Not all Swiss fondue involves a big pot of melted cheese. We’ve discovered two other dairy/egg/nut-free fondue options that are popular in Switzerland:
- Fondue Chinoise – skewered meat cooked in broth (we cheated and used the lucul version and prepared sauces from Migros); and
- Fondue Bourguignonne – skewered meat cooked in oil.
Last night, we had Fondue Chinoise for the second time. During our first time making this, a small fire managed to escape from our fondue pot. No one was hurt, but it burned a hole in our tablecloth and caused some minor damage to our dining room table. Since that time, we figured out what we did wrong—there were several errors—and our second attempt was successful! We had delicious fondue that was safe for our son and an easy main course for our guests.
Our Fondue Chinoise meal coincidentally corresponded with Chinese New Year. Our small Swiss city celebrated the holiday over the weekend, with a dragon dance, Chinese lanterns strung above the streets and more. In addition to fondue, I served Jamie Oliver’s Sher Ping Pancakes, as this has become one of my favorite recipes. They’re great when you have guests for dinner because you can assemble them in advance, cook them right before everyone arrives and keep them warm in a low-temperature oven.
For dessert, I served dairy/egg/nut-free Linzer Cookies. Versions of these cookies are all over our Swiss bakeries and grocery stores. The ones for kids often have smiley face cut-outs, while others have more traditional circular cut-outs. I used a recipe from an old Cooking Light magazine that I adapted slightly. The original recipe called for an electric mixer, but I’ve been making them by hand. A mixer might be preferred though, if you have one around, because the dough can be quite dry.
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar or vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange peel
1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water
about 1/4 cup raspberry jam
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, vanilla sugar, salt and cinnamon.
2. Beat sugar and dairy-free margarine (softened or slightly melted) together until light and fluffy—electric mixer is preferred).
3. Mix flax meal and water together and let set for a few minutes. Add to sugar and margarine mixture until well blended. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat just until a soft dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
4. Then, roll dough into about a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a cookie cutter of your choice. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets.
5. Cut out centers of cookies with a smaller cookie cutter of your choice, while on the baking sheet, and before you put them in the oven.
6. Bake cookies at 190°Ch/375°F for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans for about 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
7. Sprinkle tops of cookies with powdered sugar. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon jam on each cookie bottom. Finally, assemble the cookies.
Next time, we’ll be trying Fondue Bourguignonne. If you have any good allergy-friendly (dairy/nut/egg-free) sauce suggestions, please share them in a comment below. Thanks!
Updated December 18, 2013.