Monday, August 27, 2007

for love & onions

"Life is like an onion.You peel it off one layer at a time; And sometimes you weep."
-Carl Sandburg

Seven Onion Soup & Parmesan Bread

Seven Onion Soup

Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes (slicing)
Cook time: 40-45 minutes

You'll need:
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2 Yellow Onions, sliced
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 White Onion, sliced
  • 2 Leeks (white part only, be sure to rinse well after slicing)
  • 6 Shallots, sliced
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • Chives (for garnish)
  • 1 box beef stock
  • 1 beef boullion cube
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 T. dried thyme
  • 1 C. red wine
  • 1/2 C. heavy cream
  • 1/3 C. all purpose flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar

1. In a large pot over medium heat, sautee the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, but do not discard the grease.

2. Meanwhile, use a mandoline or a chef's knife to finely chop the red onion, the yellow onions, the white onion, the shallots, the leek, and the spring onions.

3. Melt the 4 T. butter with the bacon fat. Add the onions, the thyme, the bay leaf, and 1 T. salt, and 1 T. pepper. Sautee, stirring often, until translucent (~10 or 15 minutes).

4. When the onions are translucent, dust with 1/3 C. flour. Incorporate the flour into the onions, and let cook until golden (~3 minutes).

5. Add the beef stock, and bring to a boil. Add the boullion cube, the balsamic vinegar, and the wine. Salt & pepper to taste.

6. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 40 minutes, stirring and tasting often. Right before you serve it, stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream so it is just heated through.

7. Garnish with crumbled bacon and chives, if you wish.

Parmesan bread
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

You'll need:
  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 4 T. butter at room temperature
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 sprigs of parsley, chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut the loaf of bread in half (the long way), and then each of those 'loaves' in half (to open them). You should have about 4 equally sized pieces of bread.

3. Use a garlic press to crush the peeled cloves of garlic into the room temperature butter. Use a spoon to stir them to incorporate.

4. Add 1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese into the butter.

5. Add the parsley into the butter. Stir until all ingredients are smoothly incorporated into the butter. Divide it into 4 equal parts, and spread 1 part on each of the 4 pieces of baguette.

6. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top of buttered bread, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until cheese and butter have melted, and tops are golden.

7. Enjoy with your soup and a nice, big glass of red wine!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

little dumpling

Pan-Fried Vegetarian Dumplings
*The shortcut way...

Serves: 2 (16 pieces)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

You'll need:
  • Dumpling wrappers (available at your local grocery store, in the refrigerated section)
  • Frozen mixed vegetables (~10-12 oz., Birdseye are good)
  • Hot sauce (Rooster sauce is my favorite!)
  • Soy Sauce
  • 2 T. butter for sauteeing
  • Glass of water
  • A teaspoon

1) Thaw out & drain the mixed vegetables well.

2) Place vegetables in food processor, or chop well with a knife. (If you process these in a food processor, make sure NOT to over-process. You want the final product to have the consistency of diced onions, NOT mashed potatoes).

3) Place veggies in a bowl. Add 1 T. hot sauce, 1 T. soy sauce.

4) On an open work area, create an assembly line including one "work area" where you make the dumplings, and a place for the completed dumplings to rest until it's time to cook them. Be careful not to stack them, they are delicate when they are raw!

5) Take one sheet of dumpling wrapper. Wet your finger in the water bowl, and run it around all four edges of the square (does not matter if the middle of the wrapper gets wet, so long as the edges are.

6) Place a teaspoon of filling into the center of the wrapper. Be sure not to overfill the dumpling wrapper (even though it's tempting)!

7) Draw up two opposite corners of the wrapper, and press together to seal. Then seal the edges, taking care to press firmly on all edges. The water should seal the dumpling wrapper together. (Should be a triangle when you are done.)

8) Repeat for as many dumplings as you like! I recommend about 8 per person.

9) When you are ready to cook the dumplings, melt 1 T. of the butter over medium heat in a non-stick fry pan. (You should cook them in batches to avoid overcrowding, so you will use the rest of the butter in a later batch).

10) When the butter has melted, place the dumplings in the fry pan. Careful! These little guys cook quickly (about 1-2 minutes per side). Flip them once, and make sure they are golden on each side, then take them out to cool.

Serve with either sweet and sour sauce or ponzu sauce! Enjoy!