Sunday, December 27, 2009

nabe and fondue

First, I know just what you are thinking. Why would you have fondue?

Last night we went over to our friends house to partake in a lovely, and quite delicious meal experience called - Nabe. This is, in fact - very much like fondue, except that you don't dip things in, you take things out. So in a sense, the only thing fondue like is the giant clay pot resting atop fire in middle of the table.

Our hosts had prepared a feast of mushrooms, tofu (Brandon has embraced the tofu, but I am still coming around to the overall idea), chicken, chicken rolled into balls with vegetables, daikon radish, bean sprouts, cabbage, acorn squash, and since it's the new year - mochi. Mochi is basically rice, that has been pounded and turned into something that best resembles cookie dough, and then ends up flat, hard, and looking like pearl-like sugar candies from the Marie Antoinette days. It is a big new year's tradition. When steamed in Nabe it's gooey and delicious. As for it's other forms, well we don't really know about it's other forms so we couldn't respectfully relate.

All of the above awesomeness is thrown into the giant clay pot in which they are slowly cooked with broth. This can be broth of many flavor's, some of which include; miso, beef, curry(our flavor if the night), and "no flavor". Which I assume means - just water that possibly creates a stock of sorts.

Soon everything starts to look like this:

Once we devoured that - out of bowls of course - came the rice. That is correct, we are just getting to the rice. So, you mix the rice with the broth and top it with cheese creating a delicious, creamy, risotto oozing with flavors from left over pieces of mushroom, diakon, and cabbage. Which I don't really need to explain. If creamy risotto doesn't sound good to you then you don't really deserve to be reading this. Dare I say it? You probably shouldn't be our friend.

Just when you think you can't move your body and you have flash backs to your Mom declaring "kids starving in China" comes dessert.

So fondue.

We have never expressed a love of fondue. Although we did go on a fondue date once, back when Brandon was wooing me with his culinary intuitions which would later effect our future. I mostly loved the apple martinis. However, we managed to receive two fondue sets for Christmas (that's right Lindsey, two!). We took this as a major hint - as to what I don't know - but we prepped a tray of fruit and shortbread cookies and arrived with hands - err bags - full of chocolate. Chocolate, good. Fruit, good. Chocolate dipped fruit, GREAT. So, while we don't plan to be cooking any meals fondue style (why would you when you have Nabe?) we did enjoy the overall result. So don't be surprised if we ever show up at your house with all of the necessary items to make our new favorite dessert. Unless you are Laura, in that case we promise to never show up with a chocolate based dessert, but I can't promise we won't bring the fondue set up just for kicks!

*just to be clear: we loved receiving the fondue gifts. there is nothing more amazing then giving us something we have never experienced before. and we know that is why the loved ones that gave them did. thank you. we loved the experience!

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