Tag Archives: wine

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!

Classic Stroganoff and Smoke Alarms

8 Dec
Classic Stroganoff over Shells

Classic Stroganoff over Shells

Well I set off every dad-blasted smoke alarm in this house cooking this the other night. Well, at least my husband thinks it was my cooking but who am I to argue? And to top it off, they kept going off all night! We thought we had pinpointed which of the seven needed its battery replaced, and they stayed silent for almost an hour, but then they all started blaring again at once. And this was three hours after they first went off! By that time we were so frustrated, we unhooked all of them from the ceilings and took out all the batteries except for that first one we replaced. And guess what? They kept chirping at us loudly every 10 seconds. We then gathered these evil little possessed round objects and shut them away in the room furthest from our bedroom. Anyways, we managed to somewhat enjoy this dish between running around and pressing all the “hush” buttons, which keeps them quiet for all of seven minutes.

Now, getting to the recipe. I had picked up a good deal on some thin sliced bottom round that I was going to grill back when it wasn’t freezing cold outside, but I forgot about it in the freezer. I had a little over a half carton left of fresh mushrooms in the fridge so I decided it was a good time to whip up some Classic Stroganoff of Russian fame. I cook the Americanized version (healthied up without the canned soup) all the time with ground burger (recipe here), but decided if I was going to use steak instead of burger I would try out the Classic version. Well, close to the classic version since I didn’t have any egg noodles and subbed with shells (actually I think I’ve heard potatoes are used for the Classic version), and most Classic versions call for whole grain mustard which I didn’t have, but close enough.  Anyways, this is quite simple to make, and I got to use my cute little frozen tarragon oil cubes again! Yes, I am going to brag every time I use them because I think they are just so stinking neat! You can substitute a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of dried tarragon if you don’t happen to have these frozen little marvels in your freezer.

Classic Stroganoff

2 frozen tarragon oil cubes (or substitute)
1 pound bottom round, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch strips
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 carton of fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I knew I kept the leftover red wine from Thanksgiving for a reason! I don’t drink it myself)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I freeze the rest)
1 cup homemade beef broth, or low sodium canned or boxed
1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1/4 cup sour cream
Hot cooked noodles

Classic Stroganoff Sauce

Classic Stroganoff Sauce

You can put the water on for the pasta when you start this, as everything will finish close to the same time. Add the cubes or oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Grind black pepper all over the beef and add to the skillet when the oil is hot. Cook on both sides until it’s nice and browned. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dried tarragon if you didn’t use the cubes. In the same skillet, add the butter, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and starting to brown. Now deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all the browned bits and stuff from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until about half the wine has cooked off.  Stir in the  tomato paste and beef broth until combined. Now add the beef back to the skillet, then slowly stir in the sour cream and flour mixture. Simmer gently until the sauce thickens up a bit, then serve over hot noodles immediately. I added some fresh grated Parmesan after I took the picture, but I thought the fresh dill sprig gave the photo some color. Enjoy! p.s. let me know if this makes YOUR smoke alarms go off! 😉

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