Wednesday, May 02, 2007


French Onion Soup
Serves 8

¼ c vegetable oil
5 onions, sliced
2 cups white wine
8 cups beef & chicken stock
salt to taste
baguette slices, stale or toasted
grated Swiss, Emmenthal, or Gruyère cheese

Heat oil on high until almost smoking. Sautée onions for 30 minutes, stirring constantly, or until a deep golden brown. Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced by 2/3. Add beef stock & salt and simmer for 20 minutes. Spoon soup into oven-proof bowl. Place a slice of bread on top, and sprinkle generously with cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Saffron Rice
Serves 6-8
This isn’t an official recipe, just something I grew up eating.

1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups rice
¼ tsp saffron threads
salt & pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sautée onion in butter until soft and golden. Add rice and cook for 1 minute. Add 4 cups water and saffron and simmer until rice is done. Fluff with a fork and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Creamy Herbed Pork Chops
Serves 4

4 boneless pork chops
1 Tbsp butter
2 finely chopped medium carrots (tiny cubes, ¼” or smaller)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp flour
½ tsp dried tarragon
½ tsp beef bouillon
¼ tsp pepper
2/3 cup half & half
2 tbsp white wine or water

Trim fat from meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a large skillet and cook the pork chops over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn chops and cook 5-7 minutes, until no pink remains. Repeat with all of the chops & butter.

When cooking the last batch of chops, add the carrots after turning the chops. Remove chops & keep them warm, reserving drippings and carrot in the pan. Add parsley, flour, tarragon, bouillon, and pepper into drippings and carrot. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Stir in wine or water.

Serve chops with sauce poured over the top.
Leek and Chèvre Quiche
Makes 1 large quiche

2 Tbsp butter
3 medium eeks (use white part and a few inches of the light green), sliced 1/2" thick
1 Tbsp flour
1 pastry shell
2 oz goat cheese
2 eggs
½ cup light cream or half & half

In a large skillet, melt the butter, and cook the leeks over moderate heat for 5 minutes, until just soft. Sprinkle with flour and toss. Spoon the leeks into the pie shell.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cheese, eggs, and cream. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and pour over the leeks.

Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and firm to the touch.
Note: you might need to add more eggs & cream if there's not enough liquid--it depends on how big your tart pan is. I have a 10" tart pan and often double the amount of eggs & cream.

Pastry Shell
(for 1 large or 2 small tart pans)

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) cut into pieces
1 generous cup flour
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp cold water

In a food processor, blend flour, butter, and salt until completely mixed. Add water all at once and blend until the mixture forms a ball. Switch off the machine as soon as the dough form a ball.
(Optional step, but it does help: wrap the dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out).

Country Tomato Bisque
Serves 8-10

4 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 zucchini, chopped
4 Tbsp flour
2 28-oz (or 4 14-oz) cans diced tomatoes with juices
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 bay leaves
2 cups half & half
grated Cheddar cheese
sunflower seeds

Melt butter in large soup pot. Stir in garlic, celery, carrots, onions, and zucchini until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Blend in flour. Add tomatoes, broth, sugar, salt, basil, marjoram, and bay leaves. Heat to boiling. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaves. Puree mixture in a blender in small batches until smooth. Pour in half & half and stir. Garnish with grated Cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds.

Make small, golf-ball sized cream puffs. Fill with whipped cream (using compressed cream in cans). Spoon creme anglaise onto a small dessert plate. Put 3-4 cream puffs on the plate, and drizzle with chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips (Ghardelli makes these)
1 cup heavy cream

Gently melt chocolate and cream, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add more chocolate if the sauce is too runny

Crème Anglaise
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges. While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Crème Brûlée
serves 8

3 c. heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved lenthwise, or 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/3 c. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) for the top

Preheat oven to 350.
Pour cream into heavy 2-quart saucepan. Using tip of a knife, scrape seeds from the vanilla bean, if using, into the cream and add pod (if using vanilla extract do not add yet). Heat cream over moderate heat until hot but not boiling; remove from heat and discard the pod.

Whisk together yolk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly until combined. Add vanilla extract (if using).

Arrange 8 ramekins in a roasting pan and add enough boiling water to reach half-way up sides of ramekins. Bake until custards are set, 25-30 minutes. With tongs transfer custard to a rack to cool, then refrigerate for a least 4 hours.

Just before serving sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over custards. Move blowtorch flame evenly back and forth close to sugar until caramelized. (Can also do this in the broiler if you don't have a creme brulee torch). Let sugar stand until hardened.


  1. Thank you, thank you. You have made one hungry, breastfeeding mom very happy.

  2. Oh my! I'm going to have to try some of these. :) Those kids are in for a treat! I hope their manners match the menu.

  3. Thanks so much for posting. How did the dinner go?

  4. It went great. We had about 20 people and had exactly enough for everyone. Zari was crazy hyper, though. Too much stimulation all at once.


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