Sunday, March 13, 2011

Got Onions? Make this Yummy Treat!





I love to caramelize onions. Their flavor can't be beat and they can enhance just about any dish. That's why I love to make this soup. It is amazing how onions are transformed from their pungent raw form into a savory and sweet delight with just a little time over some heat.

I read many French onion soup recipes before I created my own. They all had one thing in common - enough sliced onions to make a stadium full of people tear-up.

Gruyere was the cheese most of these recipes called for to melt on top of the soup. But when I went to buy it, I didn't have the heart to spend $6.30 on a 4 ounces of it - especially when I had shredded mozzarella and fresh parmesan at home in the fridge. The mozzarella melted well and worked just fine as a gooey topping to the soup.

The bread pictured in the recipe was over-toasted. I wrote the correct toasting time into the recipe, but I let mine go for more than 20 minutes, making it a little harder than I would've liked. Luckily I caught it before it actually burned. Because it wasn't central to the dish, and more of a topping, I still used it but the crust was a little tough. I had to let it soak in the soup for a while to bite through it.

THE COLUMN
I was thrilled to sneak a reference to french kissing into the introduction. I giggle every time I read the first line. I guess I'm still a 12-year-old at heart.

I am especially pleased with the layout and design this week. There is a lot going on - making the soup, toasting the bread and melting the cheese over the soup - plus all of the prepped ingredients. Eighteen photographs in all. That might be the most photos I've ever used to visualize a recipe. That surprised me because when I was shopping I thought to myself that the recipe was relatively simple. And it is if you're just looking at the list of ingredients. Making it however, requires some extra steps. I thought I was able to convey those steps well in a visual sense.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I made a casserole recently and I seasoned it with a packet of French onion soup. It was flavorful and tasty AND it gave me indigestion! It seems easy for cooks to just grab pre-made packets to make a soup like this. But this soup is so much better and so much more healthy when you take the time to make it using fresh ingredients!

Cook often, eat well ...

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