French Fondue, Beef, and Wine Entertaining Menu
The beauty of a stew is that it can be frozen and stored for up to a month. This menu capitalizes on that concept, and uses the freezer for other items as well. Be sure to put the wax paper between the crepes for freezing: it makes them much easier to separate when thawed. Make the fondue and have your guests help themselves for the first course: you could even serve it in the kitchen while you're getting the last of dinner prepared.
This timeline shows you how far in advance food preparation for the menu can take place. Following these tips allows maximum time with your guests and minimum fuss.
Up to 1 month before
- Prepare crepes for Caramel Apple Crepes. Layer crepes in an airtight container with wax paper between each crepe. Freeze.
- Prepare Beef Bourguignon, cool, wrap well, and freeze.
- Bake French Bread. Cool, wrap each bread separately in foil, and freeze.
Up to 2 weeks before dinner
- Prepare candied nuts; store in an airtight container.
Up to 3 days before dinner
- Prepare caramel apple sauce for crepes and cool. Cover and refrigerate.
Up to 2 days before dinner
- Thaw Beef Bourguignon in refrigerator.
- Shred cheeses for fondue.
- Trim broccoli and cauliflower for fondue if using.
- Prepare Garlic Mashed Potatoes and cool. Cover and refrigerate in a microwavable container.
Up to 1 day before dinner
- Thaw one French bread.
- Cut cubes for fondue; toast, then store tightly wrapped.
- Blanch broccoli and cauliflower for fondue and chill. Cover and refrigerate.
- Prepare all ingredients for Asparagus-Snow Pea Stir Fry, keeping each in a separate bag or bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- Thaw crepes in refrigerator.
Up to 6 hours before dinner
- Bring Beef Bourguignon to room temperature.
- Bring cheese and vegetables for fondue to room temperature.
40 minutes before dinner
- Prepare Swiss Fondue.
20 minutes before dinner
- Cook Asparagus-Snow Pea stir fry.
- Heat foil-wrapped, frozen French Bread in oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.
- Reheat mashed potatoes in microwave at 50 percent power, stirring every two minutes until hot.
Immediately after entree
- Place crepes on individual plates. Heat apple caramel sauce and serve. Top with candied nuts if desired.