"Holiday Fondue Recipes from the Melting Pot Head Chef"Love to entertain during the holidays? Try these two yummy recipes for appetizers from Chef Shane Schaibly , Head Chef, The Melting Pot Restaurants

Cranberry Cheddar Fondue ( Serves 4 to 6)

2 ¾  cups (11 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hard cider (Strongbow brand recommended)
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chopped sweetened dried cranberries
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons crushed walnuts

Toss the cheese with the flour in a bowl. Place a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of water. You may also use a conventional double boiler. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the hard cider into the bowl. Stir in the shallots, mustard and cranberries using a fork. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add half of the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add the remaining cheese a small amount at a time, stirring constantly in a circular motion after each addition until the cheese is melted. Stir in the pepper. Pour into a warm fondue pot and keep warm over low heat. Garnish with the walnuts.

Note – The cheese is shredded and tossed with flour to aid in thickening and to improve the viscosity of the fondue. The fondue should be the consistency of warm honey when completed. Monitor the cheese carefully as it is being added. Not all the cheese may be needed, and, in some cases, more cheese may be needed to reach the perfect consistency.

Chocolate Mint Fondue

12 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons crème de menthe or mint chocolate liqueur

Combine the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring constantly; or combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 to 45 seconds. Be careful not to let the chocolate burn. Pour into a warm fondue pot. Add the liqueur and stir gently to combine. Keep fondue warm over low heat.

For more great holiday entertaining ideas, be sure and read the article Fondue Cooking Tips From Chef Shane Schaibly , corporate chef of Front Burner Brands, restaurant management company that supports The Melting Pot, affiliated concepts Burger 21 and GrillSmith and other concepts in development.