The Prep Ends, Eating Begins!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 27, 2010 at 9:56am

To me, it’s not Christmas without my mom’s fabulous 1970s appetizer platter. I use it all the time, this time for fondue vegetables.

The smooth, tangy cheese…

…and rich beef tenderloin fondue were both amazing. Fried beef. Yes.

cauliflower fritters

But I think my very favorite were the crispy cauliflower fritters – ridiculously good.

I used two fondue pots – one for the cheese, the other for the oil. We dipped bread and vegetables in the cheese fondue, then fried the beef and cauliflower in the oil and dipped them in tomato-truffle and horseradish sauces as we went along. If you were feeling really decadent, you could dip the cauliflower fritters in the cheese. We missed that marvelous little move.

Next time.

Any of these would be delicious fun for New Year’s Eve!

Cheese Fondue
From The Book of Fondues by Lorna Rhodes
Serves 6

1 Tbsp. butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 c. light ale (I used gluten-free beer)
4 tsp. cornstarch
5 Tbsp. half & half
4 c. (1 lb.) freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Serve with any combination of:
baguette cubes
small pickles
red bell pepper

Melt butter in a large saucepan and cook shallot until soft. Whisk together the ale, cornstarch, and half & half. Whisk ale mixture into the shallot butter until hot and thickened (do not boil). Turn heat to low and gradually stir in the cheese. Continue to stir and heat until mixture is hot and smooth (but again, do not boil). Transfer to a warm fondue pot and serve with bread and vegetables.

Cauliflower Fritters
From The Book of Fondues by Lorna Rhodes
Serves 6

1 lb. cauliflower, cut into florets
1 c. water
2 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3/4 c. fresh bread crumbs (I used gluten-free bread)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
peanut oil or other high heat oil

Serve with one or more dipping sauces:
Tomato-Truffle Sauce
Cheese Fondue

Combine water and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, add cauliflower, and cook for 3-4 minutes (tender-crisp). Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool. (Can be done up to 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, 1 tsp. salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl. In a pie plate or shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the remaining 1 tsp. of salt. Dip cauliflower florets in beaten egg, coat in bread crumb mixture, placing on a serving platter as you go. (Can be done up to 1 hour ahead. Cover and chill.)

Heat oil in fondue pot (amount varies according to your individual pot and instructions; I use an electric Rival fondue pot, half-filled with oil) to 350 degrees F. Spear cauliflower florets and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve with dipping sauces.

Beef Tenderloin Fondue
Serves 6

2-3 lbs. of beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
peanut oil or other high heat oil

Up to two hours before serving, lay the beef cubes out on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and let sit at room temperature. Before transferring to a serving platter, blot any moisture from the cubes with paper towels.

Heat oil in fondue pot (amount varies according to your individual pot and instructions; I use an electric Rival fondue pot, half-filled with oil) to 350 degrees F. Spear tenderloin cubes and fry to desired doneness. Serve with warm tomato-truffle sauce, horseradish sauce, or other dipping sauces.

Tomato-Truffle Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 14-oz. can imported Italian tomatoes
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Thai fish sauce or anchovy paste (optional)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
truffle oil or truffle salt

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and when it’s hot, stir in garlic and oregano. Saute for a minute or two, then one tomato at a time, crush tomatoes with your fingers into the pan, adding all of the juices from the can as well. Stir in sugar and fish sauce (if using) and bring sauce to a simmer, turn heat to low, and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely thick and rich-tasting.

Remove from heat and stir in truffle oil or salt to taste (intensity varies widely, so you’ll have to taste to decide, depending on the type of oil or salt you’re using). Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sauce should have a nice amount of saltiness to it since you’re using it as a condiment. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Reheat before serving.)

Horseradish Sauce
Makes about 1 cup

1/2 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. creme fraiche
1/4 c. grated fresh horseradish (or more, to taste)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt

Whip cream to soft peaks. With mixer on low, add creme fraiche, horseradish, parsley, and salt. Adjust seasoning to taste. (Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.)

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Older Comments

  1. By FreshTartSteph on December 29, 2010 at 2:34PM

    Amanda - Wouldn't it be nice if FoodGawker made us famous? But no, ha. Can't wait to see what you're baking up for the the New Year! See you soon!

  2. By FreshTartSteph on December 29, 2010 at 1:59PM

    Rachel - it's a fun investment. I like my electric Rival pots, the temperature stays even and hot enough to effectively fry foods. Fondue pots have come a long way since the days of candles and sterno!

  3. By Rachel C on December 28, 2010 at 8:26AM

    Yum! I may have to invest in a fondue pot!

  4. By manda2177 on December 28, 2010 at 5:05AM

    YAY!! Love this...AND, I saw you on foodgawker!!! You are famous. :)