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Swap Shop: Let guests lead pizza party

Chicken Kebab Pizza. (Phocourtesy Home Run Inn)

Chicken Kebab Pizza. (Photo courtesy Home Run Inn)

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Updated: June 22, 2011 5:15PM

If you're trying to overcome the winter blahs, how about planning a bring-your-own-ingredients get-together?

You provide the economical basics - frozen cheese pizzas and an oven, plain cheese or chocolate fondue plus a fondue pot and skewers - and ask your guests to bring creative pizza toppings, creative fondue ingredients and dippers and their appetites.

Jeff Hursch, executive chef of Home Run Inn, and fans of Chicago's popular frozen pizza company have created fun toppings on the pizza maker's website,

To help you get the idea, Swap Shop shares Home Run Inn recipes for Chicken Kebab Pizza with Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce and Taco Party Pizza.

And, in response to a request from C.R. of Deerfield, here are two Cheese Fondue recipes - one simple, one extravagant - from Marlene Kroll of Chicago and the Food Network's Tyler Florence.

To make Kroll's easy Cheese Fondue:

In large bowl, toss together 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup flour; set aside.

Using (2-quart) heavy saucepan, heat 2 cups apple juice until bubbles rise. Reduce heat and stir in half of cheese mixture, ½ cup at a time, until cheese is melted. Add ¼ teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg; continue to cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add remaining cheese mixture; heat until thickened and creamy.

Pour into bowl. Serve with apple wedges, zucchini sticks, French bread cubes or crackers.

To make 4 to 6 servings of Florence's Cheese Fondue:

In small bowl, coat ½ pound shredded imported Swiss cheese and ½ pound shredded Gruyere cheese with 2 tablespoons cornstarch; set aside.

Rub inside of ceramic fondue pot with 1 peeled garlic clove, then discard clove.

Over medium heat, add 1 cup dry white wine and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; bring to gently simmer. Gradually stir cheese into simmering liquid (melting cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue).

Once smooth, stir in 1 tablespoon cherry brandy (such as kirsch), ½ teaspoon dry mustard and pinch of nutmeg.

Arrange assortment of bite-size dipping foods (chunks of French and pumpernickel breads, Granny Smith apples, blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus) on lazy Susan.


Would anybody share an Onion Soup recipe?

J.T., Chicago

I would like the famous Frango Mint Brownies recipe.

P.M., Glenview

Please request a root beer cake recipe.

J.M., Chicago

Send recipes and requests to: Swap Shop, Chicago Sun-Times, 350 N. Orleans, 9th Floor, Chicago 60654 or by e-mail,

All mail must include a daytime telephone number. Sorry, requests can't be answered personally.

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