Tag Archives: black-eyed peas

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

1 Jan
French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

First off, Happy New Year 2014! Here I am in my third year of food blogging, and loving it! Yes, I soaked my Black-Eyed Peas last night, and will be cooking them up today for dinner. I cannot start out the New Year without a big mess o’ black-eyed peas. But my recipe today is the classic take on French Onion Soup, with a couple of changes. For one, I didn’t have any Gruyere cheese, but I did have a big hunk of Brie cheese. I had a slight “argument” the other night with a friend of mine who said you can’t shred Brie cheese as it’s too soft, but I have pictures as proof! You just need to have it chilled really good.

Grated Brie Cheese

Grated Brie Cheese ~ See, You Can Really Grate Brie Cheese!

The other change I made was to simmer it in my Crock Pot instead of over the stove, because, I’m all about easy! There are a few things I would change about this recipe next time I make it. For one, I would use ALL beef broth instead of a combination of chicken and beef broth. I think I would prefer the richness of all beef broth. Next, I would use a really dry wine instead of the sweet white wine I used (because that is all I had at the time). The caramelization of the onions already adds sweetness, and the sweet white made it a tad too sweet for me. I tempered that by adding some salt to my bowl and topping with some Parmesan cheese in addition to the Brie.

Next time I’d also splurge on some Gruyere cheese. The Brie was nice, but a bit too mellow. And last, the recipe I based this on said to use four to six medium onions. After four onions I deemed I had enough, but I really think I should have used five and maybe even six instead. But still, all in all a decent recipe, and I loved using the oven to caramelize the onions instead of sweating and stirring constantly on the stove. It worked out great!

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese
Adapted from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, French Onion Soup

4 to 6 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
1 stick of butter
1 cup of white wine (preferably dry)
4 cups each homemade or low sodium chicken and beef broth (or all beef!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Thick slices of French baguette bread
Butter for bread
Grated Brie or Gruyere cheese, for topping
Additional Parmesan for topping
Salt to taste, if needed

French Onion Soup Ingredients

French Onion Soup Ingredients

I forgot the butter in my ingredients photo! But it’s not hard to forget once you start cooking. Start out by peeling then slicing your onions thin. It helps to have a really sharp knife. I’m not a great slicer of even thicknesses, but it all works out.

Slicing the Onions

Slicing the Onions

Next, add the butter to a large soup pot or dutch oven and melt it. After I took this shot of the elusive butter, doesn’t it look like the butter is melting over the planet earth from space? No? I’m very strange in that way.

Melting the Butter

Melting the Butter ~ On Planet Earth!

Next, begin preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, add that big mess of sliced onions to the melted butter, stir around to coat, then cover and cook over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Here they are after coated in the butter. It looked like plenty of onions to me at that point!

Pot of Sliced Onions

Pot of Sliced Onions

After giving a good stir after 20 minutes, add the covered pot to the 400-degree oven, cracking the lid a bit to help the browning. Since the lid to my pot was round, I had a hard time getting it to crack properly. After 30 minutes, I deemed cracking the lid was useless so uncovered it completely at that point, so you might want to too, if you have a round pot you are using. I gave them another good stir, then cooked for about 45 minutes more or so, stirring occasionally, until they were nice and brown.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Once your onions are all nice and brown and caramelized, take the pot out of the oven and put it over the stove top over medium heat. Add the cup of wine, then deglaze the pot, including scraping all the brown stuff off from the edges. Cook for about five more minutes until the wine reduces about half. Add the chicken and beef broths (or all beef), plus the two splashes of Worcestershire sauce and garlic.

Pouring in the Broth

Pouring in the Broth

At this point you can either simmer it for about 45 minutes on the stove top, or do like me and pour it into your slow cooker and keep it on warm until ready to eat. I made this during the daytime, so opted for the crock pot method, as it was way early to eat at that point. Plus, as I said, I like easy, and getting the main bulk of dinner out of the way early is good in my book!

Soup Simmering in Crock Pot

Soup Simmering in Crock Pot

About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, slice up the French bread baguette (enough for topping individual ramekins for the amount of people you are feeding), then butter them.

Buttering the Baguette

Buttering the Baguette

Put them on a rack in the oven on broil, until browned and crispy. Ooh these look delish!

Toasted Baguette Slices

Toasted Baguette Slices

Now ladle some soup into individual ramekins, top with baguette slices to fit, then top with the cheese(es). Broil for several minutes until melted and browned. Remove (carefully!) from oven, and serve immediately. This is a great basis for a good French Onion Soup with about half the fuss, so if you take my suggestions and prepare this the suggested way, it’s sure to please! For the printable recipe, scroll down below and click on the PDF link image. Happy New Year!

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

French Onion Soup with Brie Cheese

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!


Black-Eyed Peas are Soaking!

31 Dec
Black-Eyed Peas Soaking

New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas Soaking

I have my black-eyed peas soaking for New Year’s Day and Good Fortune for 2013.  Are yours?

New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas

Dreaming of Cooking

17 Dec

Are you as busy as I have been? I feel Christmas just snuck up on me and whacked me in the back of the head this past weekend. Between card-making, shopping, holiday parties, etc. I simply have not had time to cook anything new beyond heating up leftovers and food from the freezer. Thankfully my husband has stepped in to cook some real meals this past week. But I have been dreaming of cooking, and I’m looking forward to some time off work next week to do just that! So for my “cheater blog” today, I’m going to give you links to a few recipes I found on Pinterest that I’m hoping to make one day, and hopefully at least one of these during my time off.

Baked Reuben Casserole

Baked Reuben Casserole from Winner Dinners

Baked Reuben Casserole from Winner Dinners – photo courtesy Winner Dinners

Tex Mex Black Eyed Pea Casserole

Tex Mex Black Eyed Pea Casserole by The Recipe Girl

Tex Mex Black Eyed Pea Casserole by The Recipe Girl – Photo courtesy Lori Lange, The Recipe Girl

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in a Creamy Avocado Sauce

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce by Kevin from Closet Cooking - Photo courtesy of Closet Cooking

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce by Kevin from Closet Cooking – Photo courtesy of Closet Cooking

Black-eyed Pea Soup

19 Sep
Black-eyed Pea Soup

Black-eyed Pea Soup

I had a hankering the other day for black-eyed peas, but wanted to make more of a meal out of them. Typically I whip some up from frozen with a little onion, bacon bits and jalapeño when I get these urges, and just eat them right out of the pot. But I had plenty of ingredients on hand and homemade broth and ham chunks in the freezer. I didn’t have the time to make them from dried, but frozen are a good substitute when pressed for time. By being pressed for time, I mean that I wanted these for lunch and didn’t have all day. I did have to wait about an hour for this to simmer to the tenderness I prefer, but I also didn’t want to eat lunch at dinner time. Aside from the simmering time, this was quick and easy to prepare.

Black-eyed Pea Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped cooked ham
1 tablespoon real bacon bits
1 teaspoon chopped pickled jalapeño
Black pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1 bag frozen black-eyed peas

In a soup pot or dutch oven, cook the vegetables and garlic in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until starting to get soft. Add rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the beans and vegetables are tender, to taste. When done, remove about a cup of the beans and puree in a blender. Add the puree to the soup and mix well. Yummy goodness in a bowl!

Playoff Game Dinner

22 Jan

What did we ever do before Deli-Roasted Chicken? I’ve been busy watching the playoff games, and made a quick run to the store to buy the main course for dinner tonight. Will smash up some taters and heat up the leftover black-eyed peas stored in the freezer. Sometimes you just do what you gotta do…

Back to the game.

New Year’s Day, Black-Eyed Peas, and Good Luck!

1 Jan

A big pot of goodness...and luck!

It is very unoriginal to write about making and eating black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day, but since I just started blogging I will take the liberty to do so. I’ve made black-eyed peas as long as I can remember, and so has my mom, and her mom too. And of course, I have to eat them on New Year’s Day for good luck.

On our birthday every year as children, each of us six kids would get to “order” what we wanted for dinner, and mom would make every effort to make that happen. I would always order black-eyed peas for my side dish. One year my mom accidentally burned them in the bottom of the pot, but I ended up loving them so much that way, that I asked her to “burn” them again the next year, as it gave them a delicious smoky flavor. Now I don’t recommend you burning these delectable legumes on purpose —  I recall it also ended up ruining one of her better pots.

I have never made black-eyed peas from a recipe, I just make them with gusto and lots of bacon, onion, jalapeno and love. Sometimes I make them in the slow cooker, or throw in a ham bone instead of bacon. They do take some time, but it’s worth it! They are great over rice as leftovers, too. Or cornbread — watch for that column soon!

Here’s wishing you good fortune in 2012.

Big Pot O’  Black-Eyed Peas

1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
Enough water to cover and soak
4 slices of thick-cut bacon
More water or chicken broth to cover 1 inch
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded, stems removed, and chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Soak dried peas in water overnight or at least 6 to 8 hours. Drain and rinse.
2. Cook bacon in soup pot or dutch oven. Drain on paper towels and reserve a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pot.
3. In the same pot, sauté the onions and jalapeños until tender. Crumble the bacon and stir into the pot with the garlic.
4. Add the peas and cover with enough water and/or combination of water and chicken broth to about one inch or more above peas.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add more water or chicken broth as needed, unless you want to “burn” them!
6. When tender, take a potato masher or the back of a large spoon and squish some of them up to make the liquid creamy.
7. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Like most southern dishes, this always tastes better the next day!

Notes: Learning to cook in the high desert of the Pacific Northwest has been quite a challenge for me the past 18 years.  If you live at lower altitudes, you can do the “quick-cook” method where you don’t need to soak the peas.  Cook the bacon and vegetables in a separate skillet. In the soup pot, bring peas and liquid to a boil for 30 minutes, then reduce heat, add the other ingredients, and simmer until done.

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