I love the Melting Pot, but it’s an hour and a half drive and a big ol’ chunk of change, so I decided to try to recreate the experience at home! It was definitely up there among my favorite Valentine’s Day meals (way better than last year’s two-hour wait in the lobby of a Japanese steakhouse that decided not to honor anyone’s reservations or the year before’s meal in a dining room crammed with tiny tables and barely-dressed bellydancers making all the men in the room uncomfortable and all the women mad…ANYWAY.)
So here’s the spread!
First course was cheese. I used this recipe for the fondue, which was thoroughly delicious…you just bring beer to a boil, then add cheddar tossed in flour bit by bit until it’s melted, then add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Very awesome. We dipped boiled potatoes, toasted bread, and blanched broccoli and cauliflower. Other dippers I’ve used before include soft pretzels, carrots, apples, or sausages.
Next up: the bouillon course! I used this recipe, which is simply veggie stock brought to a boil with red wine, garlic, and green onions. Very tasty! We dipped shrimp, steak, tofu, and mushrooms. I was surprised that my favorite was actually the tofu — it soaked up the most flavor and was really good dipped in ginger soy sauce (I used Rachael Ray’s dipping sauce for soba noodles; I also highly recommend the soba recipe!). Next time I would definitely use smaller mushrooms or cut them up — they took too long to soften up! I also made this curry yogurt dipping sauce and this gorgonzola port sauce (I just used leftover wine from the bouillon) which were both very tasty.
We finished with a chocolate fondue course (technically, we had this the next day because we were so stuffed!) which I don’t really have a recipe for — I just melted chocolate chips in the microwave with a little cream. Dips: raspberries, strawberries, bananas. Also great: pineapple, marshmallows, pound cake, pretzels, etc. etc.