Host a Fondue Party

Look back to a decades-old solution for a hassle-free way to entertain.

Fondue is very cosmopolitan -- it hails from Switzerland and France -- and it requires little preparation.

A fondue party is easy to pull off. Start by dusting off the fondue pot (who cares if it's the '70s-looking avocado-green thing you found in your mother's attic). Then, just prep a few ingredients and let your guests do the rest. Any of these recipes would go well with a crisp green salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. If you like, you can serve the salad European-style -- after the entree, to help cleanse the palate before dessert. If you need appetizers, try a simple spread of smoked salmon, capers, lemon slices, fresh dill, and crackers. Or simply put out a French-style pate, tart cornichons, and baguette slices. For dessert, wash out the pot, fill it with our Mocha Fondue, and continue the cook-your-own fun.

Queso Fundido with Corn-Bread Dippers

These recipes, from the classic to the contemporary, will have guests practically cooking the food themselves -- and having a great time doing it.

Queso Fundido with Corn-Bread Dippers It's no coincidence that the Spanish word "fundido" sounds a little like the French word "fondue" -- they both mean "melted." This south-of-the-border interpretation brings a chili-pepper bite and jicama crunch to the melted cheese.

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Meat Fondue Our lighter, updated version of meat fondue calls for broth instead of the traditional oil.

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Swiss Fondue This is it! A rich, wine-laced, Swiss-style recipe for the fondue purist. Hint: To keep the mixture from sticking and scorching in the pot, stir the fondue with your fork and bread every time you dip into it.

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Wine-Tarragon Fondue Partially cook the vegetables for easy spearing.

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Mocha Fondue Update chocolate fondue with a hint of coffee, and serve it with meringue cookies as crispy dippers.

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