This week Crocket took a break….partly because I ran short on time this week. BUT I did break out the new fondue pot! I was really excited to use it and when more perfect a time than to whip up a Super Bowl treat.
I started looking online for some fondue recipes (I went cheesy rather than chocolate for the Pot’s maiden voyage FYI) and found some good ones. Fondue can be super heavy calorie count wise, which can be a bummer, but I managed to find a low fat cheddar recipe that ended up being perfect. I also learned some new tricks from this recipe…those of you who have cooked with low fat cheese before probably know that it can be a little challenging….the cheese doesn’t melt quite right. A great trick to remedy this melting problem is by using a mix of regular cheese and low fat cheese, and also using a white bean puree..which helps keep that silky smooth texture.
Additionally, the dark ale that you put in adds great flavor. If you’re like me and know little about beer (if its not Bud Lite, Blue Moon, or PBR I’m in the dark about its “qualities”) asking the people at the liquor store is a smart move. I had a lovely conversation with the guy at my local liquor store…he recommended a suitable dark beer (I gratefully took it) and he told me tales of his honeymoon in Switzerland and the fondue he and his wife had there. Good times had by all.
I put the recipe I found at the bottom of the post. It can be expensive building a pantry from scratch and my budget is tight so I made some substitutions. I don’t have Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or dry mustard, so I used regular mustard, cayenne pepper and some other spices. I got some french bread, broccoli and cauliflower from good’ole Stop & Shop and used those guys as dippers.
For my first attempt at fondue I’d say it went pretty well. I liked it, my friends liked it. And best of all you get a great taste for less calories…and no one will even no the difference!
Cheddar and Ale Fondue:
15 1/2-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained (such as great northern, navy or cannellini)
12- ounce bottle dark ale or other beer
1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
In a food processor, combine the beans and 1/4 up of the ale. Puree, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until very smooth, about 4 minutes.(I used my new Magic Bullet type thing for this and it worked great!)
In a medium saucepan, combine the bean puree and the remaining ale. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to simmer.
Add the cheeses in handfuls, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted. Stir in the dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
Transfer to a warm fondue pot.
Per serving: 105 calories; 5g fat (3g saturated); 15mg cholesterol; 7g carbohydrate; 6g protein; 2g fiber; 187mg sodium.