Wednesday, November 17, 2010

French Onion Soup

Here's what your gonna need:

4 cups thinly chopped onion ( I used at least 6 cups)
3 tablespoons butter*
1 table spoon oil*
1/4 teaspoon sugar*
1 teaspoon salt*
3 tablespoons four*
3 cans a good beef broth (I used 5)
4 cups of water (I used 4)
1/2 cup white wine*
3 tablespoons brandy*
rounds of french bread
grated Swiss and Parmesan cheeses

This is my mother-in-law's (MIL) recipe. I have always loved it, so I know you will too. My MIL chopped the onions in her Cuisinart and I added them in the pan with the butter and oil. I had the heat on low stirring fairly often for about 15 minutes. Then I turned the heat up to medium and added the sugar and salt. For the next 40 minutes I had to keep a close eye on the onions, stirring frequently until they were an even brown.

I sprinkled in the flour as I stirred the browned onions for several minute then removed them from the heat.

After I heated the beef broth and water in a separate pan, I added the onions back in.

Next I added the wine and the brandy, covered the pot and let it simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Now for the best part; turn your oven on to broil, fill your oven safe bowls with soup, sprinkle in some cheese, top with a piece of really good French bread and more cheese. Then let them brown off in the oven. Serve hot.

This will take you about 1 1/2 - 2 hours so plan accordingly.

*Of course I didn't actually measure anything.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lemony Shrimp and Spinach

I found this recipe in the September issue of Southern Living. It didn't take more that 30 minutes, including the time it took to peal the shrimp.

You will need about a pound of shelled Gulf Coast shrimp (31/35 count), 3 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, 6 ounces of baby spinach and salt and pepper to taste.

The first thing you'll need to do is to saute the shrimp and garlic in the oil.

It shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes for them to turn pink.

Set the shrimp aside where they will stay warm.

Next you'll want to add the chicken broth, the lemon zest, juice and red pepper.

Stir to loosen the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan.

After the liquid reduces by half, add the spinach.

As it starts to wilt you'll need to stir in the shrimp and add salt and pepper.

While this was cooking my DH made some organic couscous I had picked up at

The New Yokel Market.

Everyone enjoyed this dish, I hope you will too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna

In the most recent issue of Mother Earth News magazine there is a story by Roger Doiron titled Cozy and Comfy Fall Recipes. Being that I am trying to eat seasonally, I thought that I'd like to try out at least one of the recipes in the article. I spotted an appealing picture of Butternut Squash Lasagna that I was calling my name. Normally I wouldn't post a recipe I've never made before, but I felt like I could pull it off. So, here goes.

1TBSP olive oil
1 1/2- 2 lbs peeled seeded and cubed butternut squash
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Of course I've already made alterations in the original recipe. I wanted to keep the ingredients as fresh and environmentally friendly as possible so I used organic whole grain flour and organic brown rice lasagna noodles. In addition, I purchased the milk from a local dairy and the squash from a local farmer.

I peeled and cubed the squash, placed it in a large skillet with the olive oil and added salt, pepper, and water. I then covered it and let it simmer on medium for about 20-25 minutes.

While the squash was simmering I put the pasta on to boil.

I have made my share of white sauces and never once have I measured the butter, flour or milk, but for the sake of this recipe I did.

Don't be afraid of making a white sauce, it's really not that hard. Simply melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, making a paste and then slowly add in the milk. I like for my milk to be at room temperature.

You will need to stir it continuously over medium heat until it thickens up. Then add nutmeg, salt and pepper.

After the squash was tender, I transferred it into my food processor and pureed it and added more salt and pepper.

Then I began the layer process; starting out with a buttered 13x9x2 inch baking dish.

I added enough of the white sauce to coat the bottom of the dish. I then layered noodles, squash puree, mozzarella, and more sauce. I repeated it once more. I finished with a layer of noodles that I coated with the white sauce. I covered the pan with foil and baked it for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. I removed the foil adding the Parmesan and remaining mozzarella and baked an additional 15 minutes.

When I took it out of the oven the entire house filled with the most incredible aroma. I can't say that I will make this very often, but it was very tasty. From start to finish it took me about 1 1/2 hours to make. Enjoy!