the melting pot: fondue three ways


Growing up, we loved beef fondue. We even had fondue plates like these (except ours were 70s-colored plastic) that had dividers for different sauces. My mom would whip up three different dipping sauces (bbq, curry, and creamy onion), cut up some beef, and dinner was ready. Hearing my dinner sizzle as I lowered my chunk into hot oil was novel – I’m not sure why. Maybe I felt that I was in charge of my own dining destiny? Maybe I felt a bit brave being that close to a boiling cauldron of oil?

Whatever the reason for my love of fondue, I knew it must be passed on to my little foodies. So I dusted off my wedding-gift fondue pot and went to work.

The Beef

beef fondue

We started with beef fondue the first night, and it was a success. I began by marinating the cubed beef for 30 minutes in my new find: Goya Mojo Criollo, a marinade “with garlic, onion, and citrus for tender, tasty meat and poultry.” I had three dipping sauces: ranch dressing, ketchup (I was out of bbq sauce), and my favorite – curry (dollops of mayo, sour cream, and mango chutney, mixed with curry powder, salt, and pepper). There were slices of watermelon and some cut up veggies as sides. Yum.

The Cheese

IMG_5180 IMG_5197Next was the cheese fondue. G and I discovered this fondue when we lived in Richmond. We were perusing the cheese section of our local Ukrop’s when we came across this refrigerated packet (see photo). It didn’t look particularly promising, but we tried it anyway. Delicious! We usually cut up a baguette and some veggies for the dipping.

The Best

And at last what my little foodies and I were waiting for all week: chocolate. There really are no words to describe the thrill of dipping treats into a pot of simmering chocolate. I’ll let the photos do the talking. (And yes, we ate this outside. Less mess.)

IMG_5268 IMG_5245

IMG_5249 IMG_5259

Chocolate and Coconut Cream Fondue


  • 1 15-ounce can sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)
  • 12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Assorted fresh fruit
  • Cubed pound cake (shortbread, biscotti)
  1. Combine sweetened cream of coconut and 12 ounces chocolate in heavy large saucepan.
  2. Stir mixture over very low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
  3. Stir in whipping cream and extract. (Fondue can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover; store at room temperature. Stir over low heat to rewarm before serving.)
  4. Transfer mixture to fondue pot. Place over candle or canned heat burner.
  5. Serve with fruit and cubed pound cake for dipping.

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