December 30, 2006
Bethany got me the Zuni Cookbook for Christmas. Yesterday we made their roast chicken. It is quite similar to our usual chicken recipe, with a bit of fussing about with flipping the chicken, and a nice bread salad as a side. Also, they like to salt/herb the chicken ahead of time. It turned out quite well. My only modifications were to add a thermometer for the last step to double check things and to use a few more herbs. The book is quite good. Not just a collection of recipes, it has a lot of cooking tips and wisdom.
From Emily I got the Bouchon and French Laundry books. They are also quite good. The Bouchon book has a lot of insight into Keller's cooking techniques and Bistro cooking. I've made the Pots de Crème and look forward to trying my hand at some other bistro fare.
December 13, 2006
A couple of Sunday's ago I got up and made French Onion soup. It was based mainly on a Michael Mina recipe that I found in Food and Wine. We liked it a lot, although Emily thought I was a little heavy handed with the onions. I'll reproduce my version below for posterity.
French Onion Soup
5 onions, sliced 1/4" thickHeat the butter in a dutch oven. Add the onions and bay leaves, cover and cook on high heat for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook until they are deeply brown. Stir occasionally. Add water as necessary to keep the onions from drying out. It should take an hour and a half.
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cups beef stock
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dry red wine (I used a malbec)
Sprinkle on the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and reduce until it is almost gone. Add the stock and rosemary, simmer gently until reduced by a quarter.
Discard the whole herbs and season to taste. If some leaves broke off the rosemary, don't worry about it.
At this stage you can refrigerate or freeze the soup. When you're ready, reheat it.
Put it in small bowls. Add toasted baguette slices, sprinkle with cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted.