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
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)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome job! Looks delicious!

    Next time you chop the onions, a trick that really helps reduce the tears is to put the onions in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before hand. A little trick I picked up from Food Detectives when it was on.

    I need to go wipe the drool off my keyboard now...