Friday, March 25, 2011

French Onion Soup is Perfect Winter Fare!

What to make for dinner, when it is snowy, and you have some onions and stale bread? French onion soup, of course! We had this for dinner last night (except the monkey, who had to have spam/rice/nori).
   I have the BEST classic French cookbook, At Home with the French Classics (I just saw on for only $4.00!! Crazy price!!). This cookbook has all the sauce recipes (e.g. Béarnaise, Béchamel, etc.), & all the bones you need to make classic French dishes.
   Anyway, I rarely follow a recipe exactly, so you can make this inexactly as well!
Easy French Onion Soup:
Recipe calls for 5-6 onions (I used 3, since we are a small family). Halve, chop thinly. Saute in 2-3 tbsp. butter in a dutch oven, or similar heavy-duty pot. Going to keep cooking for at least 20-35 min. until onions are brown, but not burned. Bottom of pot will get a thick brown coating; that is essential, do not remove, but do not allow to burn. Add some salt/pepper (careful not to oversalt). Add 2 tbsp. flour to onion mix, cook 10 more min. Then add beef stock (recipe said 9 cups, I used 6 or so). Be sure to deglaze pan while adding stock. Bring to boil, simmer at least 1/2 hour.
   When ready to serve, set oven to broil, & ladle into ovenproof bowls, leaving 1" or more at top. Top bowls with stale 1/2"  thick bread slices (I used that wonderful bread from Mountain Mercantile), like sourdough baguette. Then generously sprinkle on grated Gruyére cheese. Hey! This is the mountains; no Gruyére to be found here! No problem: I substituted mozzarella, which one should always have an ample supply of for pizza making. Broil until cheese bubbles, just a few minutes.
   Voila!! Yummy yum yum...It was soooo good!
WOOPS! Forgot: you are supposed to add cognac near the end. I added a splash of red wine instead!

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