Attention Family! I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Your Grandma's French Onion Soup

B. loves French Onion Soup, and has been asking me to make it all winter. When your Grandmother made it, it took all day. When I make it, it takes up a lot less time, and we never have any leftover! Make this when onions are cheap, and spend the savings on a really good cheese to melt on top.

French Onion Soup

5 good size onions
3 tablespoons butter
1 32-ounce carton of low-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
thyme, black pepper
1 loaf bread (french, italian, leftover..., but not sandwich bread)
Shredded cheese, splurge is Gruyere, everyday is Fontina, tight budget is Swiss.

Peel and thinly slice the onions. I like to use a mix of sweet onions and yellow onions. (Don't use red onions here!) Saute the onions in a large pot with the butter on low heat - I repeat, LOW HEAT, this will take a while, but good things come to those who wait! You want the onions to be soft and golden, bur not brown, so plan on at least a half hour of cooking. Stir it occasionally to prevent any sticking. Add beef broth and bay leaf, cover and simmer another half-hour. Add a sprinkle of thyme and pepper. Ladle into oven-proof soup bowls (or coffee cups). Top with sliced bread and sprinkle with shredded cheese (don't skimp on the cheese). Put the bowls in the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and gooey. Carefully remove from oven and serve. Make sure you have a plate or hot pad under each bowl. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

When the forecast includes snow, you should be sure that you have some staples in the house for a few different meals. If you have a freezer and a pantry, this one is a no-brainer.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 2-pound package of frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of something soup (mushroom, chicken, celery)
1 cup water
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk

Spray a large casserole with cooking spray. Spread the frozen mixed veggies over the bottom of the pan. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pan. Sprinkle with seasonings (pepper, thyme, sage, parsley are suggestions). Be careful adding salt, because the other ingredients already include it, and you don't want it too salty. Mix the soup and the water together until combined, pour over chicken and veggies. Put this into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Melt the butter in the microwave (or pot), mix in the flour and the buttermilk. Carefully pull the casserole out of the oven and dollop the biscuit mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for another 45 minutes. The chicken/veggie mix should be bubbling around the sides of the casserole, and the biscuit mixture should be golden brown. Serve as is, or over rice. Everybody's favorite part is the biscuit! Enjoy the snow...