This turned out really tasty, but I had a blonde moment that will make you either laugh at me or sympathize with me. I made this for just my husband and me, but we could have fed a whole family easily! This would be a great dish for a party when people are getting munchies and filling up on them. So, as I was getting everything ready, I asked my husband to grab an extension cord that would make it to the 3 appetizer crock pot thing I had on the table so that the cheese would stay hot while we are (cuz fondu is supposed to be hot while you eat it!). He did, I started making everything, and then I turned it on so t could get hot, and then continued to make the rest. At the end, I poured the cheese from the pot into the crock pot. As we started eating, the cheese was cooling off and I was confused… and frustrated to say the least. I thought my crock pot thingy was broken which made me even more mad, and then my husband asked if I had plugged it in… nope didn’t even think to do that… duh! So, I turned it on, put the cheese back into the pot to reheat, and then once the crock pot was actually hot, put the cheese back in. Then it was good and stayed hot, but we had a late dinner because I forgot to plug it in.. grrrrr. Ok, now that you got at least a little chuckle, here is how I made it.
I started preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then I salted and peppered both sides of a chicken breast and set it aside. I cut up a small head of broccoli into florets, half a head of cauliflower into florets, and 2 carrots (peeled) into bite sized pieces. Then I heated 1 tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven over the stove. Add the chicken and cook 2-4 minutes on each side, then bake for 25 minutes. When that comes out, let it rest 5 minutes before cutting into bite size peices.
While the chicken is cooking, shred 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, 8 oz Gouda cheese (I did 9 and 7 since the Gouda came in a 7 oz package), peel 1 clove of garlic (you will be crushing or pressing it later), and grab corn starch and a bottle of beer (we used blue moon). Put the shredded cheese in a ziplock bag, add 1 tbsp of cornstarch, close the bag with air in it, and shake it up so the cheese all gets coated with the cornstarch.
With about 5 minutes left on the chicken, in a small skillet, heat over medium heat, then add a sausage or two (we did Cajun andouille) turning sporadically. While the sausage is cooking, cut up 1-2 green apples (we did a Fuji apple too and it wasn’t as good as the green one with the cheese). Also, cut up 1-2 bagels or a baguette (we did bagels). Steam the cauliflower and carrots for a couple minutes in the microwave, then add the broccoli and steam another minute or so. Depending on your preference, you can serve them mixed together or separated but steaming them for a short time takes the raw bite off of them but keeps them sturdy enough to dip.
While the sausage is cooking, start the cheese by heating 1 C of beer in a medium saucepan. When it starts to steam, add the cheese in small batches stirring constantly till it is smooth and well combined. Press the garlic and add it to the cheese. Season with a dash of pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Stir till combined and make sure it tastes good. When everything is ready (and your crockpot or fondu pot is hot), add the cheese to your pot and get ready to dig in.
Serve up all your dipping stuff with the cheese in the middle and let everyone dig in with their fondu forks (or regular forks). Be ready with a “search and rescue” spoon just in case someone looses something in the cheese (it happens). Enjoy!