Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flowery Experiments

I've been sick for a few days and wanted a good bowl of soup for dinner tonight.  Sad news for me:  canned soup sucks here (many might believe it sucks in the US, but you need to try it in Belgium to know how much soup can really suck).  So I did a bit of research and decided to make myself some french onion soup.  No time to consult my uncle so I went with an old favorite:  Alton Brown.  A mixture of his advice and some of my random side steps and we've got a solid bowl of happy warm onion broth.  
At the store I ended up with a bag of onions, I didn't look for anything specific.  I got a nice baguette and some cheese.  I can't remember what I got, but it was a nice soft french cheese to melt on the baguette.  I got a bottle of white wine.  I got some bouillon cubes.  I was specifically told not to do this by Alton, but he wasn't shopping in Belgium so I've gotta work with what I've got.  
The overall process was really easy with the only painful part being the onion cutting.  I followed Altons process of prepping all the onions to start and leaving them cut side down on the board.  This meant that the major pain was during a relatively short period of time.  I sliced the onions in a radial manner to make nice little half moons... not sure why I was supposed to cut them this way, but it was fun.  While I was doing all this I had a diluted chicken broth started on the stove.  Then I put a bunch of butter in a big pan and used the "low and slow" cooking method for the onions.  After about half an hour of light sauteing I ramped the heat up to get some caramelization (or almost burn) on the onions and then put in a bunch of the white wine.  After letting the white wine reduce I added the chicken stock.
The final addition was the cheesy toast... it ended up really good, and not too salty at all.  The color wasn't great because I didn't caramelize the onions enough to give it the nice deep brown, but otherwise it was hearty and made me feel warm.
Anyone who's enjoyed the food editions in the past should go back and find the older food posts and head to the comments.  My uncle has finally "stopped by" to comment and you can see some real criticism in place.

1 comment:

  1. Ive also tried Alton Brown's onion soup and have since modified the recipe... I don't like how he lets the onions burn and I think he calls for way too many onions, I like mine less viscous. I do think the shot of cognac makes a difference and cheese is key, a sprinkle of parm and sliced Fontina. Also, I used sourdough bread once- disaster.