Midwest French Onion Soup

I love French Onion soup…but I have never tried to make it. One of those things where I always thought this will be too difficult and take too much time. Well I proved myself wrong, I made it after work starting at 7:30pm and finished by 9:30pm…so if I had started it at 5pm like I told myself I would, it would have been done in a normal dinner time slot ha. But this recipe, is easy, its cheap and not a lot of work goes into it! I am over the moon on how good it is!

This recipe is based off of Julia Childs…and yes…I changed it up. I know, I know–how could I!

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Ingredients

  • 3 medium size yellow onions
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • French baguette (I got mine at the Kroger bakery)
  • Swiss and Italian mix cheese (contains- mozzarella and Parmesan–can be found at Kroger)
  • dutch oven (If you are serving as a large meal you can put it in the oven as is. If serving for an individual highly recommend getting a french onion soup crock bowl–I found 2 at Goodwill!)Please note:If you’re not going to add the cheese to cook in the oven a regular soup pot is fine to cook in.

Instructions

  • Cut onions into thin slices. I cut my onion in half, sliced each half of the onion then cut those long slices in half to get nice squarish pieces.
  • Put onions in dutch oven with butter and olive oil, cover and  cook on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

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  • Uncover add in your salt and sugar, stirring frequently for 40 minutes. Keep uncovered as they cook. The onions should begin to get a deep brown color as they become carmelized.
  • At about 10 minutes before your onions are ready, boil your beef broth.
  • Add in  your flour, mix for a few minutes.
  • Pour in your boiling beef broth and white wine. Season with your salt and pepper till its to your liking. Then set the temperature to a simmer, so about a low medium. And cook half uncovered for another 30-40 minutes.
  • If you are going to gratin your soup, whether serving family style in the large dutch oven or doing individual crocks–Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut your french baguette into about 1 inch thick slices. Add a little raw onion over your soup before placing them on top of your soup.

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  • Top with swiss cheese, then add a little Italian cheese mixture over top.
  • Place in oven and cook about 20 minutes, if your cheese isn’t where you want it to be do about 30 minutes.

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  • Then switch to broil, when you see your cheese at the level of melty you like. Watch as the cheese begins to brown, should only need to be in there for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Let it cool a little and enjoy!
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Savory Galette

I was searching for a recipe where I could use all my leftover veggies in my fridge so they wouldn’t go to waste but also didn’t want to go to the store to buy more ingredients. This galette is literally a savory pie crust filled with the toppings of your choosing!! It’s amazing!

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Ingredients for galette crust

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • 1/4 cup and then some of cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 1/2 cup chopped sautéed mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup parmasan
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • basil chopped
  • parsley chopped
  • thyme
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw spinach
  • heavy cream
  • extra seasonings: salt, pepper ,garlic salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes

Instructions

1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2- Mix together your flour, salt and cold butter. I mixed by hand but you can also use your electric mixer. You want the butter to where it’s in small pieces.

3- Slowly add in your water until  it’s blended. You may need to add in more water to blend  it.

4- Add in some fresh herbs, extra salt, Pepper and any other seasonings you’d like. I added thyme, garlic salt, garlic powder and pepper to my dough.

5- Flour a smooth surface, and begin rolling out dough into a circle/oval.

6- Once ready put on a nonstick baking sheet.

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7- Your filling can literally be anything but I started with sautéing mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil.

8- So your tomatoes don’t get your crust soggy first put a base. I started with feta cheese, and a little Parmesan.

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9- Then add on your mushrooms, spinach and tomato slices. I mixed my tomatoes with fresh basil and parsley, then seasoned with salt pepper and crushed red pepper; before adding to the galette dough.

10- Finally fold in the edges and  make your crust as large or small as you’d like.

11- Wash your crust with heavy cream, and sprinkle with Parmesan. (If you don’t have heavy cream you can also do an egg wash)

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12 – Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Be sure to check on it to ensure your crust isn’t burning.

13- Serve and enjoy !

 

 

Tomato Gratin

This is a custom French summer dish that I tweaked slightly. The entire thing cost me $4 to make $2 for a French Baguette and $2 for some tomatoes. Easy, cheap and delicious ?! Okay now! This is also perfect for warming up at work for leftovers! The bread stays crispy and it tastes amazing!

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Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 Baguette, either 1 large one or probably 2 small (Can also use whole grain bread)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil, Parsley and Thyme (If you don’t have thyme, just go with basil and parsley!)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 sweet onion ( I just used half of one)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, red crushed pepper and Italian seasoning
  • Baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven for 425 degrees. Slice your tomatoes thin, you can probably get at least 6 slices out of one tomato.
  2. Place tomatoes in bowl, season with salt, pepper, red crushed pepper, Italian seasoning and stir. Place tomatoes in rows in baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over tomatoes.

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4. Take baguette and cut into small cubes, put in a medium mixing bowl.

5. Chop your basil and parsley and put in bowl along with Thyme.

6. Finely dice your onion and mince garlic, add to bowl.

7. Season  bowl mixture with salt and pepper, then pour in olive oil. You want bread coated evenly in the oil, so pour at your own discretion. This allows the bread to become crispy.

8. Toss the cubed baguette in the fresh herbs, oil and seasoning.

9. Pour bread over tomatoes and use anything left in the bowl to drizzle over top.

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10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, around 20 minutes check that your bread is golden and not burning…everyone’s oven cooks differently so better to be on teh safe side.

11. Serve and enjoy!

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Jacques Pepin’s French Potato salad

This is probably the most elegant potato salad I’ve ever mad. Its sure to be a household favorite with its zesty, light flavors.

(Of course, I made some adjustments to the recipe for my own take on it and have them listed below. My suggestion is create it like normal then if you need a little more something in flavor you can add the extra seasonings like I did.)

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Ingredients

  • Fingerling or waxy potatoes, I used red potatoes myself
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard (I actually added a little extra mustard after tasting)
  • 3-4 TBSP of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 tablespoons of a mix of chopped basil and  parsley, tarrgon if you have it
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and garlic salt ( I added a little red crushed pepper and cayenne for a little extra)

Instructions

  1. Clean your potatoes and place them in a pot. Bring water to boil and reduce the heat and cook potatoes until they are tender. They should be ready when you can easily pierce them with a sharp knife. (About 15-20 minutes normally, also depends on the size of your potatoes)

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2. Drain potatoes (scrap the skin off one long side of the potatoes if you’re looking for a decorative look. I left my skins on for the most part)

3. In a small saute pan add 2 TBSP of olive oil and saute your onion and garlic for about 3-5 minutes. Do not let it brown, remove from heat when ready.

4. Dice potatoes into quarter pieces and put in a bowl.

5. In the bowl with your potatoes, add  your wine, 3-4 TBSP of olive oil and stir.

6. Now add in your onion garlic mixture, mustard and fresh herb mixture.

7. Begin to season and taste, taste, taste! Correct seasoning as needed.

8. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

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Midwest Ratatouille

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This ratatouille is a perfect meal, healthy, cheap and just a symphony of flavors.  It is basically a vegetable hash, in the midwestern sense. Best served with some bread to get all the juices.

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • salt/pepper
  • 3-6 Tbsp olive oil
  • a dutch oven (aka casserole dish) or a deep sauce pan with lid
  • (may need extra tomato juice, so always handy to have some extra)

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop your eggplant. I dice my eggplant into quartered pieces about an inch in size, chop and put aside.
  2. Cut your summer squash and zucchini to match your eggplant. Put these vegetables in a bowl, mix and sprinkle with salt…and let set for 30 minutes.
  3. While your eggplant and squash/zucchini are sitting, you’ll chop your onion and green pepper. I cut these julienne style and set in a separate bowl.

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4. Back to your eggplant and squash/zucchini, dry off all pieces and then add 1 layer at a time to your skillet. Don’t over crowd, this may take a few skillet trips to saute it all.

5. Set your skillet on medium, add in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and then add in one layer of your eggplant mix. You want to just lightly brown your eggplant and saute your zucchini–don’t burn/overcook. Once ready, set in a bowl to the side.

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6.  Once your eggplant mix is all sauteed and set off to the side. In the same skillet add in your green pepper/onion mix …more olive oil may be needed. Add in your garlic and cook until peppers and onions are tender. Don’t burn the garlic!

7.  While your pepper/onion mixture is cooking, cut up your tomatoes.

8.  Open your tomato cans, pour the juice in a bowl and cut your tomatoes julienne style. Once they’re all diced, pour your tomato juice and julienned styled tomatoes over the onion/pepper mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

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9. Cover and turn up heat to bring to a boil.

10. While your tomatoes are heating up, begin to finely chop your parsley.

11. Once your tomatoes are at a boil, uncover and we’re going to begin layering your casserole dish.

12.  Add  a layer of your tomato/onion/pepper mixture and sprinkle with parsley. Then add in a layer or eggplant/zucchini/squash, then tomato mixture sprinkle with parsley and continue layers until done.

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12. Put casserole on stove on a medium heat, cook for 20 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning as needed. Be sure to give it a little stir, to ensure that vegetables at the bottom are not burning. Vegetables should be tinder and if it seems dry, add in some tomato juice and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with warm bread and enjoy!

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Hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise is a sauce that should be velvety, tangy, and something you can’t stop eating.

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Ingredients

For 1-3 servings

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 stick of butter PLUS 2 slabs aka 2 tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • (pinch of cayenne if you like heat)
  • 1 Tbsp of water

For 4-5 servings

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 sticks of butter plus 2tbsp aka slabs
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • (pinch of cayenne if you like heat)
  • 1 Tbsp of water

Instructions

The best way to cook hollandaise is having several  sauce pans –1 small, 1 medium

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  1. Crack  eggs, put egg yolks in your medium sauce pan—discard the egg whites and shells.
  2. Take your stick or sticks of butter, cut into slabs and place in sauce pan. Set sauce pan to the side for now.
  3. In the medium sauce pan that is now holding your egg yolks….add in your 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
  4. You will now put this on your stove….if you have gas put it on low…and move it slowly to medium, if you have electric you can set it to medium since it will take longer to cook. THE GOAL — slowly warm up your sauce.
  5. As you put your sauce pan on the stove you will add in 1 slab of cold butter…this is  one of your 1 tbsp of butter that you’ve left behind.
  6. This will slowly melt….like slowly 3-5 minutes. The goal is not to 1–not over whisk…and 2–not curdle our eggs by making it too hot. So watch it pan, begin slowly whisking/stirring your butter into the egg yolk mixture. If for any reason your eggs begin turning into scrambled….your pan is too hot and you need to start over. (It happens…)
  7. As your egg yolk mixture is melting your cold butter–turn to melting the rest of your butter in the small sauce pan. You will put the small sauce pan over low heat and make the butter frothy. Once the butter becomes frothy and totally melted—- REMOVE FROM THE HEAT.

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8. Back to the medium pan, your butter should have melted by now and your sauce become thick….if it hasn’t …no worries! Slowly add in small amounts of lemon juice and up the temperature–carefully. You will know the sauce becomes thick because it will coat your whisk every so lightly. If its still soupy add in more lemon juice and keep it on the heat. Once the mixture becomes slightly thick–remove from heat!

9.Remove the medium sauce pan from the heat and add in your last tbsp of butter. As you whisk together you should notice it melting easier. Your medium sauce pan will remain off the heat, FYI.

10.Once melted, slowly pour in your melted butter and whisk….this should thicken the sauce a bit more.

11. Once all butter is poured in and whisked…add in your salt/pepper and cayenne if wanted. Taste, taste, taste–season till you’re happy and then serve immediately.

FYI the sauce can’t be  kept on the heat cause it will curdle and you can’t keep the sauce past like an hour because it will separate. SO SORRY YOU WILL NEED TO EAT RIGHT AWAY…ITS AWFUL I KNOW.

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