Baby it’s cold outside..

I’ve been home in NJ with my family for the christmas weekend. Usually this is when I do a LOT of baking. My mom’s kitchen is bigger, and better stocked than mine.  However, there has been an obscene amount of candy, chocolate, and cookies around…so no baking this weekend.

I’m currently snowed in at my mom’s house, snuggled up on the couch, and trying to hide how happy I am that I don’t have to go back to the city, and work tomorrow. I thought this video (courtesy of NancyPants) was appropriate for this post.

p.s. I really like Lady Antebellum

Since we had big blizzard warning, I wanted to make something weather appropriate for us to have for dinner. I had some homemade beef broth on hand, so French Onion Soup it was.

I feel badly about making this because I’ve promised to make a chicken or vegetable broth version of this for Brett since he can’t have beef broth. No worries Bretty! this was just a practice run and I’ll make it for you soon, promise!!

I was really excited to make this for the first time, and since I’m having a julia&julia moment in my life with this blog, Julia Child’s recipe for seemed appropriate. Too bad I didn’t have all the ingredients, and was NOT about to attempt the supermarket again. People go nuts before the snow, and I hate it.

So I improvised. Not gunna lie, it turned out really, REALLY delicious.

Here goes:

Start by slicing 4-5 (you need 5 cups) onions very thin. Personally, I don’t like huge chunks of onion in my soup, so if you do like that, slice big!

After you are done slicing 5 cups worth of onions (50000 tears while I was doing this, ugh where’s Brett when I  need him?) Throw it all in a pot with the olive oil and butter. 

Cover the pot and let the onions cook for 15 minutes. My mom wanted to peak and stir,  but just leave them alone for the first 15mins.  you don’t need to do anything!


Here’s what they’ll look like after that first 15 mins:

At this point, uncover the pot, add your salt and sugar (it’s not that much sugar, and it’ll help the onions brown..) and continue to cook the onions giving them a stir every now and then so they don’t stick to the bottom.

Julia says to cook them for 30-40 mins until the onions are an even deep golden brown..this only took me 20 mins.

This is what mine looked like:

Take your pot off the heat for a second, add 3 tablespoons of flour, and cook the onions for a minute or two more.

The flour addition was the worst part of this recipe, it made my pretty onions look clumpy and gross:

Here’s where I started to improvise on the recipe. You’re supposed to add beef stock (which I did) and 1/2 a cup of dry white wine. I had red wine? I decided that would be a bad idea. I tried to think of a substitute, but in the end just ditched the wine all together. In went 8 cups of stock, and the pot went back on the stove for approximately 45 more minutes.

Let the soup simmer until its way thicker than this, once it thickens up you can taste it and see if it needs any salt or pepper. Surprisingly I didn’t think it needed any more salt, and I add salt to EVERYTHING.

after you get the soup pretty thick, preheat your oven 450 degrees.

 You are supposed to use those cute little oven proof bowls for this kind of soup. We don’t have anything that fancy at Mariam’s house. So I took a ceramic bowl, put it on a cookie sheet and tested it in the oven, hoping it wouldn’t crack. (it didn’t crack and I ended up using our cereal bowls)

Next I added some soup to my bowls.  You are supposed to add crusty french bread to this soup, but I had crusty italian bread that I threw in. Close enough?

Finally, the recipe calls for shredded Gruyère. Surprise, surprise I didn’t have any of that either 😦 but I did have mozzarella cheese. I figured melty cheese is always good, right?

next bake your soup/bread/cheese in the oven until its melted and brown (10-15ish minutes)

tada! I was a little skeptical about this soup; I didn’t use the white wine, or the right bread, or the right cheese…

It came out delicious anyways.  My mom and brother loved it, and it was perfect for our snowy day together.

French Onion Soup adapted from www.acozykitchen.com

1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions

3 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoons of sugar (helps the onions to brown)

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

2 quarts beef stock

1/2 cup of dry white wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

Slices of French Bread

1/2 cup of gruyere, grated

Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.

Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.

Off the heat, blend in the boiling liquid.  Add the wine.  Simmer partially covered for 30-40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Pour into soup cups.  Top with a slice of crusty bread and a handful of grated Gruyere cheese. Place soup on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty and brown.

Good night! Stay warm it’s crazy out there!

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