In my family, we usually enjoy our big elaborate Christmas feast on Christmas Day, which leaves room for a plainer, easier repast for Christmas Eve. This year, the Eve was going to feature fondue and prosecco.
I've never been happy with fondue done in my specialty Le Creuset ECI pot on the steel stand, over an alcohol burner. Even if you prewarm the cheese and booze before mounting the pot in the stand, the fondue is too cold and thin until the very last dips. Even then, there is a very short window of time between thickened melty goodness and the bottom scorching.
With this in mind, I was looking forward to cooking fondue this year on an induction hotplate. I had 3 to choose from, my original 1500W Aroma, my 1800W Vollrath Mirage Pro, and the new Panasonic 3500W/220VAC Met-All. I chose to use the Vollrath because of its fine granularity of control.
Everything was set up, the table set, the bread cubed, the skewers arranged just so, the prosecco opened and on ice. Christmas carols played. Candelabras were lit. Romance was in the air, as I brought the prewarmed Le Creuset out to the Vollrath on the table. "Which setting to start?", I had mused the whole afternoon. Could I find an ideal setting for goopiness without scorching? I decided--decisively--that 20 was where I'd start.
Knowing I had 100 power settings at my disposal, surely this year would mark a fondue milestone, where everything was dialed in, if not with the first guess, then with but a few adjustments. That alcohol burner was going to leave my kitchen for good, and good riddance!
And then the magic happened. The pot went on the glass, perfectly centered. The On button was confidently depressed with my left hand as my right grasped that wondrous adjustment knob. I was Cook on the bridge of Endeavor, Vancouver helming Discovery.
"ADD PAN" Remove and replace pot.
"ADD PAN" Cycle power off and back on.
"ADD PAN" Scoot pot around painted circle, hoping to trigger sensor.
"ADD PAN" Retrieve alcohol burner, stand, and a 2nd, 'revenge bottle' of prosecco.
Merry Christmas to All, and to All, Better Luck!
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