Monday, August 16, 2010

Soup de jour - French Onion Soup and an entree that doesn't match

I really should be writing about how my soup cooking journey is going with my new awesome book but I'm feeling a bit like French Onion Soup today. This is one soup that Daniel's been craving and one that we haven't had it in a while (I'm talking years) , so why not try it out? I also got new ramekins which came with my creme brulee set (from Christmas!) so I had to put them to use. Semi-new kitchen gadgets need to be played with more often! Anyway, I had a few onions laying around and bottle of red wine so into the pot they go to make this delish soup.

French Onion Soup I - From by Chefbuzz

Ingredients (Warning - This is supposed to make about 4 servings but it filled quite a plenty ramekins):
-2 tbsp of butter
-2 onions (yellow), thinly sliced - warning, one may get teary eyed as a result :)
-1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
-1 1/4 cups of water
-1/4 cup of red wine
-1 can condensed beef broth (10.5 ounces) - This is where I made the mistake. DO NOT buy regular beef broth. It needs to be concentrated.
-1 French baguette (get it fresh from Henrys!)
Slices of white cheese (they recommend Swiss, I bought Provolone)

- Melt the butter in a large saucepan. After it has melted, stir in the sugar and let it semi-dissolve. Then add the onions and cook them over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it gets brown.

- Add flour and stir until it is well blended with the onions and pan juices. Add water, wine and beef broth. Heat the mixture until it is boiling then reduce to low heat. Cover the soup and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

It looks a bit odd but then it'll change into this familiar soup color

- While the soup is simmering, cut the French bread into 1 inch thick slices. Toast the bread at 325 degrees until it starts turning slightly brown ( I love toasted bread!). Keep them in the oven until the soup is ladled into the ramekins.

- When the soup is ready, ladle it into the ramekins and place a slice of bread on top of each bowl. It might not fit (since ramekins are tiny) so just cut the bread in half. Then take a piece of cheese and place it right on top of the bread. Place the soup bowls on a cookie sheet for proper handling.

- Place the bowls into the oven and bake them at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Once the cheese starts to burn a bit and melt beautifully over your bowl, it's ready! Bon appetite!

A été la soupe magnifique? Eh...
While I was hoping that this soup would taste like the one that they have at Mimi's Cafe (they make it so good!), it didn't turn out like it because of the poor choice I made in my beef broth selection. If a recipe says to get something condensed, there must be a reason for it (more sodium!). :) I think the best part of the soup, sadly, was the toasted bread with yummy cheese! While I didn't enjoy the soup so much because it lacked a bit of saltiness and because my stomach was overwhelmed with onions, Daniel really enjoyed it (or so he said..). Haha. He actually ate two whole ramekins and slurped up every bit of it! :) Lesson learned: Next time I'll add more sodium and get condensed beef brother instead of the all organic, better-for-your-health broth. ;)

And on to the entree that I made that has no relevance at all to French Onion Soup. Since soup was not going to be enough for dinner, I decided to look up another recipe - is so great - and found Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry with Chicken and Broccoli. YUM! I haven't actually followed a recipe for an Asian dish but this one looked super easy, I had all the ingredients and it looks healthy! SCORE!

- 3 cups of chopped broccoli
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1 inch strips
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions (or more)
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce (aka plum sauce)
- 1 tbsp chile paste (I just used the chili pepper flake paste)
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tspn ground ginger
- 1/4 tspn crushed red pepper (Thank you Pizza Hut for giving me this...)
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 1/2 tspn black pepper (or to your taste)
- 1/8 cup of chicken stock

- Steam the broccoli until it is tender but firm. I did this by putting it in a bowl of water and microwaving for about 1 minute. It works just fine.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the chicken, green onions and garlic until the chicken is cooked thoroughly (not pink and no juices).
- Stir the hoisin sauce, chile paste and soy sauce into the skillet. Season everything with ginger, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 2 minutes. Finally, add the broccoli and mix it around into the sauce mixture. Serve over rice and you're DONE!

I really liked this dish. It was so flavor and the chicken was not dull at all. The seasons really coated everything well and I liked how the broccoli added a bit of a crunch to the dish. I especially loved all the chile I added to the dish which made it so spicy and tasty. It's a little like having Panda Express in your own kitchen. I will definitely make this again!

No comments:

Post a Comment