Growing up, I never knew a New Year's Eve to be complete without my mom's fondue. Thankfully, NYE did not involve keys in a fishbowl or other offending 1970's behavior as always mom kept it healthy by using broth instead of the traditional oil. Reading a Japanese cookbook in the 80's, I discovered my mother was doing a sort of shabu-shabu. Every year, I looked forward to using those long handled (with a colored end tip) sharp forks that speared up strips of chicken, beef, and shrimp and dipped them in barbecue, hot mustard, or gussied-up soy sauce. I rarely waited for the fondued protein to be even remotely cooled off before sticking it burning hot into my mouth. Served alongside cocktails and Burgundy wine for the adults, I enjoyed this with a kid's cocktail my dad made especially for me (and any other kid) with orange juice, grenadine, maraschino cherry juice, and ice all shaken up, just like the adults. The whole experience made me feel warm and sunny inside and out. My mom used a fondue pot with sterno but I use my electric one now (Rival brand). With the sauces, mom made her own hot mustard and soy sauce mixture. In the recent past, I have made the barbecue sauce by combining some of the hot mustard and soy sauce mixture with some chili sauce and honey. Use your favorite recipe or brand. —testkitchenette
Test Kitchen Notes
We tested both versions of testkitchenette's fun recipe for fondue—one using chicken broth and the other using peanut oil—and give the nod to the one using peanut oil*, which really brought out the flavors of the shrimp, chicken, and beef. We had a lot of fun sitting around the pot, arranging the tasty dippers (testkitchenette's hot mustard, soy, and BBQ sauces, plus a sour cream and horseradish dip, and a curried mayo at the insistence of two of our testers) on our plates and then cooking the chicken, beef, or shrimp and dipping it into the different sauces. It was very easy on the hosts!! I would do this again for a gathering of four to six people.
One of our guinea pig testers has a peanut allergy, so we created a separate fondue using clarified butter, to which I would also give two enthusiastic thumbs up!
as many as you'd like
Beef, Chicken, Shrimp Fondue
1/3 to 1/2 pounds
thinly sliced chicken breast, beef tenderloin, and small shelled and deveined shrimp per person
Cut the meat into thin strips and half the shrimp if large. Set up in bowls in center of table. Put the broth into the fondue pot and heat to boiling (all fondue pots will vary). Adjust the control knob to keep it at a rolling boil while cooking meat.
Each person will spear the meat of their choice and dip it into the broth until cooked. The shrimp takes the least amount of time. It takes about 15 seconds to cook the meat rare (not the chicken or shrimp, clearly) and about 60 seconds for well done.
Dip into preferred sauce and eat. Repeat. You could use a high smoke oil and fry the meat instead also.
Hot Mustard Sauce
Combine all ingredients and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
SOY SAUCE MIXTURE: 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sherry, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Melt butter in skillet. Add water and heat to boiling. Add sherry. Make a paste of the soy sauce and cornstarch and cook until thickened. Feel free to add garlic and fresh ginger.