by Cate on April 8, 2007

A few nights ago, The Neighbor Wife and I actually managed to escape for a dinner out, all by ourselves. Quite the feat for us, I think this is actually only the second time we’ve gone out for dinner on our own in two years, believe it or not.

We ended up going to The Melting Pot, and had a great time. It’s been ages since I’ve been there, and it didn’t disappoint. We focused on just appetizers and dessert (always the best parts of the meal!) and left with visions of planning our own fondue night at home.

For tonight’s dinner, we did one fondue recipe and revisited a few favorites. For the fondue, I went with a Garlicky Cheese recipe from Emeril that was suggested on the Cooking Light bulletin board. Simple, simple, simple – and tasted spot on. Next time, I think I’d cut back on the wine just a smidge, otherwise it was perfect. The Neighbor Husband declared it his favorite for the night, and left with the extras. For the tried-and-trues, we went with Stuffed Garlic Bread, Red Leaf Lettuce with Balsamic Red Onions, and Lemon Garlic Chicken with Satay Sauce. Although a favorite, I don’t think I’ve posted about the chicken with satay sauce before. It’s from Barefoot Contessa, and is a perfect entertaining and summertime dish.

Alright, on that note, I’m signing off. It’s been a long day and it’s time for it to come to an end. Happy Easter!

A year ago today … pure randomness.
Two years ago today … nothing.

Garlicky Cheese Fondue
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, coarsely grated
8 ounces Muenster, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon kirsch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Optional Dipping Items on Skewers:
Boiled baby new potatoes in their skins, or quartered if large
Lightly steamed broccoli florets
Lightly steamed cauliflower florets
Lightly steamed asparagus
Button mushrooms, wiped clean and stems removed
Cubed smoked ham
Cooked sliced hot sausage
Long thick pretzel sticks
Lightly toasted cubes French bread

In a bowl or large plastic bag, combine the cheeses and toss with the cornstarch to coat. Set aside until ready to use. In a fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine and garlic to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheese a bit at a time, stirring well to prevent from clumping, and cook until melted. Add the kirsch, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, stir well, and cook stirring until the mixture is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Set the pot over a candle or canned heat and serve hot with assorted dipping items.

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Satay Dip
Created by Ina Garten
From the July, 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Makes 8 servings (1 1/2 cups dip)

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, halved (8 breasts)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2/3 cup diced red onion (1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Add chicken breasts and turn to coat. Cover and marinate, turning occasionally, in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.

In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook olive oil, sesame oil, red onion, garlic, gingerroot and red pepper flakes 10 minutes, or until onion is softened. Whisk in vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, sherry and lime juice, and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Heat a charcoal grill and cook chicken 10 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Cool slightly and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Put each slice on a 7-inch bamboo skewer.

Place the bowl of dip in the center of a platter, and arrange chicken around the bowl, or transfer dip to individual plastic cups with 1 skewer dipped in each.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty C. April 8, 2007 at 6:03 am

The chicken recipe looks great — a lot of ingredients but basically simple. That’s how I like my recipes — or with fewer ingredients sometimes too!


Cate April 9, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Betty – me too; the simpler the better, and perfect now that grilling season is upon us.


SheRa730 April 9, 2007 at 6:50 pm

that ina recipe is one of my favorites! i still have some leftover sauce in my freezer – i wonder if it’s still good…


Anonymous April 9, 2007 at 7:23 pm


The left over fondue that you sent me home with I ended up heating up and dipping the stuffed garlic bread in. I can’t explain how good it was. I am thinking of using the fondue in a grilled burger this Summer. I think I’m on to something or should I say I’m on to something with your help :)

The neighbor husband


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