Beach Dad and I love the Melting Pot fondue restaurant. Cheese, meat, and chocolate fondues make for our favorite night out. It’s delicious and the slow pace makes for a fun date. But, between the high cost and actually getting out of the house, trips to the Melting Pot are reserved for our most special occassions. Fortunately, we have found copycat fondue recipes for most of the Melting Pot experience. Fondue at home is a good bit of work, so we still prefer the restaurant, but for a night in, fondue makes for a romantic (and delicious!) evening.
Normally, we get the fondue pot out and stretch the three courses – cheese, meat, and chocolate – out over 3 nights with one night for each course. Tonight, we had meat fondue. Sadly, we haven’t found recipes for the sauces that are as great as the Melting Pot’s, but our Court Bouillon broth is nearly identical.
The Court Bouillon cooking style is basically a vegetable broth that you heat up in a fondue pot and then use to cook meats. We generally cook both steak and chicken breast, as well as broccoli and potatoes.
Our recipe is based off of this Fondue and Hot Dips cookbook, but I’ve changed it some to make it easier and to use ingredients we always have on hand:
Court Bouillon Fondue Broth:
2 quarts water
1 cup dry white wine
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
just under 1 tsp black pepper
handful fresh parsley stalks
1/4 tsp thyme
dash of salt
Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20-30 minutes. At this point, your kitchen will start to smell just like the Melting Pot! Strain the mixture through a sieve into a fondue pot. Turn the fondue pot on high until the water is boiling again and then reduce heat, making sure that the water remains gently boiling while you cook your meats and vegetables. You’ll want to watch that it’s not boiling too quickly or the broth will evaporate before you’re done cooking your meal!
Bonus tip: I use the white inner layers of the celery bunch to make things like fondue broth. It’s not good to eat, but it works perfectly well to make the broth and stretches a stalk of celery. Every penny saved counts, right?
I often make the broth during the day and then we reheat it in the fondue pot once the kids are in bed and we’re ready for date night. Today, as I was making the broth, I had to explain to Beach Girl that this was just for mommy and daddy to eat after she went to bed. When Beach Dad got home, she told him, “After I go to sleep tonight, you and mommy is going to eat fondoodle for dinner.”
When you eat your own “fondoodle”, you’ll also want bowls with each of your raw meats (cut into bite size pieces), a bowl of vegetables, a “search and rescue spoon” (for anything that falls off the fondue fork into the pot), fondue forks, clean plates, regular forks, and any dipping sauces. We generally just make teriyaki dipping sauce, but there are a ton of great sauces to go with fondue.
When we start our meal, we dump all the potatoes and broccoli into the pot. They’ll cook for at least 3 minutes (more like 5-7 for the potatoes), but the longer you leave them in there, the more tender and flavorful they become.
To cook the meats, skewer a piece of meat with a fondue fork and then stick it in the boiling broth for about 3-5 minutes. Of course, you want to make sure to never touch raw meat to your clean plate or fork. When the meat is done, take it off the fondue fork onto your plate, dip it into any sauces (we also love the Melting Pot’s “Garlic and Wine Seasoning” that you can buy for about $6 in restaurants), and enjoy!
My sweet husband surprised me by turning our date night into an extra romantic one with dimmed lights, music, and wine last night. And, for a reality check, notice the baby monitor on the table! Thankfully, Beach Baby waited to wake up until right after we ate our last bites.
Just so you know, if you buy the fondue pot through the link above, you’ll be helping to support stayatbeachmom.com. As always, I only vouch for products I really love.