Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine Dinner Extraordinaire

When Tim and I were dating in the early 80's, we often "fondued" meat and vegetables and spent the evening enjoying the intimacy of table top cooking.  If a morsel dropped in the oil, we kissed.  Corny - but romantic; we were dating and getting to know each other.  Last night we replayed the romance with a three course fondue dinner shared with Meredith and Nick.  No kissing or pda's (public displays of affection) allowed at this table.

We began the evening with a gin martini for the boys while Meredith and I shared  pink creations with pomegranate juice and grenadine - just right for Valentine's Day.

  We sat by the fire and warmed up and mellowed out before the dinner.

Fondue is traditionally Swiss and used at birthday celebrations.  We made classic cheese fondue, with Gruyere and Emmentaler cheeses, as our first course using an electric fondue pot.

  We dipped crusty French baguette chunks into the creamy and savory emulsion. Chardonnay was an excellent wine pairing for this course.

The main course was steak and broccoli fondue.  Peanut oil is less likely to smoke at high temperatures, so we heated that in the stainless steel fondue pot and took our time cooking the pieces of meat and the florets.

  The broccoli comes out crispy and has a unique taste after being fried in the peanut oil. We then dipped the cooked morsels in our choice of Bearnaise, teriyaki and a horseradish mayo/mustard creation.  We enjoyed some Sterling Cabernet, reminiscent of our trip to Napa last year.

Then the dessert.  Melting chocolate infused with some orange liquor made a rich fondue in a mini crock-pot for pretzels,cookies, strawberries and pound cake.  

   We continued with another bottle of Cabernet that Nick brought, - chocolate and red wine go so well together.  

The dinner event lasted hours.  We spaced out the courses, watched the snow fall, and enjoyed a toasty fire in the fireplace.  

Spending Valentine's day at home and  sharing the experience of table-top cooking with adult children.  DIVINE!

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