Friday, February 17, 2012

A Fondue V-Day

We may have a new tradition in the Warnick household: fondue for Valentine's Day. It's what we did this year and it was so much fun.

I've always had a bit of mixed feelings towards Valentine's Day. I'm not a fan of cliches or people doing things because they feel obligated. And that's kind of how V-Day has felt to me in the past. At the same time I do love to take the opportunity to let the people I love know that I care about them, and I love Valentine's colors and decorations. So these past couple of years I've embraced V-Day as a day to let people I love know that they are loved, while not having any expectations that anyone has to do anything for me, especially when it comes to Derek (although honestly, he has always done a great job with this day, and does a great job of letting me know how much he loves me the other 364 days of the year, that it's not like I feel that I need him to do anything special, even though he always does).

One thing I am not a fan of is crazy crowded restaurants and with long waits, or special Valentine's Day extra expensive menus at places where you can make a reservation. So, this year, I decided we would do dinner at home, fondue style. My friend Sarah got me a fondue pot for Christmas a few years ago. It was one of those great gifts that I didn't know that I needed and now that I have it, I'm so glad that I do. Here's a little run down of how it all played out. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the food, but I do have a few fondue recipes, so that will have to do.

Prep work started Monday when I decided what I wanted to make, did my grocery shopping, and bought Derek's gifts. Tuesday, I got home from work and our friend who is also our roommate Keith was there (Keith was supposed to have young life on Tuesday, but they ended up not having it, so we figured that since we love Keith - although not in the same way we love each other - it would be fun to have all 3 of us for dinner.) Derek had to work til about 6:30, so Keith and I took Moose for a walk (Moose is much more enjoyable to be around when he has had his exercise) to the little shopping center in our neighborhood and picked up a movie. When we got back I got to work prepping our appetizer course, the cheese fondue. I don't know it's official name, and I also don't remember where I got the recipe, but here it is:

Cheese Fondue:
8 oz Monterey jack cheese
8 oz Munster cheese
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup white wine
2 Tbsp of minced garlic
2 Tbsp Kirsch
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
  • Grate up all of the cheese and combine it in a bowl with the cornstarch. 
  • Add the wine and garlic to the fondue pot and bring to a boil over medium low heat.
  • Slowly add the mixture of cheese into the pot, stirring and allowing it to melt
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and stir
  • Serve with bread, fruit, vegetables or whatever you want
After the first step I realized I only had 1/2 cup of wine left, so I sent Keith out for some more. We were then able to enjoy the rest that we didn't use for the fondue with our appetizer. I just bought a loaf of Ciabatta bread and cut it up into little pieces and that is what we had with our cheese fondue. Derek got home about 5 minutes before it was ready, which was perfect timing and between the 3 of us we consumed nearly all the cheese fondue, the entire loaf of bread and the rest of the bottle of wine. It was delicious and so much fun. Also, I should mention we broke out our fancy china for this occasion, as well as real cloth napkins, which added to the fun.

Everyone helped clean up round one, and between the 3 of us we proceeded to prepare the main course, which consisted of roasting asparagus, making marscapone mashed potatoes and slicing up a large sirloin steak into bite sized pieces so we could cook it in the fondue pot. The recipe for the main course fondue is below:

Sirloin steak (1/3 - 1/2 lb per person)
1 - 14.5 oz can of beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
3 green onions, sliced
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 tsp of ginger
  • Combine all the ingredients in the fondue pot, set to 350 and bring to a boil. 
  • Place bit sized pieces on skewers and cook in boiling broth about 2-3 minutes, depending on how done you want them.
In addition to preparing the main course, I also whipped up a batch of brownies and threw them in the oven so they'd be ready for desert. Once everything was ready, we brought it all into the dining room, sat down at our fancy place settings and proceeded to enjoy our dinner. A fun thing about fondue is that because you have to wait while your food cooks, it is a relaxed meal. It was a lot of fun just sitting around talking and eating at a leisurely pace.

After dinner Derek and I exchanged gifts. I got him some new cologne, which he had been saying he needed (and bonus - I was able to buy it using Macy's gift cards - that stuff is expensive!) and Derek made me a valentine's box filled with candy's and a bunch of Valentines inside of it. I took pictures of it because I was impressed with his creativity. (Excuse the blurriness and poor lighting of the pictures.) It was lots of fun reading through all 32 Valentine's that were inside. 31 of them were from Derek and one was from our pets.I also loved all the little heart doilies all over it.

After this we all cleaned up together. I loved this especially since it went way faster with 3 people. Then I talked to my sister briefly, iced our brownies and topped them with Valentine's M&Ms and we popped in the movie. We watched 50/50 and I cried through probably the last 30 minutes of it, but it was really good.

It was a wonderful way to spend Valentine's day, and as I said before, the fondue was so good, we'll have to make it a yearly tradition. Although I'm thinking that between now and next V-day we should have some friends over and do some friend fondue dinners.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

How fun! I love this idea (and you) and I will call you back this weekend, I promise! :o)