It is best to heat the oil on the stovetop before bringing the fondue pot to the table. The oil needs to reach a temperature of 375*.

1 tablespoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish

juice of 1 lemon

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 cup sour cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil

2 (8 ounce) baskets cremini or other fresh mushrooms, left whole if small, halved or quartered if larger

3 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1.In a small bowl, whisk together the horseradish, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, sour cream, salt and black pepper until blended. Refrigerate the horseradish sauce until ready to use.

2. In a fondue pot over medium high heat, warm the oil until it registers 375* on a deep frying thermometer, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns evenly in 20 to 30 seconds.

3. Using pot holders, carefully place the fondue pot with the hot oil on the stand and keep warm according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set the fondue pot on the table.

4. For each guest, provide a plate of beef, a fondue fork, another plate for eating and a small dish to season the beef before cooking.

5. Instruct each guest to skewer a piece of beef onto the fondue fork then season the beef with salt and black pepper. Submerge the beef in the hot oil and cook just until the exterior is golden brown, about 1 minute for rare to medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes for medium to well done. (Be sure to remove the beef from the hot fork before eating.) Serve the horseradish sauce alongside.

adapted by Williams Sonoma from The Fondue Cookbook, then further adapted by me


Chile vinegar: Mix 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar with 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 garlic clove, grated and 1 medium red chile, finely chopped. Set aside until needed.

Salsa verde: Put a handful each parsley, basil, mint, coriander and tarragon in a blender with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 anchovies and one garlic clove, grated. Whizz together.

Aioli: Mix 3 tablespoons mayonnaise with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 garlic clove, grated. Chill until needed.

Still more ideas: See blue cheese dip, curried yogurt sauce, green chimichurri or Tabasco and Worcestershire cocktail sauce.

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