Broth Fondue and Spring Rolls

When I think of all the kitchen appliances/items/gadgets I’ve accumulated over the years, which is quite a lot, one of my consistent favorites has to be my fondue pot. I actually have two, which of course is absolutely necessary. One for cheese/chocolate that is heated by flame, and another that’s electric, which I use for broth fondue. Making broth fondue is one of my favorite meals because it is a) oh so easy to make, b) easy to clean, c) generally healthy, d) has endless flavor possibilities, and e) fun for a dinner party.

My husband and I had some friends over about a month ago and decided to make an Asian inspired broth fondue, along with spring rolls because we had to stick a guilty pleasure in there. Unfortunately I didn’t get a lot of great picture of the broth fondue. When I make it again I’ll update, but for now here’s all you get:

DSC02364When I make broth fondue, I make the broth in a pot on the stove first, add all the seasonings/veggies, let simmer for a hot second and then cool down in the fridge. Right before serving, I strain out the chunks of garlic, etc. This isn’t necessary, but it makes for a less crowded dish. For this broth fondue, I combined:

– Stock/Broth: Chicken or Vegetable is a must for this one, but you could use beef for a different type of recipe. I typically fill the fondue pot itself to see how high I want it then pour it into the pot on the stove. For this one I used about 6-7 cups. As with anything, I recommend low sodium so you can control it later.
– Garlic: About 3-4 cloves, crushed with your knife so all the juices can mix with the broth.
– Soy Sauce: About 1 tablespoon. Another reason you want low sodium stock, since this adds a lot of saltiness.
– Green onions: I chopped up a pretty decent amount, probably four or five long ones. I tend to add about 1 teaspoon of regular onion powder as well for good measure.
– Ginger: You can use fresh and slice it, but I just used about 1 and a half teaspoons of ginger powder.
– Crushed red pepper flakes: About 1 teaspoon to add some heat.
– Cracked black pepper: About 1/2 teaspoon.

Like I mentioned, go ahead and heat this up on the stove, remove, and let cool until ready to serve. I’d recommend preparing at least a couple hours ahead of time.

For the fondue, you also need dippers! I regret not taking pictures at this point. Again, my apologies! For this we used cubed steak, cubed chicken, cut up potatoes (1.5 inch cubes), large broccoli florets and raw shrimp. Yummm.

The last thing you need is dipping sauces. Again, this can be incredibly easy. You can just go to the Asian aisle of your grocery store and pick up whatever dressings or marinades you think sound good. For this I used:

– Duck Sauce (from a jar)
– Chinese Mustard (from a jar)
— A peanut “dressing.” I made this, very loosely, from peanut butter (natural, but you can use non-natural), a little soy sauce, a little vegetable oil, lime juice, garlic powder, and a smear of thai red chili paste. You use minimal amounts of all these ingredients, so if you don’t already have them on hand it’s easy enough to pick this up in the store as well.
– A ponzu-type dipping sauce. I made this from soy sauce, ginger powder, garlic, green onions, a little rice vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes (so, basically the broth without the broth). It has the added bonus of being pretty, and no need to strain.

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When you set up your fondue, you want the broth to be simmering, but not boiling. Some fondue pots are touchier than others, so experiment. You just don’t want the meat cooking for too short of a time so that it doesn’t the flavors of the broth, or too long and it’s not safe germ-wise. I also recommend throwing in a bunch of the potatoes at the beginning since they take a while. You can pull them out with a slotted spoon when they’re ready (tested with a skewer).

Now the spring rolls! I decided to fill them with non-Asian flavors mainly because I wanted to use an avocado in them. And guess what? I forgot the avocado. I had one of those heartbreaking moments halfway through eating the dinner when I saw the avocado still in the fruit bowl and realized I never put it in. I guess I’ll just have to experiment another time…

So I ended up making three types. The first was Buffalo Chicken.

For the filling, place two medium chicken breasts in a small pot on the stove. Add 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, a couple garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Fill with water to just covering the chicken and bring to a boil. Simmer until the water is absorbed, anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on size of the chicken. Let cool and shred with two forks.

In a separate bowl, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add 1/3 cup of hot sauce (like Frank’s), and mix, adding in a pinch of garlic or onion powder if desired. Mix in the shredded chicken and taste. I chose to add back in the chopped carrots and celeryfor taste.

When rolling up the spring roll, you place a wonton wrapper in front of you like a diamond shape. Place about 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the middle in a line. Make sure not to overfill, or they will fall apart. For the buffalo ones, I then added a  couple of chopstick size carrot slices and some blue cheese on top so they’d be all melty, and who doesn’t like extra blue cheese?

BeFunky_DSC02534.jpg - CopyNext, spread a dash of water on all sides of the wonton. This will act like “glue.” Take the bottom corner and pull over the filling, tucking in slightly. Make sure it’s tight enough that there won’t be too many air bubbles, but not too full that it explodes in the oil later. Fold in both sides, and tightly roll up. Use water to glue any parts that are sticking out.

For the other spring rolls, I thinly sliced up some carrots and red pepper. I put these in a bag with a little bit of soy sauce, green onions, lime juice, hot sauce, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. Then I let this sit in the fridge for awhile until I was ready to roll them up. I also took this time to cook up about 15 shrimp quickly on the stove, then chop them up. Once all the filling was ready and marinated, I rolled them up. For these, I added some feta to the top, which was a great call. As I mentioned before, I forgot to add the avocado, but they were still very flavorful. Since I ran out of shrimp I made some that were just vegetarian, which I may just make on purpose.

Another tip about wrapping spring rolls. You have to be careful about making sure the wrappers don’t dry out. You do this by slightly wetting a paper towel (not too damp), and placing this over the rolls you’ve already rolled, then covering this will a towel. Hopefully these pics will help:

After they are all rolled, you fry like normal. I used a large dutch oven and vegetable oil. You want to make sure they just get golden brown so the wonton is cooked, as your filling are already cooked. I served these spring rolls with some blue cheese dressing and the other sauces from the fondue.

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The best thing about spring rolls is that you can make a million and freeze them easily. They reheat really well in the oven. For these, I made them in the morning to get good pictures, then let them dry on paper towels, and then put them in the fridge. About fifteen minutes before friends came over I placed them in a preheated oven at 375 for about 10 minutes.

And now….time for a cat fact! Did you know that cats can actually pick up on the tone of your voice? At the same time, they are able to selectively listen to what they want to hear, especially when they’re “hunting.” Jerks. Here is Charlie pretending to listen to me but really hoping I’ll give him treats from the cabinet he’s standing in front of.

DSC02379

Oh and the recipes:

Asian Broth Fondue

This will feed 8 people. Leftover broth can be used for future soups!

Ingredients

For the broth:

6-7 cups chicken or vegetable broth, whatever your electric fondue pot fits, preferably low sodium
4-5 green onions, chopped (additional 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional)
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife
1 teaspoon each garlic, onion powder and pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the dippers/dips:

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
1 large boneless steak, or the equivalent in other cuts, cut into large cubes
1 large head of broccoli, cut into large florets
15-20 raw shrimp
2 large potatoes, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
Variety of dipping sauces, including peanut sauce, ponzu sauce (homemade recipe above), duck sauce, or sweat and sour.

Instructions

Combine all ingredients for the broth fondue and bring to a boil. Let cool and sit in the fridge for a minimum of 1-2 hours. Strain and place into electric fondue. Set out dippers and dips into small bowls around the fondue pot. Invite guests to serve themselves and enjoy!

Buffalo Spring Rolls

This will make about 10 spring rolls. Since wonton wrappers come in a large package, if you have extra filling you can make more.

Ingredients

10 wonton wrappers (found in refrigerated section)
2 medium raw chicken breasts
2large carrots, one cubed and one cut into matchsticks
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
Blue cheese dressing (optional)

Directions

Combine chicken and remaining ingredients through spices. Cover with water to the top of the chicken. Bring to boil and simmer for 40-60 minutes, until chicken has absorbed water. Let cool and shred chicken with two forks.

In a separate bowl, melt butter and mix in hot sauce. If desired, add 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder. Mix in chicken, carrots and celery.

Follow directions above to roll wonton wrappers, placing 1 tablespoon of blue cheese and a couple slices of carrot on top of each filling before wrapping. Fry in vegetable or canola oil until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Serve with blue cheese dressing.

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls

This makes about 10 spring rolls.

Ingredients

10 wonton wrappers
10 large raw shrimp
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon each onion powder, salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Set aside the shrimp. Mix remaining ingredients, except feta, in a ziploc bag or bowl and let “marinate” in fridge for 1-2 hours. Cook shrimp and finely chop. Place a small amount of vegetables, shrimp, and feta on each wonton and wrap according to above directions. Fry in vegetable or canola oil until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Serve with ponzu, duck, or Chinese mustard dipping sauce.

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