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Laumeier

Butter can improve your fondue



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Fondue is a popular nationwide trend that is growing daily.
From velvety cream sauces to mouthwatering Hollandaise, almost every great sauce begins with butter.

But did you know butter also can improve your fondue?

"Just a few tablespoons of butter makes any fondue foolproof,'' says recipe expert Judy Vance, who has tested and developed hundreds of recipes during her 25-year career. "Not only does butter keep the texture smooth and creamy — as it does for most sauces — it also gives the fondue a rich flavor boost."

With its basic ingredients and quick prep time, this tangy fondue offers a surefire solution for time-crunched cooks.

Try these Fon-"Dos"

• Do experiment. While crusty bread is a natural dipper for Swiss cheese fondue, also consider dunking bite-sized pieces of cooked ham, chicken or turkey, steamed vegetables or bite-sized pieces of apples, pears, plums and pineapples.

• Do have a plan B. If you're pressed for time, try this fondue alternative: bring chicken broth, garlic and lemon juice to a boil, reduce heat, then add butter a tablespoon at a time to make a thickened sauce.

• Do dig deep. When dipping in the fondue, make sure to dig to the bottom of the pot for the best flavor. And never double dip.

• Do keep any leftovers. Rekindle last night's fondue as a delicious sauce for scrambled eggs, hash browns, pasta, baked potatoes or steamed vegetables.

• Do save room for dessert. Even chocolate fondue can benefit from butter, says Vance. "Butter enhances the natural flavor of chocolate and improves its meltability."

For a festive dessert, try dipping peppermint candies or cookies into chocolate fondue.

Whether you're experimenting with fondue for the first time or looking to revamp an old favorite, why not give this simple variation a whirl:

Savory Swiss Fondue

With Chicken

and Vegetable Dippers

Chicken

1 pound boneless,

skinless chicken breasts,

cut into 1-inch chunks

seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Fondue

¼ cup butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¾ cup milk

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

or more to taste

½ cup white wine

or non-alcoholic wine

3 cups (12 ounces)

Swiss cheese, shredded

Accompaniments

bread cubes

broccoli flowerets

blanched asparagus

Thread chicken onto metal or bamboo skewers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Broil until chicken is cooked through.

Melt butter in a fondue pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk constantly. Whisk in milk, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard and hot pepper sauce and let pot simmer for 1 minute. Add wine and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and add cheese slowly, whisking until melted and smooth. Keep over a low flame.

Serve with chicken skewer, bread and vegetables for dipping.

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