Friday, November 13, 2015

Noodlin'

I told you I would be back, ye of little faith! And so I am!

So, it is Friday night. It is bloody cold, and windy, and rainy and arthritis aggravatingly bad out. I hate this weather because my joints ache wherever I had the misfortune as a younger person, to hurt myself.....like when I fell coming out of the building at one of the other campuses and landed with all my 200 plus pounds straight on to my knee. Good times....

So when I got into my truck to head home this day, I thought to myself that I didn't want to order dinner, but I wanted something different that I haven't had in awhile. It is in moments like this I think like my mother. What do I have in the cabinet that I can throw together and make that won't take a ton of time and that can be done with minimal effort because I am freaking tired and don't want to do anything. And so I remembered egg noodles and soup.

Now this is where I put in a disclaimer: this isn't exactly healthy. However, it is better than a burger from some fast food joint and I might have some of the casserole left over for lunch.

As always I will remind you all, since it has been, like, FOR EV AR since we last got together, that I don't usually do measurements unless I am baking and I have to. You are encouraged to play with the ratios and spices and stuff and make it your own. That is how you get to be the master of your own kitchen instead of a slave to the stove.

Chicken Noodle Bake

Chicken Breast (I used 4 average sized chicken boobs)
Italian salad dressing
1 bag wide egg noodles or something similar
1 family size can or two standard cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cans of cream of celery soup (Why in God's name they don't make this in Family size??)
Milk
Peas and/or other green vegetables
Cheese (I used an ascedero and monterey jack blend but you can use any mild cheese)

You start by marinating your chicken boobies in Italian dressing. Do this at least the morning of if you can. Here is the trick to that; do it before you freeze. When I buy large packs of chicken breast I put them in bags to freeze for later. Before I put them into the chill chest, I throw in some marinade. In this case, italian dressing. Then when I need some chicken boob eats, they are already seasoned. Done and Done.

Now in this recipe I use pre-canned Campbell's soups. I have used cream of mushroom, which I don't recommend here and all cream of chicken. I find that the mix of the cream of chicken with the cream of celery is perfect for my tastes. It keeps it from tasting to chicken-y if that is even a thing. There was just something missing without the cream of celery. There is another variation on this but I will wait til the end to tell you about it.

Cut your breasts (chicken, mind you. I don't condone violence against self) into approx 1 inch pieces. If you have little mouths to feed, I suggest 1/2 inch. I needn't worry about that, myself. Ain't nothin' small in THIS house.







 Once this is done, you are going to want to saute the chicken in a pan until it is cooked through. It will generate some liquid, which you do not need, so drain them off when done. Put them aside for
now.





Turn your hot box up to 400 degrees. Take out a 13x9ish pan and spray it with cooking spray.


Return of princess pan as seen in former posts about monster cinnamon buns!


Add the bag of noodles to this, and set aside.





In the same pan you cooked the chicken in, add the soups and refill all three cans TWICE with milk. So dump the soup, fill the can with milk and dump that in, and fill it with milk again and dump again. If you can't follow that, you may want to just give up now. I don't know how else to explain it.

I use 1% milk. If you use anything with more fat than 2%, split the liquid in half with water. Trust me on this too. Turn the heat to medium.




Then whisk together. BE GENTLE or you will end up sloshing it all over the place like I have done and burnt milk smells like shit. You just want it to come together and heat through. 






Then add any spices you like. This time I added a little onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, black pepper and thyme. You could add anything you like, or nothing at all. Remember, those boobies hold quite a bit of flavor all on their own because of the italian dressing. I know what it is like to have little ones that don't like anything with flavor, or people in the house with boring tastes, so go easy. You can always add more in the cooking process if it is in need of it. Halfway through the cooking in the oven I did add some black pepper because I thought it needed it.






Now comes getting the liquid into the pan with the noodless. I added the cooked chicken with the dry noodles FIRST this round because trying to mix this mess can lead to serious burns. Seriously nasty.







Once it is together, put the pan on a cookie sheet. TRUST ME on this one. Your oven will thank you. You also will thank yourself for this as, again, burnt milk smells awful and when burnt, milk becomes spot welded to wherever it fell. Scrubbing that shit off is about as exciting as a PBS special on paint drying. 

 If, perchance, there is too much liquid to go into baking dish save what is left, and put it in a measuring cup or something else easy to pour. You can always gradually add it in as it bakes. Just be careful. That liquid is like napalm. It burns, yo. 







Now that it is all together, you will think "Holy Shit, Red, are you out of your mind?" Yes, I am, but that is beside the point. It looks like a TON of liquid, but trust me, those noodles are thirsty little buggers. They will absorb more than you think. A side note about them too, I do not recommend using any other noodle but egg noodles for this. It comes down to the science. Regular noodles are too dense and would require even MORE liquid and you would get gummy results that don't have the same delicate texture. Do what you want, but in this case, stick to the egg noodles. You can use No Yolks or some other egg free noodle if you desire but stick to that style. They usually come in a bag in the pasta aisle.

Now cover with foil and put near the bottom of the oven. This is kinda critical if you want all that liquid to make it into the noodles. It is almost like you are cooking it on the stove top, heat from the bottom. Notice my filthy pizza stone in there? That helps generate the heat. If your oven has the element on top, you should get your pizza stone out and put it in the bottom of the oven to compensate for the lack of heating element in the bottom of the oven. It may result in longer cooking time but it should come together alright without any issues. If you don't have a pizza stone AND your cooking element is on top, lower the heat to 350 and keep it covered and cook it longer. Otherwise the top dries out and gets super crispy and the bottom gets soggy. Not good. 







One of the reasons I use a glass pan is that, surprise! You can see through it. When the mix starts to bubble, pull off that foil and give it a gentle stir. Leave the foil off so it can reduce down. If you leave it on, it traps condensation and take a lot longer to reduce. It will be watery in other words.



Gotta love the Godzilla-like shadow from my phone. 



 About half way through, add whatever green vegetable you like. Peas, broccoli, bok choi, spinach (frozen and drained, if you please). Whatever blows your skirt up.






Bake this bad boy until it is mostly absorbed. This is relative based on how much liquid you ended up with and how stiff (he he) you want your casserole. This could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes. If it takes longer than that, check the noodles. You may have gotten stale noodles, and they are absorbing very slowly. If they are cooked through but there is still a ton of liquid, you can spoon some off until it looks more like a stew than a soup. Don't do too much. There should be some liquid even after you pull it out of the oven. I know this is vague but once you physically try this recipe, you will get it. Just be sure the noodles are cooked through, to the point of overcooking. This is the one time that overcooking noodles is ok. You want that starch to roam free to capture liquid and set up the casserole. 

Once it is out of the oven, put the cheese on it and cover with the foil again. This next part is gonna be hard to swallow (no pun intended). YOU HAVE TO WAIT!!! This part is also critical to success. It needs time to set up. The proteins and starches in the noodles need time to settle and gel otherwise it is just noodles in liquid napalm. Your patience will be rewarded. I promise!






After about 15-20 minutes, dish out and serve. I made biscuits to go with it but it is optional, obviously, but highly recommended. 







So there you have it. A perfect weeknight dish that make fabulous leftovers. And my triumphant return to the blogosphere.


Alternate Ending of sorts:

You can make a stroganoff type casserole exactly the same in procedure. Just use cut up stew beef, cream of mushroom soup, and chop up some crimini mushrooms and put it in there. That one satisfied my German side without making others gag. I'll call that a win.

It has been lovely to make your acquaintance again, thanks for continuing to feed my narcissistic tendencies. Hey, you got a recipe out of it right?

Cheers Bitches, lets do this again soon!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

My GOD, what happened?

Hello to my readers!

Hello?

HHHHEEEEELLLLLOOOOOOOOO?

Ok, I know, I know. I have neglected you for over a year. I am sorry about that. My life has just changed trajectory.

Like off a cliff.

Seriously, things changed.

After I couldn't get into nursing school, even with a perfect GPA, I learned that sometimes you just can't keep waiting around for what you think you want. Things will change. That is life. So here is brief run down of why I have been so neglectful.

In 2014, I was offered a position as the Director of a local Community College book store. I had no choice but to take it. My son, at the time was in middle school and he was not doing well. This kid was a real trooper but his performance was not good enough to pass a single grade, but yet, the school kept pushing him on to the next one. I couldn't watch my son, go to school early to do work, work at school all day and then stay after for extra help and not have any success. It so happened that after talking to my good friend, that there was a private school for kids like him that had learning challenges, like mild autism or a learning disability but that needed one on one attention and a different environment that fosters learning in a way HE learns. So I took on the tuition payment and sent him there.

I am glad I did. He is happier than he has ever been and is finally having the success that he deserved after years of failure. He wasn't stupid, he wasn't incapable of learning. He just learns differently. Not less, just differently.

So now I needed a job and this boss lady job came up so I took it. I now has 5 permanent employees and a slew of student employees. Now, this is where I was blessed. I call them "my girls". They are super special ladies that deserve better than I can give them, but they keep coming to work everyday and just make my life awesome because of it. I have never laughed so hard or felt such a level of belonging in my life.

Maybe someone was trying to tell me something.

You guys know by now I am a recovering Catholic so I don't jump to the God figure as a reason for things but this is something that has truly been a blessing, wherever it came from.

So, now I have a 9th grader, who rolls his eyes at me and says, "Whatever Mom." Part of me wants to strangle him, but the other part is so happy that he is finally found some place in his life where he can have success.

I am still a student, and I swear I am so over this student shit. I would love to have a day I could come home from work and not have to worry about a paper, or another assignment. I am not far off. I have a handful more credits to take, and hopefully I will finish December of 2016. It may be sooner but that is what I am shooting for.

Listen, don't poke fun at me because it has taken be FOR-EV-AR to get this done. I had stuff come up and was trying to figure out what to do when obstacles kept being put in my way on this journey.

Other stuff? Well, I saw by BFF get married to her soul mate. I buried two beloved pets. I had my gallbladder out in May after thinking I was having a heart attack. I am starting a business with my beer buddy. All SORTS of fun stuff!


I promise, I will be better about this. Now that I am working full time you will prolly get a lot of crockpot recipes. I may even print my previous recipes in a book and do something like sell it. The future has all sorts of possibilities.

In the mean time, stay tuned, stay classy and try to stay sober. If you fail at the latter of those, I won't hold it against you.

Cheers!






I may even show you how to make homemade cured smoked bacon!!!













Monday, June 9, 2014

IPAs and an Argument


A good friend and I were discussing the wonders of beer in foods. According to my friend, IPA beers usually cannot be used in recipes because they tend to overpower whatever they are in. I disagree, because it can be done. I will never admit he was right.

Except, he was right, the bugger.

Well, mostly anyway. And, okay, so it wasn't an argument per se but I needed a little alliteration for title. Sue me.

Let us start at the beginning, shall we?

What is an IPA? IPA stands for India Pale Ale. This will involve a history lesson, so feel free to skip down to the recipe if you don't want to listen to my anglophile ass tell you about them.

During the years of attempted British world domination, otherwise known as imperialism, India was a colony of Britain. This and many more countries were subjected to all sorts of take over by the English. There was a saying at the time that the sun never set on the British Empire. As the turn of the 19th to the 20th century got closer, Britain began to lose it's colonies and the shine of imperialism was exposed for what it was; a subjugation of cultures on a grand scale in the quest for domination of markets and resources.

All that aside, during that time, there was no Suez canal outside Egypt. To get to India, you had to take a boat all the way around Africa, which is why South Africa was (half of it anyway) a British colony, so they could make a pit stop. Many beers at the time had little or no hops in them. Deep, rich porters and brown ales were common. Lagers really weren't around yet, and I will explain the difference some other time. These beers would be brewed in England and then shipped in barrels to the colonies. When a trip from England to India was six months or more without any refrigeration, many of the beers would spoil. This made for some very unhappy military men.

Right about this time, it was discovered that hops had an antimicrobial property to them when used in certain concentrations. Highly hopped beer will keep longer than lightly hopped beer, especially in warm climates. As a result the brewers started putting large quantities of hops in the beers before shipping them to the troops in India. The result was a very specific taste profile. When the troops would come home to England they had become accustomed to the highly hopped beers and wanted them again. So a style was born and named India Pale Ale or IPA.

Today, this is a real movement in the beer world. There are people out there that call themselves Hop-Heads and can never get enough of this little cone-shaped bittering agent. The rest of us who like this style appreciate it's more astringent nature that brings flavors like citrus, bitters, and floral profiles to our beer. Personally, I never liked IPAs until I got into some of the really great things that have come out of the craft brew world over the last 10 years or so. Now I love them, and when it is warm out, this is what I drink.

Back to the cooking thing, 'cause its what I do. My friend is correct in that due to the nature of IPAs, using them in foods is a challenge. Hops can really overpower flavors in a dish if you don't deal with their strength in an appropriate way. Other types of beers are very versatile where IPAs can be more limited in this arena. What I know about IPAs, is that you need a good one if you are going to cook with it. It can't be too over the top with bitterness. You are looking for floral or citrus notes, not bitter ones.

I decided to use a beer called Super Fuzz, brewed by the Elysian brewery. This is a blood orange Pale Ale, that actually is best served just chilled, and not too cold or you miss the flavors. It is a lovely example of a well balanced IPA. The orange flavor is slight but it was my starting point. Although technically not an IPA, it has many of the same properties. I discovered this faux pas after I had written this blog post and had another beer nerd tell me that it was, in fact not an IPA. Derp.



Since I did a dessert first (which, lets be honest, is the best thing about being a grown up; eating dessert first) I decided to go with a main dish appropriate for the season. POOOOOOORRRRKKKKKK!!!!!

I thought about ribs but given their unique needs, I didn't think this would be practical. I went with a pulled pork for this one, partially due to its versatility but also because it is good for self serve and I am taking this shit with me.

You have several different ways to do this; crockpot or slow cook on the grill. I wanted to avoid the smoke flavor, as I don't think in this case it would add anything to the flavor profile I was going for. So I went crockpot on this one, with a few exceptions. Here we go, my fellow beer junkies.

Super Fuzz Pulled Pork

1 pork shoulder roast
1-12oz bottle of Elysian Super Fuzz
1 Stick salted Butter, divided
1 Sweet Mayan Onion
1-20 oz can crushed pineapple
1-6 oz can pineapple juice (cocktail sized)
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
2ish tbsp chopped roasted red pepper (I used deli style in a jar)
2 tbsp red pepper flake

You want to procure a pork shoulder or butt roast that is proportional to the apparatus you are seeking to cook it in. In other words, don't be a nimrod like me and get one too big for your crockpot. I plan appropriately now.

I started by browning each of the sides of the roast in a hot pan with a little olive oil in the bottom. This is not technically searing and it is not about creating a "seal for juices" or any such asinine thing like that. That is a myth. What I am doing is creating a little thing called the Maillard Reaction which changes the amino acids and surface sugars of the meat creating a completely different result than if I hadn't done it. It isn't mandatory but this plays into the flavor layering magic I am creating. Click here for more information on this. Basic kitchen chemistry at work, folks.





This part is really simple, as far as I am concerned. Put the pork in the crockpot, cover it, turn it on low and walk the hell away for 6-8 hours. For whatever reason I have friends that cannot manage this. We humor them and then call for pizza.


Anywho, in about 6 hours you should have something that resembles this:


Take out the roast, put on a cutting board to rest for a while. No worries if it breaks apart. That is what you want. If the roast is not very easy to pull apart with a fork, put it back in the crockpot. You want the fibrils in the meat to completely break down. This can happen anywhere between 170 and 190 degrees depending on how fatty your meat is. You can't really over cook this, so don't sweat it too much.




Now for the beer.

In the same pan you used to brown the meat add 1/2 stick of salted butter and sweat down the onion and minced garlic.  To that add the crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, the bottle of Super Fuzz and the roasted red pepper. Cook this down a bit so it begins to look more like a sauce. Add the red pepper flakes now.






Turn off the heat and let it stand for a minute, and then add the other half stick of butter to this and let it melt into the sauce.

Now taste it. Is it spicy enough for you? If not add some more red pepper flake. Not rich enough? Add a little more butter. Don't like pineapple? Well, then you're shit out of luck. In all seriousness, the pineapple flavor is there, but it isn't in your face.

Now assemble how you wish. You could just straight up eat the pork with the sauce on it out of a bowl. We put it on sandwich rolls. It can be served hot, cold, or room temperature which is what I did. Like the beer, room temp seems to make things bloom.



Best things about this recipe, aside from the fact that it is made with beer is that there are no added sugars in this. All the sweetness comes from the pineapple and onions. It is also not too sweet. This could be made and frozen for a quick meal, assuming it doesn't disappear right away. The flavors are subtle but blend together so well.

So IPAs can not only be drunk, but eaten too. Point, set, match. ;)

Cheers!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Southern Tier and cookin' with Beer!



I'm entering the time of the year where the kids are home all the time ( A L L  T H E  T I M E ), and the weather is finally getting better. Usually I would have some school work to do or some other activity but this year I find myself without any real need to do anything. There will be some of you out there that will say that I am blessed and enjoy it. Sit back, have some fun with BBQs and kids and a couple beers.

Bitch, please.

But I do like food and I love beer. (Those that know me personally will appreciate how much of an understatement that is).

Now as a caveat to this, for my readers that don't know me personally or are more temperate than I, I am not an alcoholic, nor do I drink everyday or large enough quantities to do damage. I'm a craft brew junkie; pure and simple. So don't go running off sending me emails with attachments about how to recognize if you have a problem with booze. I most likely will respond with a snarky comment. So lets save ourselves the aggravation, shall we?

So here I was, nothing to do and I had this beer peeps get together I was getting ready for, and I wanted something special to bring with me. What to do?

After some very nice sampling recently, (with some lovely new friends, I might add) I am reminded how versatile beer is. There are a million and more flavor profiles that can be used and adapted to cooking. There are seasonal beers, dark, light, bitter, sour, etc. Lots to try and explore. And don't be intimidated by the craft beer scene. There are those that are die hards out there but they were assholes before they got into beer, so it isn't a direct result of the beer. The fact that they become more obnoxious after drinking the beer is correlational. Go to a microbrewery, and just try stuff. Most of us are really into sharing what we know and love to talk about it. Especially you ladies! The craft scene is a rather male dominated market, and they appreciate a woman who likes beer. I was told recently that women that know beer, love beer and like to talk about beer are like unicorns; very rare. Lets change that, shall we ladies?

I suppose the whole point of this commentary is that I was bored, and had a thing I was going to and wanted to impress.

How many of you remember that bread pudding thing I did at Christmas time? If you want that recipe click here. Its a great and simple recipe that requires very little fiddle-farting around with.

That was the basis for this creation. You see, the second day after that stuff is cool, it sets and you can cut it into bar cookies. So I thought to myself that beer is just liquid bread right? So I turned my kitchen into Dr. Frankenstein's lair and messed around for many hours. Thank goodness the beer I was using was expensive, so I didn't want to drink it and run out. That, and I would have been loaded before the cooking began, because I bought 4 bottles. One of these days I'll do a post on the process of creation I use in the kitchen and the basics of kitchen chemistry. It involves a lot of swearing in different languages and talking to yourself in a rather angry way until you turn into Lewis Black.

Now the beer I used is one of those things that I like to highlight on its own. Southern Tier Brewery is in Lakewood NY, Hubby's old stomping grounds. It is in the vicinity of Jamestown NY. They have a variety of wonderful beer creations and one of these damn days I will actually go and visit the place while visiting but I just don't get out of town much anymore. They are a great place, so I hear through the hop vine with some phenomenal people. Here is a link to their website for more information. Really good stuff, I promise. The beer is called Mokah, a stout brewed with coffee and chocolate. That's right, I said chocolate.



Do I have your attention NOW ladies? Just be careful, this beer packs a punch at 10% alcohol by volume (ABV).  No worries, after this is cooked the kids can eat it too, the alcohol cooks off.


So here is Southern Tier Brewery Mokah Bars.

1 Large loaf of dense, crusty bread, preferably one that is stale
1 Quart Heavy Cream
1 stick SALTED butter (Seriously, use the salted)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coffee
3 tsp vanilla
1- 22oz Bomber of Southern Tier Mokah Stout (Give or take...you may want to drink a little)
4 large eggs beaten and tempered
1 bar of dark chocolate (NOT cooking chocolate!)

First cut up the bread in chunks. If you're smart you'll do this the night before and let it sit out to get stale. If you're not, you will be like me and get fresh because you forgot. You can always toast it too. Again, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer I didn't do that either. Put your chunks of bread in a deep 13x9 pan. Set this aside. The size of your loaf matters and this is going to seem like a lot of liquid. When I say large, I mean a good 16 inch long by 4 inch wide loaf here. I have been told not to put "size" jokes in here. I am sure you all will manage coming up with your own.




In a saucepan over low heat, add the heavy cream and butter and heat until the butter is melted. Why did I say use the salted? Here is the deal. Although this thing is a dessert, it is not a typical one. You need a savory element to it, and the salt highlights the sweet. Ever wonder why salted caramels are so in right now? The adult palate can appreciate depths of savory and sweet and the more you play them off each other, the deeper and more complex the flavors. So I said the kiddies COULD eat it. I didn't say they would like it. If you don't have salted butter (to which I say why the hell not?) add about a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to the butter after it is melted.



Whisk in the sugar.



Add your coffee, vanilla and the beer.


This stuff was so good all on it's own I could have gotten naked
and swam in it. 

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and temper them with the hot mix in the saucepan and add the egg mixture to the saucepan. I hope you all know what I mean by tempering, yes? We've been through this. Review your notes or Google it. You cannot skip this step. If you don't temper there will be scrambled eggs in there and that blows. If you skip the eggs altogether you will just have hot wet bread. Continue to stir over low heat until it just starts to thicken.

Pour this yumminess on the bread chunks, gently fold to fully incorporate.

Now throw it in the oven at 350 for approx 45 minutes. Now you all know by now that all of this is totally arbitrary. You more than likely have some liquid left over. Bread loaves are like people; Sometimes the bread is more dense than others and sometimes the loaf is bigger, etc. You are looking to make the bread sopping wet with liquid just pooling in the low spots. Err on the side of less rather than more, we are making bars here, not pudding.You can always add more liquid while cooking but if you blow it all up front, and it doesn't come together you're pimped and have to start over, and eat that one as pudding.

I know, the things I do for my recipes.



What a BEAUTIFUL thing!

Just grate some dark chocolate over the top, or make a drizzle. I really could give a flying duck about how you put the chocolate on top, just don't over do it. But don't skip this either. There is coffee in the bars like in the beer but there is also chocolate in the beer you want to highlight. Just a touch.

I never got a chance to take pictures of the bars all done, as I was kind of in a hurry. They didn't last long, trust me.

As a side note, I have decided to spend this summer documenting beer events and recipes that include beer. It should make for an interesting series. I am bouncing around like a hipster on crack at the prospect, let me tell you.

So there ya go. Enjoy them and I am going to go try to find something else to put beer on.

Cheers, darlings!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Holy Mother of Onion...


I have a friend who I have known since we were in high school who is just about as bat shit crazy as I am.
She has a system on how to judge a restaurant on quality. She bases it all on how good their french onion soup is.

This was always one of the things that I never did, only because it takes a fuck ton of onions, and if I am going to do this, I am going to DO THIS. Go big or go home.

What I failed to estimate was the amount of crying I was going to do. Remember a while back where I said I bribe others to cut up onions for me? Yeah, well, no one was here but me and the dogs, and I wouldn't trust the bassets with a knife.

Anywho, this recipe is really something you need a whole day for. And don't plan on going anywhere. Or having your house smell of anything other than onions for several days.

Honestly after cutting up the onions, I didn't want to eat anything that tasted of onions. So maybe if you were to cut them up the night before, you would have enough time to recover.

Holy Mother of Onion Gods, my face is all puffy.

Fasten your seat belt bitches, and get ready for some onions.
Honestly, this recipe is really simple. There is very little to it, but it is about technique.

French Onion Soup
2lbs Medium Yellow Onions, chopped
1 large sweet Mayan onion
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) Unsalted butter
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Sherry
Garlic
16 oz carton beef broth
16 oz carton chicken broth
Large crouton
Provolone cheese slices

Cut up onions and decide how you want to roast them. You can cook them down in a dutch oven over low heat, or put the dutch oven in the oven and roast them, taking them out every hour to stir. Either way you slice it, this is a time consuming thing. I was planning on making a LOT of this because I only wanted to do this once in a great while because it takes days for the smell of the onions to dissipate.

I used my sooper nifty table top turkey roast for this because it has a temp control that gives me precisely the temp I want.
Yes, that is a 10lb bag of onions. 




Roast  your onions with the butter at about 375 to 400 degrees, or over low heat on the stove.

After about 3 hours (mine took closer to 6) you should have something resembling this:


Now add the sherry, and a little of the broth. Doesn't matter but you are trying to break down the onions so they are almost paste like. If you like them a little more whole, then thats fine too.

Once you have it where you like it, add the rest of the broth, and seasoning. It doesn't need much, really. Boil this down so it is nice and dark, about 30 minutes (mine took 2 hours).

Now comes the issue of the crouton. Traditionally, there was a large crouton floated on top of the soup and the cheese would go on top of that and the dish was shoved under the broiler. You can use a chunk of baguette, garlic bread or make some fancy bread like I did.

The bread recipe came from the LA Times from a restaurant called Cedar Creek, and I saw it on another blog. Click Here for her version she lovingly calls Crack Bread. Of course, I went a little different with mine, not wanting to be a slave to a recipe.

Garlic Bread 
1 loaf of italian bread, cut in half
1 cup Mayo
Hearty handful of shredded Italian blend cheese
6 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp cream cheese
chives, garlic and parsley to your liking.

Smear on the bread and throw under the broiler until it looks like the picture.





Now cut up some chunks and put them in a bowl, pour the soup over it.


Throw the sliced provolone on top and shove that under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese.

I know, I KNOW! It is supposed to be gruyere cheese or something like that. I really am not a cheese person but I do like provolone, so I used that.



It should, Hades willing look like this:



Check out my shitty action shots! My husband just wanted to eat his dinner.



It was mega yummy. And kinda pretty but I don't think we cared what it looked like at that point, we just wanted to eat the damn thing.

So there you go. This is a recipe of poor french country folk who only had meat scraps and bones to make broth and a ton of onions to eat. Necessity is really the mother of onion inventions.

Cheers! (as Red continues to spray the house with febreeze)