Category Archives: Cook The Book Fridays
We have another winner in the ongoing tale of cooking from Dorie Greenspan’s new book Everyday Dorie. With this installment, a double-crust of puff pastry is stuffed with thinly sliced potatoes, garlic, herbs and cream. What could be wrong with that?
I will quibble with labeling this one as anything close to an “everyday” dish. It’s not hard to prepare, but it needs to cook for a looooong time. I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly and didn’t start early enough to accommodate the 2 hour cooking/resting time required AND eat it for that night’s dinner. I can say that it’s really good reheated the next day and the one after that, so it must be spectacular fresh from the oven. With all the cream, it’s also rather rich for every day.
Company-worthy, potato tourte is a drop-dead gorgeous. The burnished crust is the perfect advertisement for the tender melting potatoes inside.
Though the recipe doesn’t specify, I’m glad I opted for a deep tart pan instead of the usual shallow one I use. Two pounds of potatoes makes a thick pile of potatoes. If I’d used the shallower pan, only half the potatoes would have fit.
We ate this for lunch with a leafy salad and for dinner with duck confit and asparagus. There’s a little bit left that we’ll try with breakfast. Suiting any meal might be an alternate definition of everyday.
March came in like a lion this year! On Monday, Mother Nature dropped just over a foot of snow, just in time for the annual Town Election. School was cancelled and the library was closed, but the election went on. Kudos to Howard for waking up early enough to snow blow a clear path to the road so I could be on time for my all-day shift as an Election Inspector. Despite the weather, once the snow stopped, we had higher-than-projected turnout. Democracy in action!
I eat a lot of soup in the winter, making a pot once or twice a week depending on what’s on hand and my mood. A few favorites are periodically repeated, but there are so many soup recipes out there, more often I try something new. Of course, “something new” could be a different recipe for something I know we like. French Onion Soup falls under that category. This week’s selection for Cook the Book Fridays is David Lebovitz’s version of this classic soup from his book My Paris Kitchen.
French onion soup is one of those soups where the quality of the underlying broth is key. David’s version calls for chicken broth. I had a turkey carcass in the freezer which was close enough. I got a start early in the week, making a batch of turkey stock in the slow cooker. I love making stock in the slow cooker. I can comfortably come and go while it simmers away safely without any attention required. And when I do leave the house, the aroma on returning is magnificent.
To balance the lack of attention required by the stock, caramelizing the onions for the soup calls for two hours of frequent attention. Two pounds of onions melt away to a surprisingly small pile of fragrant mush. At this point, the rest is again hands off. The onions simmer in the stock for nearly an hour before balancing the flavors with sherry vinegar, salt and pepper.
The finishing touch are the cheesy croutons that top the soup. For my bowl, I topped toasts (made from Mardi’s No Knead French Bread) with Emmenthaler cheese and broiled it. Howard prefers the cheesy toasts on the side, so I also broiled some standalone toasts on the pan alongside my bowl of soup. Everyone was happy!
This version of French Onion Soup was delicious, though it wasn’t noticeably different from other versions I’ve made. I suppose that’s the thing with a classic – as long as the familiar flavors come through, it’s reliably good regardless of the recipe.
Last month, I made this completely vegetarian version from Serious Eats without any stock, just water, which we also loved.
The only downside of making onion soup is that my house always seems to smell skunky for the next day or so. Does that happen to you?