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onion soup prep
French Onion Soup Prep

french onion soup
French Onion Soup

baked apples Baked Apples

Menu Plan for the week of March 1, 2013: Day 3 Recipes

Soupe À L'Oignon (French Onion Soup)
Baked Apples

Cooking time:  60 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

    This recipe was given to me by a French chef (as in: from France) in a small restaurant in California.  His was the best I'd ever eaten and he was kind enough to share - in French, of course. This is more like what I have found here in France than any other I've tried.   This will be for 2 meals.

Soupe À L'Oignon (French Onion Soup)         Preparation and cooking time:  60 minutes
     This recipe does not use any stock, but rather white wine with beef base.  This is different than regular old 'bouillon cubes.  You'll find it in jars in the soup section, normally and it's usually a paste.  I always have both chicken and beef on hand to use for stock.  This makes just 4 servings, very thick with onions... as it should be.

5 large onions
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
5 tbs flour
4 cups (32oz, 960ml) white wine
1 cup water
5 tbs beef base , paste or powdered
2 thick slices country bread, or several smaller slices of French baguette, stale is okay
2/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, 3oz  (90gr)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 2oz (60gr)

Cut onions in half and thinly slice.
Heat butter and oil in large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add flour and sauté briefly, stirring - about 1 minute.  Slowly add the water, stirring constantly until thickened.  Slowly add the wine, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.  Add the beef base, stir well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 
Shred and grate cheeses if necessary.  Slice bread 1" (2.5 cm) thick.  Trim to fit in oven proof soup bowls.  Pre-heat broiler (grill).  When hot, put bread on tray and toast 1 side under broiler, about 1 minute. 
Ladle about 1/4th of the onions into each of 2 bowls.   Place bread on top, toasted side down.  Ladle broth over the bread to fill bowl - leaving room for the cheese.  Top with both cheeses.  Put bowls on a tray and slide under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serve.

Note:  Put the bowls on a baking sheet for easier handling.

Baked Apples                                                             Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
   They perfume the house while they bake, with that wonderful 'Apple Pie' smell.  They're great as is or even better with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt or, heaven forbid, vanilla ice cream. 

2 apples, suitable for baking - Golden Delicious, Granny Smith
2 tbs butter
4 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Core apples - using an apple corer, often masquerading as a potato peeler.  Stick it in the stem end and twist.  It takes a bit of fussing to get all of the core out but we are not going for any beauty prizes here, so just work at it.  Do not go all the way through the bottom of the apple - we don't want the butter to run out!  When cored to your satisfaction put half of the butter, sugar and cinnamon into each apple.  Put them into a glass baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes, until tender and juicy.   Remove from oven and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 60 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
soup pot, ovenproof soup bowls, baking sheet, grater
for cheeses
, baking dish, foil
Slice onions, sauté
Grate/shred cheeses
Stir onions
Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Core apples
Stuff with butter, sugar, cinnamon
    Pause while the onions cook
Bake apples

Add flour to onions, stir
Slowly add water, stirring
Add wine, beef base to soup
Stir, cover, simmer
   Take a wee break - about 20 minutes
Cut bread, get ready to toast
Remove apples, cover to keep warm
Turn on broiler
Make toast
Ladle onions, top with toast
Ladle broth, sprinkle cheese
Broil soup until cheese melts, serve
Don't forget the apples...

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