline here with the fourth issue of Fun with Fondue. This month, we'll cover serving sizes for broth and oil fondue.
If you've missed last month's issue, you can read more about cheese fondue serving sizes or have a peak at next month's discussion about serving sizes for dessert fondue.
Monthly Fondue Tip - Serving Sizes - Part 2
Hot broth and oil fondue is normally enjoyed as a full meal. Because you and your guests will be cooking various meats, seafood and/or vegetables, you'll need to have enough liquid (broth or oil) to make it happen and you should also have dips available, so your guests can add extra flavor to the cooked items.
Cooking Liquid - Broth or Oil
Exact quantities of broth or oil can't really be provided as those are dictated by the size of your fondue pot, but the following guidelines should be helpful:
Broth will evaporate fairly quickly so you should prepare enough to fill your pot 1.5 times. Broth doesn't splatter like oil, so you can fill it up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top (to allow enough room for your dippers to cook). I prepare my broth on the stove top, transfer some to my fondue pot, then leave the rest on the stove top (element off, but with the lid on) to keep it warm. When I need to add liquid to the fondue pot, I bring the extra liquid to a boil on the stovetop, then carefully top up the fondue pot.
Oil can splatter, so it's best to pour just enough to fill about 2/3 of your fondue pot. Use a splatter guard if your pot came with one. Oil will not evaporate as quickly, but it will still get absorbed by your dippers, especially if they are breaded. Because oil and fire don't mix well, I avoid topping up the pot during a meal, but if needed, I tend to wait until the burner runs out of fuel. I move the burner out of the way before adding more oil. Once the level is once again appropriate, I carefully re-light the burner and bring the oil temperature back up again, which can take a little while. It's the ideal time to refresh your guests' drinks! Learn more about the oils commonly used for fondue.
Dippers: Meat, Seafood and Vegetables
The amount of meat, seafood and vegetables will vary depending on your selection of dippers, as well as how many side dishes you are making. The following quantities should work when serving fondue with a side salad, buns and rice. I always buy enough meat to feed an extra person, just in case.
Meat: Plan for each guest eating about 0.5 lb (225 g) of meat, whether it's the small cubed version for oil or thin slices for broth.
If you're unsure about "thinly sliced meat" for broth fondue, ask your butcher. It's NOT the same as beef strips you'd use for stir fry. It's more like thin salami slices, except it doesn't come in perfectly rounded shape. You can see a sample of thin meat here. If your butcher is unsure about broth fondue meat, you can mention meat for "shabu shabu" or "hot pot".
Seafood: If you only plan to serve seafood, buy about 6 oz (180 g) per person.
Vegetables: If you're doing a vegetarian broth fondue, plan for enough tomatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, tofu and various dippers to fill a small plate for each guest. If you're planning on frying vegetables in oil, you should steam them first (especially hard vegetables like broccoli, carrots and cauliflower), then add batter and cook them in oil. Mushrooms and zucchini slices don't need to be steamed.
I always make at least 3 dips to accompany broth or oil fondue. When serving fondue at my house, I pass the dips around and ask my guests to put a little bit of each on their fondue plates (using the compartments that come with fondue plates). That way, we can then move the dips to a separate table and make more room for our drinks and raw meat. My guests tend to use about 1 or 2 tablespoons of each dip.
Here is a list of fondue dips you can pick from. Most of these recipes make plenty for 4 to 6 people to share and you should prepare 3 to 5 different dips.
Monthly Recipe Recommendation
Here is the broth fondue meal that started my love affair with fondue. It's REALLY easy to make!
Broth: Lipton's onion soup mix
(simply add water, bring to a boil and let the onions soften up).
Dippers: Thinly sliced beef, button mushrooms
Dips: Mild chili dip - Mustard dip - Garlic BBQ dip
Side dishes: Tossed green salad, hot buns from the oven, brown rice, pickles (beets, sweet pickles, baby onions), sliced cheese
Food For Thought
My fondue evenings are always filled with laughter, so I thought this quote would be appropriate:
"A clown is like Aspirin, only he works twice as fast."
- Groucho Marx
That's it for now. Feel free to visit our site and browse through our collection of fondue recipes.
You'll hear back from me around mid-June.
Until then, be careful with open flames and have fun with fondue!