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CLASSIC FRENCH ONION SOUP

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

French Onion Soup is one of my favs to order in a restaurant.  It always seemed to be a treat with a pound of cheese melted down the sides of the crock, and a roll (carbs!) floating in the broth.  It never occurred to me that I could make it better, and lighter, at home.  This recipe changed my mind.

If you have a food processor, use it.  Slicing the onions will take no time at all.  Please don’t pile a bag of shredded low fat cheese on top of this soup.  It won’t do it justice.  Buy a block of Gruyere and shred it yourself.  A small amount of Gruyere melted on top of a thin piece of toasted sourdough or french bread is all you need to experience a fantastic full, rich flavor with less calories.  The bread holds up the cheese so it doesn’t sink to the bottom.

I love wine but wasn’t sure what kind of wine to use in this recipe.  Well, that’s what Google is for.   The drier the wine, the less sugar in it, the less sweet ~ but with more alcohol.  Not to worry, the alcohol evaporates when cooking.  Long story short, want a good flavor?  Put in a good wine: a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc ~ and remember to pour yourself a glass. Slainte!

~Sheryl

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1-2 bay leafs
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices of toasted French, or crusty,  bread
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the caramelization.

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 hours.  Discard the bay leaf.

To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish.  Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately- or the bread will begin to soak up the broth.

BROCCOLI with Parmigiano Reggiano

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Who doesn’t love cheesy broccoli?  This recipe does not drip with processed cheese but instead teases you with crisp bites of Parmigiano Reggiano roasted right onto the broccoli.  Just a hint of crushed red pepper flakes and garlic are used to round out the flavors.  Always a favorite dish my house, this recipe served 8 people at our Beachpeach Celebration Dinner.   ~ Sheryl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 heads fresh broccoli. cut the broccoli off the stems and cut each floret in half
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano shavings (use a peeler and shave it off the wedge)
  • 3 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with olive oil.  

Steam broccoli until bright green, just cooked but still crunchy.  You do not want “mushy” broccoli.  About 4 minutes. 

Put broccoli in baking dish.  Add all other ingredients to baking dish and stir well to coat evenly. 

Bake 8 minutes to melt cheese.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

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