Saturday, September 12, 2009

as Julia would say....BON APPETIT !!!!!!

Today I made Julia Child's recipe for French Onion Soup. Along the way, I learned a few things. I had read somewhere that if you keep some type of flame lit near where you are cutting onions, you won't get teary eyed. I decided to try it.

I sliced up 6 POUNDS (4 HUGE) of onions ......

and it completely filled up the dutch oven. Guess what?????? Not one tear!!!!!!
The second thing I learned today was that you shouldn't put so many onions in too small of a pot. Mine was filled to the top and all it did was steam the onions. It took about 2 HOURS before they started to carmelize. CRAZY! I did add more onions than what was called for though.

I had to keep waiting for the liquid to go away so that the onions would finally carmelize.

I added the thyme from my garden... (I saw her use it on her show but it's not in the recipe)

and 1/2 a day later.... we have soup!

I shredded some Emmentaler Cheese (like Swiss, one that Julia mentioned goes well with the soup)

I toasted the bread, then put the soup in the bowls, topped it with cheese and put it in the oven to melt the cheese. I didn't want to broil it because one of the soup crocks (we had 3 different kinds) didn't say it can go in the oven so I didn't want to push my luck.

The soup was delicious and will be gone by tomorrow... if not tonight for someones midnight snack!
Julia's Onion Soup
(Paraphrased from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child et al, Volume I)
Serves 6 - 8.
5 C yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 lb)
3 T butter
1 T oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
3 T flour
2 qts boiling brown stock (recipe follows) or store bought beef broth (I used store bought)
1/2 C dry white wine or vermouth
French baguette, cut in 3/4" thick rounds
olive oil
1 clove garlic
Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in a heavy covered saucepan for 15 minutes. Add the salt and sugar, raise heat to moderate and cook 30 - 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions have turned a deep golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Bring the stock or bouillion to a boil and blend into the onions. Add wine, season to taste, and simmer partially covered 30 - 40 minutes, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning. If not served immediately, return to a simmer before serving.
Bake the bread rounds on a baking sheet in a preheated 350º oven about 30 minutes, till hard and lightly browned, basting them with olive oil after 15 minutes, and then turning them and basting the other side. When baking is completed, rub each piece with a cut piece of the garlic. Spread one side of each piece with the grated cheese, dribble on a little olive oil and brown under the broiler. Add the hot bread rounds to the hot soup immediately before serving.

Brown Stock
(Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child et al, Volume I.)
Makes 2 - 3 quarts.
about 6 lb meat, scraps and bones, chopped to 2-3" pieces (veal, beef, poultry)
2 tsp salt
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut up
2 medium onions, peeled and cut up
2 medium celery stalks, cut up
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 parsley sprigs
2 unpeeled galic cloves
2 whole cloves
option: 2 washed leeks
Roast the meat, scraps and bones with the carrots and onions in a preheated 450º oven about 30 - 40 minutes, turning occasionally to insure uniform browning. Place the meat and bones in a kettle. Drain out the fat from the roasting pan and deglaze with water, scraping the bits and juices into the kettle.
Add the celery, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, garlic, cloves, optional leeks and water to cover. Simmer partially covered 4 - 5 hours, skimming and degreasing occasionally, and adding more water if necessary. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and degrease before using.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We went to LouAnn's SWINGIN' SUMMER SOIREE on Sunday and one of the foods was a Taco pizza. It was so good. I decided to make one LAST NIGHT... yum!

Miss Godfather's Taco Pizza

Zucchini Crust
Large raw zucchini, peeled and shredded (between 1.5-2 cups)2 eggs2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or pizza cheese*)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Grease cookie sheet.
Peel and shred a large zucchini. Add egg and cheese, and mix well (I always use my hands). Spread the dough onto the pan evenly (watch the middle of the crust—it can be too thick) and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is cooked. Let cool.Makes a large crust (14")Nutritional Information:Calories: 785 Carbohydrates: 9 Fiber: 0 Net carbohydrate: 9 Fat: 49 g Protein: 75 g

Taco Pizza
For the Taco Pizza
Layer, in the following order:Pizza sauce mixed with Picante/Salsa

Seasoned ground beef

Shredded lettuceShredded cheddar (you can also add mozzarella and/or colby jack)

Chopped Tomato

Red Onion

Sliced Black Olives

You could also top with guacamole and sour cream if you'd like

(change nutritional information if you do).

Do not cook with toppings added. Serve immediately with a plate and fork!

Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes a large, 14” pizza. Serves 8.

Nutritional information per 1/8 of a pizza (including crust):Calories: 166 Carbohydrates: 4 Fiber: >1 Net carbohydrate: 3 Fat: 16 g Protein: 18 g


Scott commented to us that he missed Red Beans & Rice so we thought it would be nice if we made New orlean's favorites and let Scott & Alyssa invite some of their friends over to enjoy it with us. We decided that 'Saturday night' would be perfect.

I didn't realize it when we picked the date (August 29th) for this feast but today is the anniversary of when Hurricane Katrine hit New Orleans. What a perfect day to honor the people and part of what makes them special.
On the menu...
Corn & Crab Soup
Red BeansRice
Shrinp Etouffee
Corn Bread

Alyssa made the Gumbo.
Making the roux is the toughest part. You need to stir that stuff for like an HOUR before it gets to the proper color! Talk about a labor of love!

Corn Bread in my favorite cast iron pan.


Shrimp Etouffee

Red Beans
I put labels on the table so everyone would know what they were eating.

My plate!

I have to say... I was very impressed with our efforts. It was a lot of work but everyone enjoyed themselves and had a great food experience. Most of the kids had never had this kind of foods so it was great to have them try them. I think my favorites were the Gumbo and the Shrimp Etouffee. YUM!!! Good times!!
Here's the recipes:

SHRIMP ETOUFEE (or Crawfish)

½ pound butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup green pepper, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
8 oz. tomato sauce
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tblsp. Worcestershire
Tabasco to taste
2 cups water
2 pounds Shrimp (1 kilo)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tblsp. grated lemon rind
¼ cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons cognac

1. Make a walnut-colored roux with ¼ cup butter and flour.
2. Add green onions, yellow onions, garlic, green pepper, celery, bay leaf, thyme, basil and the rest of the butter. Sauté uncovered, over medium flame for 30 minutes.
3. Add tomato sauce, white pepper, salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco and water. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
5. After 1 hour, turn off fire.
6. Immediately add shrimp, lemon juice, lemon rind, parsley and cognac.
7. Serve over white rice or with French bread.

Best if made the day before or early in the morning. Cover & refrigerate. Reheat quickly, without boiling.

1 1/3 cups Flour
2/3 cups Cornmeal (yellow)
2/3 cups Sugar
½ cups Corn Flour (use ¼ Cup Flour and ¼ Cup Cornmeal)
5 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups Milk
5 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten

In large bowl, mix Flour, Cornmeal, Sugar, Corn Flour (see note), Baking Powder, and Salt. Mix well, breaking up any lumps.
2. In another bowl, combine the Milk, Butter and Egg.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, blend just until mixed and large lumps are dissolved. Do not overbeat.
4. For Bread: Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 F until golden brown, about 55 minutes.
For Muffins: Spoon mixture into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 F until golden brown, about 45 minutes

Red Beans & Rice
1 pound dried red beans
1 meaty ham bone
1 ¾ quarts water (enough to cover ham bone)
3 cups chopped Bermuda onion
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon salt
Dash red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
Dash Tabasco
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon thyme leaves
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
Seasoned salt to taste
Cooked Rice
Soak beans overnight in water to cover. Drain. Cook beans and ham bone in water slowly for 3 hours. Add all ingredients except seasoned salt. Cook slowly for 1 ½ hours. Cool. Reheat and simmer for 1 hour. Add seasoned salt to taste. Served over cooked rice. Serves 8.

The other recipes will be added when I have more time!