Jun 23, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue

The girls in this house LOVE the Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue from the Melting Pot.  A night out can be a bit of a splurge, so we decided to try it at home.

Grandma gave Madison a portable Induction Cook-top for use at college, and we decided to make sure it works before she hauls it all the way to Savannah (we just really wanted to have some fondue, but making sure it works sounded like a good excuse).  Seeing as my stove has an induction cook-top we are very familiar with the technology and thought it would be perfect for a fondue night. Because it's portable, we could do the cooking right at the table just like being at the Melting Pot!

Here is the recipe that inspired us and the following is how we ended up making it...

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, chopped (we bought the ones in the jar, because getting to the heart of an artichoke is quite a task)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (it was more like 1.5 tablespoons, but it was a bit too much - even for me)
4 oz Butterkase Cheese (Publix did not have this, so I found it at Petty's, and yes, it was worth it)
4 oz Fontina Cheese
1/4 cup grated Paremsan
dash of Rooster Sauce

Tortilla Chips
Various breads cut into bite sized cubes
Apples cut into bite sized cubes (coat with a little lemon juice so the don't turn brown)
Various veges cut into bite sized pieces

We used one of my regular sauce pans because we needed a magnetic bottomed pan to work on the induction top (love that technology!).  We heated the vege broth in the sauce pan and mixed in the spinach, artichoke hearts, and the garlic.  Turn down the heat before adding in the cheeese

I grated the Butterkase and the Fontina and lightly floured it.  I added it to the vege broth mixture a little bit at a time. Being sure to melt it as I go.  

Tips for working with cheese:  It is important to treat the cheese kindly during cooking.  Too high a temperature or too much heating time can make the proteins tighten up resulting in rubbery globs of cheese in a pool of grease - yuck!  If this happens you can't fix it and your fondue is ruined.  To lessen the chance your cheese will succumb to this sad fate be sure to grate your cheese to increase the surface area that is in contact with the heat source - this will ensure a quicker melting time. Always be sure your cheese is at room temperature before you heat it - again this will reduce the time and heat needed to melt it.  Melt cheese at a lower heat to prevent it seizing up.  Bottom line - Be kind to your cheese and your cheese will be kind to you

With induction technology you really can use a paper towel between the pot and the heat source! Don't try this at home with an electric or gas stove though!

 We had trouble getting the cheese and the vege broth to combine to a good consistency, so I added a tablespoon of flour and mixed it all really well. That worked great.  If I were to make this again, I would probably add in a tablespoon of flour with the vege broth at the beginning to thicken it - I think that might work better, but I haven't tried it. 

This was a fun family night! 
The fondue was really delish (although a bit too garlicky - even for me!)


  1. Awesome!! I love Melting Pot, but rarely get to go. Thanks for the great tips, I will definately use them to make cheese fondue at home. No induction technology here, though. :( Oh well, we all do the best we can with what we've got, right!

    BTW: How expensive is Butterkase and Fontina compared with standard cheeses like cheddar or colby/jack?

    1. Yes, we do! As long as you have a heat source you'll be able to make yummy fondue! I had to buy the Butterkase at a specialty store and it was more than I would like to pay, so I am sure to only buy what I need. Fontina you can usually pick up at your grocery store in the specialty cheese case - the price isn't too bad. I LOVE Fontina for most anything! It is a tasty cheese :o)


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