A pot of hot oil that you dip meat into sounds downright barbaric but it can also be heart healthy. Broth and hot oil fondues are much less decadent than their siblings, cheese and chocolate fondue but they're just as tasty. If a little care is taken when selecting ingredients and overeating is avoided, then both broth and hot oil fondues can become a healthy meal.
Fondue Bourguignonne (also known as hot oil fondue) consists of diners who cook their own food on long forks in a pot filled with hot oil. The oil is heated in a fondue pot to about 325 degrees and guests spike cubes of meat and place them directly into the hot oil. While waiting a minute or two for the meat to cook and also to enjoy some wine and their company (the best part of fondue) the cube is removed from the oil and ready to be dunked into a variety of dipping sauces.
In order to make hot oil fondue healthier you need to start with the oil. Peanut oil is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and it's also high in monounsaturated fat. This means that just like olive oil, peanut oil will improve the ratio of "good cholesterol" to "bad cholesterol". Next you will need to use lean cuts of meat. Beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin and loin of lamb are good but chicken or turkey breast are your best bets. And keep the portions small. The general guideline is that the portion should be about the size of your palm of your hand.
Dipping sauces can also be made healthier with ingredient substitutions. Try using low sodium soy sauce or fat free sour cream. Take a small dip and don't drown your food in the sauce. Just say no to the béarnaise or hollandaise sauce.
Broth fondues are similar to hot oil fondue except they are cooked in broth instead of oil. The benefit of cooking in broth is that it takes on the flavors of the ingredients dunked in it and you can eat it. Often broth fondue (or Shabu Shabu) is followed by a course of noodle or rice soup that is made with the leftover broth.
Start your broth fondue with low sodium chicken or beef broth. Like hot oil fondue you should use lean cuts of meat, small portions and limit the use of dipping sauces. Broth fondues add vegetables to the mix. Try adding mushrooms, green onions, carrots and celery to the broth. Loading up on vegetables will not only fill you but they're healthy for you.
When running low on ingredients, add the remainder to the fondue pot along with some noodles or rice. Let simmer for a few minutes and serve this wonderfully flavored soup as an after dinner treat to your guests.
Chocolate fondue is delicious but fattening. Cheese fondue is not something you should eat every day. When dieting you should probably skip them both and stick to broth and hot oil fondues. If some care is taken while gathering ingredients, fondue can become a healthy meal.