Monthly Archives: November 2013

French Onion Soup

This Sunday I’m making my version of the classic Soupe à l’oignon with caramelized onions, rich veal stock, whiskey, and Guinness. Topped with French bread and melted Gruyere cheese, French onion soup is perfect for Sunday DinnerIMG_0578

  • 5 large onions sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 clove garlic mined
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup whiskey (I used Glenlivet scotch)
  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness
  • 2 cups veal stock
  • French bread (I used sourdough baguette)
  • Gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper

 

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: About 2 hours Serves: 6

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot melt 1 stick of butter in 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions, garlic then thyme and cook on low until a rich golden brown. This will take about an hour.
  2. Once the onions are nice and brown add the whiskey and scrape up any brown bits in the pot. Simmer for 2 minutes before adding the beer.
  3. Bring onions and beer to a boil then reduce heat medium-low and simmer with the top off for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add veal stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Slice and toast baguette. Set aside. I used three slices of baguette for each ramekin. You can also use one large slice of french bread. I slice the bread about 1/4 of an inch thick for a 6 ounce ramekin. If you’re using a large bowl you can go a little thicker. Really it depends on what bread to soup ratio you prefer.
  7. Fill 6 ramekins or oven safe bowls with soup. Top with toasted bread and lots of Gruyere cheese.

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Bon Appétit!

 

 

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Ragù Bolognese

Ragù alla bolognese is my absolute favorite thing to make during the fall and winter months. It is customarily served with tagliatelle but today I am using fresh fettucini. Classic Bolognese is made by braising minced meat in wine, beef stock and tomato concentrate resulting in a rich, velvety sauce. This recipe takes time but the process is simple and worth the effort.

Fettuccine Bolognese

Prep time: 20 minutes  Cooking Time:  2 hours 40 minutes

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1lb ground veal
  • 1/2 lb pancetta chopped fine
  • 8 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 11/2 cups dry red wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. Roughly chop onion, carrots and garlic before adding to a food processor.
  2. Puree vegetables until they form a paste
  3. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed pot. Add butter and saute vegetables until lightly browned removing all the liquid. About 10 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are browning, mix the beef, veal and pancetta until well combined.
  5. Add meat mixture to the vegetables and saute until brown. About 15 minutes.
  6. Add wine and simmer on high for 3-5 minutes scraping up any brown bits. The liquid should reduce by half
  7. Add tomato paste and stir into the meat.
  8. Add stock and turn your heat to high bringing the liquid to a simmer.
  9. Add thyme, reduce your heat to low and gently simmer for about 2 hours
  10. When your liquid has reduced down and the sauce is almost dry, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Bring cream and nutmeg to a simmer in a small sauce pan; gradually add to sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes allowing the meat to absorb the cream. The sauce should be thick and coat your pasta nicely. If you think it looks too runny you can let it simmer with the top off until the sauce thickens.

For pasta:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until  al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with about 1 cup of sauce to coat. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoonfuls if sauce seems dry. Divide pasta among warm plates. Top with more sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Buon Appetito!

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Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bisque

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After a four week-long meat fest I’m in the mood for something a little lighter this weekend. Not every Sunday dinner has to be a major production. But I still want something soothing and homey that will warm me up on these increasingly cold days. So I decided to use the last good Heirloom tomatoes of the season for a Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bisque. Served with a classic grilled cheese sandwich, this soup makes a warm and comforting Sunday dinner.

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Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bisque

  • 4 pounds Heirloom Tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 large carrots pealed and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

 

  1. Toss tomatoes in oil and salt and roast at 400 degrees for one hour. Make sure you get them nice and caramelized.
  2. While the tomatoes are roasting, saute your onions an carrots with 1tbsp olive oil in a soup pot until lightly browned. Add garlic and saute for about a minute. Turn off the heat and set aside until your tomatoes are done.
  3. When the tomatoes are done add them to your carrot and onions with 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Allow the the soup to cool before blending in a food processor or a blender. You will IMG_0499need to do this in batches so have another pot ready to pour your blended tomatoes in. You want to get the soup as smooth as possible before pouring it through a fine sieve to remove the solids. This process extracts all the good flavor before adding the cream.
  5. Once you have removed the solids from your soup, put it in a clean pot and warm through and add 1/2 cup of cream. Season with salt if necessary.