recipes

Classic French Onion Soup #sevendaysofsoup

Based on Julia Child’s classic recipe…

Classic French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 8 C white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 C homemade beef stock, or good quality store bought stock
  • 1/4 C brandy or sherry
  • 1 C dry white wine

Instructions:

  1. Heat butter & EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. When the butter has melted, stir in the onions, cover, and cook slowly until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add in salt and sprinkle over the sugar, increase the heat to medium-high, and brown the onions, stirring frequently until they are a dark brown color, at least 25 to 30 minutes. Arguably, browning the onions is the most important part of the recipe, and not to be rushed.

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    Carmelized goodness!!

  4. Sprinkle the flour over the browned onions and cook slowly, stirring, for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, let cool a moment, then whisk in 2 C hot beef stock. Bring to a simmer, adding the rest of the stock, brandy or sherry, and wine. IMG_1876
  6. Put the lid on your Dutch oven, venting slightly, and simmer slowly 1 1/2 hrs, adding a little water if the liquid reduces too much. Season to taste with Kosher salt & black pepper.
  7. If desired, serve soup the classic way: with a large crouton of French bread & broiled Gruyere over the top. Still delicious with any type of bread or cheese though.

 

So you want to make a stock… #sevendaysofsoup

I’ve been making my own soups from scratch for quite awhile. Making soups is easy and FUN! The only reason I can think of for buying instant or condensed soups is because making soups can be a little time consuming. Typically, you don’t have to *watch* the soup as it simmers; you can do other things and just pop into the kitchen periodically to give your soup a stir!

The cornerstone to making good soups is obviously making good stocks. It’s a fairly simple process, but can be time consuming. Once you’ve made a batch of stock/broth you can can it, or freeze it in smaller containers if you don’t have a canner.

Any time you are making stock you will need to have carrots, celery, and onions on hand for making a mirepoix. You will also need them for most soups. When I’m chopping mirepoix for a stock, I use an equal amount of each & chop them coarsely. I don’t peel the carrots, and I leave the leaves on the celery. I peel the onion (usually I like to use white onions) and take the ends off, then chop coarsely.

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This is a pretty good example of what my mirepoix looks like.

There are 4 stocks that you should learn to make before you begin your soup voyage: chicken stock, bone broth, veggie stock, and fish/seafood stock. I’ve touched on chicken & fish stock here before (see links above) but not bone broth or veggie stock. So let’s tackle those, shall we?

Bone Broth has gotten a lot of great press lately as a natural cure-all for whatever ails you. Is it legit? Maybe. In general, I usually feel better when I’ve had some homemade broth. I think the real key here is using bones with marrow in them. Many moons ago (almost a year ago) I made some beef bone broth & posted this pic to Instagram.

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Here’s the method I like to use for my bone broth.

Beef Bone Broth 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package beef soup bones with marrow (they will look like the picture above)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • half a bunch of celery (3-4 stalks), coarsely chopped, leave on any leaves
  • 3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped, unpeeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed & unpeeled
  • EVOO
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Arrange bones in a single layer in a roasting pan. Surround with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat.
  3. Roast bones and vegetables, turning and stirring occasionally until lightly browned (for about 45 mins).
  4. Smear bones with tomato paste & roast another 30-40 mins, until deeply browned.
  5. Transfer bones and vegetables to a large stockpot, spooning off any visible fat that you see. Make sure to pour any juices in the bottom of the pan as well as any brown sticky bits into the stockpot as well.
  6. Add enough water to cover the bones & vegetables, as well as a few inches extra. I like to use hot water from my electric kettle.
  7. Toss in your bay leaves and season with Kosher salt & black pepper, if desired.
  8. Bring stockpot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
  9. Strain stock through a cheesecloth and can or freeze until ready to use. Skim any fat off the top, as needed, but remember that a bone-broth may be more gelatinous than you expect, particularly after it is cooled. Despite skimming and straining it may still have a cloudy appearance when it is finished. This is normal & does not reflect on the quality of your broth.

Veggie stock is quick easy to make, especially since you don’t have to worry about fat clouding things up. It’s great to use in vegetable-based soups, or if you’re out of another stock.

Easy-Peasy Veggie Stock

Ingredients:

  • EVOO
  • 1 onion, peeled & coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch celery, leaves left on, chopped coarsely
  • 1 lb carrots, unpeeled, chopped coarsely
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

*Note: feel free to toss in any other veggie waste from other stocks/soups. I have even made veggie stock from trimmings (leaves, stems, etc) from other recipes.*

Instructions:

  1. Heat EVOO in a medium stockpot over medium until hot. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent. About 10 to 15 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour in enough water to cover vegetables by 1 inch (8 to 10 cups) and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, 1 hour.
  3. Pour stock through cheesecloth into a large bowl or another pot, pressing on vegetables to extract as much flavorful liquid as possible. Discard solids. Cool and store in canning jars, or freeze until ready to use.

 

Marshmallow Mania: Part II

It’s Blood Orange season! Blood Oranges are one of my favorites, and the season is short and fleeting. While I have some in my greedy little hands, I’m making as many different things out of them as possible. Naturally, I had to combine my love for Blood Oranges with my latest obsession: marshmallows. 

 

Me when it’s Blood Orange season…

 
Blood Orange Marshmallows

For this recipe, I replaced all the water in the original recipe with freshly-squeezed Blood Orange juice & in lieu of vanilla bean, I used 1 tsp Blood Orange zest. To get the right amount of juice/zest for the recipe I used 2 Blood Oranges. 

makes 16-18 large marshmallows

Ingredients: 

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 pkg unflavored gelatin 
  • 3/4 C Blood Orange juice (about 2 oranges worth)
  • 2 C granulated sugar 
  • 2/3 C light corn syrup 
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Blood Orange zest 
  • Blood Orange-infused confectioner’s sugar (recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. Zest and juice 2 Blood Oranges. You can add a little water to get to the 3/4 C mark, if needed. 
  2. Lightly spray a 13X9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 C cold Blood Orange juice; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 C Blood Orange juice. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla extract & orange zest; mix until well combined. Spray a rubber spatula or your hands with cooking spray. Spread gelatin mixture evenly into pan using prepared spatula or your hands. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.
  5. Carefully remove marshmallows from pan. Remove all plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sprayed sharp knife. Place Blood Orange-infused confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Working in batches, add marshmallows to bowl and toss to coat.

Blood Orange-Infused Confectioner’s Sugar

In a small airtight container combine:

  • 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar 
  • 1 tsp Blood Orange zest

Let the flavors “marinate” for 2-3 hrs; or ideally overnight. 

To use sift onto marshmallows or other foods. Small bits of zest may be present, and that’s OK!

ICYMI: Marshmallow Reminders:

  • If you want to add extra coloring to your marshmallows, add the coloring to the gelatin/water mixture. This makes it difficult to gauge the exact color you will end up with, but if you add the color after mixing you will deflate your marshmallow. In fact, if you do/add anything after mixing your marshmallow will deflate. Sadness.
  • Marshmallows smell funky before your flavorings are added. I guess this is is the smell of the gelatin. I have found that adding vanilla or another extract in its place alleviates the funk.
  • These marshmallows are softer than store-bought ones. I don’t know why. But overall, that’s a good thing. 

Love Blood Oranges? Want to give my Blood Orange Marshmallows a try? Get some delivered right to your door with an order from my Etsy shop, Mise en Place Gourmet. For a limited time!!



My Big, Fat, Greek Truffle!

Ok, it’s not abnormally large, and not of Greek origin, but it is Anise-flavored like my favorite Greek liquor, OUZO!! If you make a mess while making/eating these, you can clean it up with Windex!

Star Anise Infused Truffles

Ingredients: 

  • 2/3 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/3 C semisweet chocolate
  • 3-4 star anise pods
  • 1/2 tsp anise extract
  • cocoa powder, sprinkles, anise infused sugar, Kosher salt for topping (if desired)

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream and anise pods to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cover and steep 10-12 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, slowly heat a large pot of water for the double-boiler. I like to use my pasta-pot
  4. In a bowl large enough to rest over the top of the water pot, combine chocolate and anise extract.
  5. When cream has finished steeping, pour it through a wire mesh strainer into the chocolate & anise extract mixture. Discard anise pods.
  6. Heat chocolate, anise extract, and cream slowly over the double-boiler until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  7. Refrigerate genache mixture 6-8 hours or overnight.
  8. When you’re ready to roll the truffles, you will want to have clean, warm hands. I used my smallest Pampered Chef scoop, so my truffles were about 1/2 oz each. I spread a small amount of each topping on a plate so I could easily top each truffle in the topping of my choice.
  9. Scoop out the truffle mixture, making sure to level-off your scoop. Quickly roll it in your hands to desired shape and while the chocolate is slightly melty from the heat of your hands dip it into the topping of your choice. Place finished truffle on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Continue until all of the truffles are rolled & topped to your liking.
  10. Chill truffles for several hours before serving or gifting. I like to freeze mine so they will keep their shape better & longer. Place each truffle in a mini-cupcake wrapper for adorable presentation!

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Star Anise Infused Sugar

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2 star anise pods

Instructions:

  1. Put granulated sugar into an airtight container with a lid.
  2. Add your anise pods & shake container.
  3. The longer the anise pods remain in the sugar, the greater the licorice/Ouzo flavor.
  4. If you use some of your sugar & need to refresh, just add some sugar and let your container rest to infuse the flavor.

Fun fact: Black licorice and salt is a classic Nordic combo, so maybe I can also categorize this under #vikinggrub

Cool-Mom Twinkie Pie

What do you do when it’s Pi(e) Day/Week & Spring Break & you’re a food blogger & cool mom? You make a Twinkie pie! This is not a pie with the flavor profile of a Twinkie, it’s a pie made with actual Twinkies. An entire box of them in fact! I found this recipe on Pinterest via Wine and Glue. I’m thinking it could conceivably be made with any un-iced snack cake. Stay tuned for ideas on that. I actually made TWO Twinkie pies (since I’m the cool mom) one with traditional Twinkies, the other with banana flavor. Fun fact: banana was actually the original flavor of Twinkies pre-WW2! I was out of vanilla extract, so I used almond extract. It worked out fine & I feel like you could change up different extracts depending on the snack cake used. Example: Devil Dogs with mint extract! The good news is the pies were delicious; the bad news is I only managed to capture one photo of the pies before they were devoured by teens on Spring Break! 

  
Cool-Mom Twinkie Pie

makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients:

  • one whole box of Twinkies, any kind
  • 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (almond works too!)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Unwrap all your Twinkies and break them into about 4 pieces each. 
  3. Combine Twinkies, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. 
  4. Mix on med-low heat until smooth. 
  5. Pour into pie crust on lined baking sheet. 
  6. Bake 35-40 mins or until top of pie is golden. 
  7. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. 


Peanut Noodle Perfection

Tonight I perfected my peanut noodle game. My son was obsessing over these packaged “Thai” peanut noodles, so I did what any great mom would do: I found some recipes on Pinterest & attempted to recreate them at home. I ended up morphing together the aspects of each recipe that I liked and making a bit more of the sauce than either recipe called for. Both kids eat them, they are easy to make, & I typically have most of the ingredients on-hand, so I think these will be on heavy rotation until we tire of them. 

Perfect Peanut Noodles

makes enough noodles for 2 teens & one mom

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 oz package rice noodles
  • 1/4 C sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2/3 C peanut butter, half crunchy/half creamy works best
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • sesame seeds (to garnish)
  • green onions, finely chopped or minced chives (to garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Most rice noodles don’t get “cooked” per se, the water is heated, and they are soaked off the heat for several minutes. 
  2. While your noodles are soaking, prepare your sauce. Combine all ingredients except garnish in a small bowl. No need to mix at this point, really. 
  3. Drain the noodles. While they are still warm, add the sauce and stir into the noodles with a rubber spatula. This is key. The noodles must be warm/hot when they receive the sauce or 1) the peanut butter will not melt and 2) the noodles will harden into a impenetrable rice-noodle mass. Trust me when I tell you that nobody wants that to happen. 
  4. Serve up the noodles in individual bowls. Top with sesame seeds and green onions or chives. 

Peanut Noodles? CRUSHED IT!

Do the “Truffle Shuffle” with Your Valentine!

Help! I’ve fallen down the truffle rabbit hole! 

  
I’m making truffles & I can’t stop!! Making truffles 1) is easy 2) is fun (in my opinion) and 3) looks impressive to your friends. I’ve made truffles a handful of times over the years, but this time I upped my game & made them in some outside-the-box flavors (I’m nothing if not outside-the-box).

Lavender-Love Truffles

makes 16-18 truffles 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried lavender buds
  • 2 tbsp honey (lavender honey if you can get it)
  • 1 1/3 C dark chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder, sprinkles, lavender buds, lavender salts etc for topping (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over med-high heat bring cream to a gentle simmer. 
  2. Whisk in the lavender buds, cover, and steep for 10-12 mins.    
  3. Meanwhile, slowly heat a large pot of water for the double-boiler. I like to use my pasta-pot
  4. In a bowl large enough to rest over the top of the water pot, combine chocolate and honey.    
  5. When cream has finished steeping, pour it through a wire mesh strainer into the chocolate & honey mixture. Discard lavender buds. 
  6. Heat chocolate, honey, and cream slowly over the double-boiler until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. 
  7. Refrigerate genache mixture 6-8 hours or overnight. 
  8. When you’re ready to roll the truffles, you will want to have clean, warm hands. I used my smallest Pampered Chef scoop, so my truffles were about 1/2 oz each. I spread a small amount of each topping on a plate so I could easily top each truffle in the topping of my choice. 
  9. Scoop out the truffle mixture, making sure to level-off your scoop. Quickly roll it in your hands to desired shape and while the chocolate is slightly melty from the heat of your hands dip it into the topping of your choice. Place finished truffle on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Continue until all of the truffles are rolled & topped to your liking. 
  10. Chill truffles for several hours before serving or gifting. I like to freeze mine so they will keep their shape better & longer. Place each truffle in a mini-cupcake wrapper for adorable presentation!

By the way, this is Chunk from The Goonies. Then & Now!