Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Night Dinner

Before you say anything I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “What two blog posts in one day!? What gives? Don’t you work? Don’t you have anything better to do?!” And the answer to that is that actually, no, I did not work today. And if you live in South County and dared to venture outside the house you will have also noticed that it is still raining. I mean seriously nature, it’s still raining? HAVEN’T YOU HAD ENOUGH? Because I have. Obviously.
Anyway, I decided to make my parents and our friend Glen dinner tonight, because the bottom line is that my parents are wonderful people and I realize I don’t do nearly enough for them. I really should do so much more. So I told them to relax and that I would be responsible for putting food on the table, just this one time. I told them to enjoy it because it won’t happen again for a loooong time.
I’m kidding! I make them dinner all the time….
Onion soup is one of my personal favorites, and I thought it would be appropriate considering aforementioned weather conditions. The recipe comes from a great cookbook, Bakery Lane Soup Bowl, and as long as you have a food processor to slice all the onions, it’s a simple and straightforward recipe. I also made garlic croutons to go on top, along with shredded Swiss cheese. Very tasty.
The Raspberry Clafoutis is a lovely baked confection I have newly discovered. I know it sounds like some sort of awful venereal disease, but I promise it does not taste like one. It's a French dessert that is traditionally made with cherries, however I used rapberries. Really, I think just about any type of fruit used for this would be delicious. It’s a quick, loose batter to make and only takes 30 minutes in the oven. Simple and gratifying. The cheery lemon flavor with the raspberries is like a little bit of sunshine with each bite.
Onion Soup au Gratin from Bakery Lane Soup Bowl
1 ½ lbs. yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbs. flour
2 quarts beef stock
½ cup dry vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. cognac
Combine onions, butter and oil in a large soup pot. Cover and simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, or until the onions wilt. Uncover and raise heat to medium. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and sauté about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are a deep golden brown.
Sprinkle flour over the onions and continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in stock. Bring to a boil and add the vermouth, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stir in cognac and serve. Top with garlic croutons and grated Swiss cheese.
Garlicky Parmesan Croutons
Half a loaf of bread cut into cubes (French baguette, ciabatta- anything lying around will do really)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
Two cloves of garlic, minced
½ grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the oil and butter in a skillet and sauté the garlic. Add the cubes of bread and cook for about 5 minutes, until they have absorbed the fats and start to brown slightly. Sprinkle with salt and put on a baking sheet. Toast in the over for about 15 minutes, until they toast more and become dry and brown (doesn’t sound good, but it is). Take them out of the oven and toss with Parmesan cheese. Put on top of soup!
Raspberry Clafoutis
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Grated zest of one lemon
¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. milk
3 cups raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a pie dish. In a bowl whisk together the sugar, four, and salt. Whisk in butter, eggs, and lemon zest and mix until smooth. Add the milk and whisk about 3 more minutes until nice and smooth. Pour into pie dish and top with raspberries. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is set and golden. Cool slightly, but serve warm. You can dust the top with some confectioners sugar if you feel so inclined.


  1. How do YOU know what a venereal disease tastes like anyway....?

  2. it is such a treat to live upstairs from such a superb cook.... but maybe we shouldn't say that too often or she will be swept away into gourmet land where we will be forced to make 'reservations' to eat at her table....
    "Sophia's Hearth" ????