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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French Carrot Salad

This is probably the best discovery since sliced bread…French carrot salad—taking the regular side dish to a whole new level! It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s damn good! Not only is it fancy looking, it’ll easily impress all your friends! Take Memorial Day weekend up a notch with this dish!

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Ingredients

  • 6-7 large carrots, peeled and then grated or use a mandolin to slice thin
  • 3/4 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP dices shallots
  • 1clove garlic minced
  • 2-3 TBSP parsley
  • 1-2 TBSP lemon juice
  • salt/pepper to season

Instructions

  • Grate your carrots, they should be shoestring/paper thin. You’re pretty much going for a coleslaw cabbage consistency. I used my mandolin on the 1 setting to get them thin. I broke the carrots in half to keep the size consistent so they weren’t long strings.
  • Once your carrots are ready, add in your garlic, shallots, honey, Dijon and olive oil.
  • Give everything a big stir then season with salt and pepper.
  • Add in your parsley and finish with a good spritz if lemon juice! Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve and enjoy !!A24FBDB3-16B7-4F9F-B6E9-EAC559F2F01B

Stuffed Mushrooms

When one finds mushrooms discounted for a $1.00 at Kroger, you need to find something to make and I decided to make stuffed mushrooms. First time making them and they were just bliss. Perfect for any occasion and sure to impress your family and friends!

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Ingredients

  • Baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 half sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • about 1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt/pepper/red crushed pepper/garlic salt/Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
  2. Wash your mushrooms thoroughly and carefully PLUCK the stems from the mushrooms, creating a hollow shell of a mushroom top.
  3. Put the mushrooms tops in one bowl and set your stems in another.
  4. We’ll come back to tops at the end.
  5. We’re going to make the filling for the mushrooms by mincing, cut into tiny pieces, the mushroom stems and onion. Chop your Spinach fine also and lastely mince you garlic.
  6. Add your mushroom stems, onion, garlic and spinach into a pan; add your olive oil and sautee until onions and mushrooms become tinder.

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7. Once tinder, season with salt and pepper and add in your cream cheese. Make sure the temperature is on low so you don’t burn your cream cheese or other ingredients.

8. Mix your cream cheese, Parmesan and begin seasoning! Our filling our should well combined and smooth. When you’re happy with the flavor we can begin filling your mushroom tops!

9. Line your mushroom tops on a foil lined baking sheet, fill with a spoonful of filling.

10. Finish them off by sprinkling the bread crumbs over top.

11. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Around 15-20 minutes begin checking on  your mushrooms to make sure they’re not burning. The mushrooms should turn a deeper brown and kind of flattened out adn tops should be a good deep golden brown.

12. Plate and enjoy! A double bonus for this is, if you have left over filling, you can save this and serve it as a cracker spread or dip! Cheers!

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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