Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spinach & Artichoke Fondue

Letting everything get hot...this is before the cheese was added
 The first time I ever tried fondue was in North Carolina at The Melting Pot. This was a really concept for a restaurant and the whole experience was amazing. I was with a friend from High School/College days and it was a really intimate space where we could catch up, have really awesome drinks and really enjoy each course.

The server comes out with fresh, raw ingredients and cooks everything right in front of you. Each table has it's own built in fondue cooking unit. He would explain all the ingredients and stir everything up and when it was finished it was time to dip! We had an flavored brother and very small cuts of filet Mignon, chicken and shrimp ; all raw that we cooked at our table by dipping into the hot pot.

I decided to recreate one of the pots that we tried that night. I had some artichoke hearts in a jar that I had been waiting for the right chance to use. I usually keep a bunch of fresh spinach on hand for omlets and salads, so all I had to pick up from the grocery store was a blend of Italian cheeses.

Okay...back up. I was inspired to make this because of the awesome fondue set I scored at a yard sale for $4! We were camping with some friends in rural northern Maine, and decided to check out some local yard sales one afternoon. The set included a pot, the burner, some fluid to burn under the pot, a bunch of fondue forks (they are especially long so they are perfect for dipping.) And a stack of special fondue plates.

3 oz. vegetable broth
appx. 1-2 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
appx. 1-2 oz. artichoke hearts, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2-cups of blended Italian cheese, lightly flowered
a small amount of flour

Step 1. Heat broth in fondue cooking unit or similar cooking pot.
Step 2. When hot (do not bring to a boil) add spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic and mix well. (Lightly flour the cheese before adding it in).
Step 3. Stir constantly until you reach your desired consistency..I added a bit more flower to thicken it up.

For dipping we used some french bread cut into cubes, tortilla chips and shrimp.

Fondue is really fun way to eat, it's interactive and absolutely delicious.

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