Flour

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Onion soup is a vegetable soup made of sauteed onions and stock. Onion soup was traditionally served in poorer households and lower-class restaurants.
Onion soup is, and was, found in many countries, prepared in many different variations. What all recipes have in common are the onions and stock. From there on, anything goes……….:
Added red or white wine, beer, egg yolk, flour, cream, cheese, herbs, bread, vinegar, sugar, caramelized onions, sauteed but kept-white onions, puréed onions, sliced onion, diced onions, shallots, sausages, sherry, carrots, and probably another thousand different additions, depending on where in the world you encounter your onion soup.
Names/variations include “Pfälzer Zwiebelsuppe”, “Soupe Soubise”, “Schwaebische Zwiebelsuppe”, “Cipollata”,  “Cherbah”, and countless more.
And then, of course, there is the queen of all onion soups! –
Known and loved most everywhere in the world, it is “French Onion Soup” (Soupe à l’oignon / Soupe d’oignons aux Halles/ Soupe à l’oignon gratinée)
What makes this variation so special is the addition of bread and gruyere to the top of the onion soup, then it get’s some time in the oven or under the broiler until the top is a bubbly, fragrant, addictive, gooey mass of melted bread and cheese.
Each heavenly spoonful should contain some of the bread and cheese, some soup, and some onions.
Voilà, now you know why “French Onion Soup” is the best onion soup in the world 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Onion Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Hans’ Wonder Bread – Best Bread Ever? Nope, But……

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Yesterday  afternoon I prepared some pizza for myself and had some leftover dough. Today I came home late and did not feel like cooking up a storm, so I made this stuffed bread for dinner. I guess I could call it a calzone?, but I am more comfortable with “Stuffed Yeast Bread”.
I ate the whole thing piping hot and I must say: Simply delicious 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

Pizza Dough Recipe

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Stuffed Yeast Bread

Stuffed Yeast Bread

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pizza dough, diced salame, spicy tomato salsa, gorgonzola, corn meal, red onion, olive oil, sage, rosemary, thyme, scallion

pizza dough, diced salame, spicy tomato salsa, gorgonzola, corn meal, red onion, olive oil, sage, rosemary, thyme, scallion

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roll dough, top with salame

roll dough, top with salame

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top with gorgonzola

top with gorgonzola

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top with spicy tomato salsa

top with spicy tomato salsa, thyme and sliced sage

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top with another sheet of dough. Coat finely sliced onions and chopped rosemary with generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle over bread. Sprinkle with corn meal. Place on corn meal dusted baking pan. Cook at 375 F

top with another sheet of dough. Coat finely sliced onions and chopped rosemary with generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle over bread. Sprinkle with corn meal. Place on corn meal dusted baking pan. Cook at 375 F. When done, sprinkle with scallions and chili flakes

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Stuffed Yeast Bread

Stuffed Yeast Bread

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Calzone

Calzone

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Stuffed Yeast Bread

Hans’ Wonder Bread

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Stuffed Yeast Bread

Stuffed Yeast Bread

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(You don’t have to watch it, just click once)   Thank you 🙂
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Shrimp, Anchovies & Brie Cheese Pizza

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I have come up with a great system to support my craving for unusual pizzas at unusual times.  About once a week, when I have a little extra time ( and energy), I make a small batch of pizza dough, wrap it tightly in plastic film and put it in the fridge.  When I feel the  craving crawling towards me, I take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours, still wrapped in the plastic film. When the time of prep comes, I unwrap it and proceed as usual with a fresh pizza dough. Works like a charm and put’s the actual prep time at the time of pizza dinner down to a few minutes, plus the baking time. May I say  “GENIUS” 🙂
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Shrimp. Anchovies & Brie Pizza

Shrimp. Anchovies & Brie Pizza

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Pizza Dough :

Ingredients :

A/P flour,   2 cups (plus more for kneading)
Water,   3/4 cup, warm
Active dry yeast,   1 envelope
Sugar,   1 teaspoon
Olive oil,   3 table spoon
Kosher salt,

Method :
1.

Pour  water into small bowl, mix in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil, knead until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth. Dust with flour as you work the dough. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with moist towel. Let dough rise until doubled in volume.Punch down dough. Pull dough until desired thickness and shape is achieved. If this is too difficult, roll the dough with a rolling pin. However, in my opinion, the pizza will turn out superior if the dough is pulled.
If you like your dough very thin and crispy, proceed with step 2.
If you like your crust a bit more thick and chewy, you might want to pre-bake your pizza dough for a few minutes.

2.
Sprinkle pizza pan or baking sheet with cornmeal, place pizza on it. Brush pizza with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Add tomato puree and roasted garlic puree, sprinkle with mozzarella and oregano. Add all other ingredient’s according to picture. Sprinkle with asiago and freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 500 F until dough is done and edge of pizza is crispy and golden.

Note : This recipe is works well in a home oven without a pizza stone.

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Easy Cream Biscuits

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This  is probably the easiest and fastest (best?) biscuit recipe there is.
Although I am not a big baking enthusiast, I make these often because of the ease and quality.
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Easy Cream Biscuits Ingredients

Easy Cream Biscuits Ingredients

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Easy Cream Biscuits

Easy Cream Biscuits

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Easy Cream Biscuit

Easy Cream Biscuit

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Ingredient’s :

2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 dash of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Method :

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and cream and knead until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake  at 375F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
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Enjoy Y’all !  Life is Good !
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Jamaican Black Bean Soup & Flour Dumpling’s ( A “Light” Saturday Lunch )


When  I encountered  Jamaican  dumplings   for the first time in the early seventies,  I would never have imagined that I will ever like them, having been raised with southern german-style dumplings, which are very light and airy (if done correctly).
So when I saw these tough little dumplings, (resembling in shape Schwaebische Bubespitzle), I was skeptical, to say the least. But, while living in Jamaica in the eighties, I have come to love these  Jamaican dumplings, but again – in order to be appreciated, they must be properly prepared, simmering for a long time in a flavorful stock, stew or soup .
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Irie, Mon 🙂
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Jamaican Black Bean Soup & Dumplings

Jamaican Black Bean Soup & Dumplings



Ingredients :

Stock of your preference, veal, chicken, beef, pork, vegetable
Black beans,   soaked overnight
Onions,   diced
Celery,    diced
Bacon,   diced  (substitute with salt pork if preferred)
Garlic,   paste
Spicy sausage,   pork, veal or beef
Assorted chilis,   select according to your preferred heat level
Tomatoes,  diced
Cumin,
Kosher salt,
Black pepper,   freshly ground
Cilantro,   coarsely chopped
Goose fat,    rendered  (use your favorite fat, canola oil, olive oil, butter, duck fat, goose fat, etc)

Method :

Saute bacon in fat until rendered, add onions, garlic, celery, chilis and sausage and saute until fragrant, add tomatoes, stock and beans. Season lightly with cumin, salt and pepper and simmer until the beans are “waxy”. Adjust seasoning if necessary. To serve, place soup into serving bowl, top with dumplings and sprinkle generously with cilantro .

Dumplings :

Mix flour, water and salt into a smooth dough, roll small pieces into finger shaped noodles and simmer in stock until cooked through. ( Usually like o cook them straight in the soup, but for a nicer presentation I cooked them separate this time for better pictures 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Irie !




Schwäbische Spätzle Mit Schmelze (Swabian Noodles)

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Swabian spaeztle with browned bread crumbs “.

One of the most common,simple, quick, delicious, economical and (in my biased eyes), one of the most beautiful dishes coming out of South Germany  (Swabia).
When I grew up, this was one of the more boring dishes for me and my brother Wilhelm to grace our dinner table, because it showed up with regularity a few times a week. Even today, spaetzle are one of the stables of south german cooking. But, alas, I have moved away from my homeland many decades ago, so now spaetzle have become a treat, truly enjoyed whenever possible.
Spaetzle are hard to come by even in German restaurants around here. This is probably due to the fact that more cooks in american German restaurants go by the name of Pepe instead of Fritz and have never seen real spaeztle, so what you mostly get are “Knoepfle”, not “Spaetzle”.
Knoepfle means little bottons, so they are a small spherical pasta, while spaetzle derives from “little spitz”, which means little penis. (Many folks believe spaetzle derives from the word spatz, which means sparrow and would makes no sense at all. Also, many Americans let their spaetzle or knoepfle brown while sauteeing, which is an absolute no no in Swabia!
So there you have it. One of the easiest and fastest pastas to make is actually difficult to come by (at least any good ones). Go figure 😦
But, there is hope ! Following is the recipe for original swabian spaetzle. Please note that there is no milk or water added, just AP flour, eggs and salt. In times past, when eggs where not as easily available and as affordable as now, folks have had to stretch the eggs by adding milk or even water. Today that is not necessary anymore, so just stick to flour,  eggs, and salt. With a little practice, it will take you less then 10 minutes to make about six portions.
Mix flour, salt, and eggs and beat the dough until it is elastic and forms large air bubbles. To shape the spaetzle, either use a “Spaetzle Brett” (spaeztle board) and a straight spatula, or, much easier, invest $ 20 and buy a “Spaetzle Press” online. If you are not so sure how to proceed with the dough and the shaping of the spaetzle, go online and check out one of the numerous good instructional videos ( But be aware, there is also a lot of crap online, so choose wisely ).

Fill the spaetzle press 3/4 with dough and press into boiling, salted water. After a minute or so the spaetzle will float at the surface. Remove to a bowl with cold water. Drain. To serve, saute in butter until hot, without allowing the spaetzle to brown. Top with “Schmelze”.

For the schmelze, melt butter and saute bread crumbs until golden.
(I like to use brown butter and add chives to my schmelze).

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Schwäbische Spätzle Mit Scmelze

Schwäbische Spätzle Mit Schmelze

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” Salmon Parisienne, Bean & Mushroom Ragout “

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When I cooked this dish last knight I realized that I have not seen anything ” a la Parisienne ” on a menu for many years. What a shame that so many classic dishes and methods simply disappear from the repertoire of our younger chef’s. Granted, old fashioned and steeped in tradition might not be practical or popular on a daily basis. But I feel we should not completely stop to learn and enjoy the classics. How long before we all get sick and tired of the one hundred’st version of grilled fish with salsa ? Let’s mix it up a bit ! Mix the classics with the modern,  the traditional with the new, the tried and proven with the daring  🙂 I vote for a greater repertoire for our younger food enthusiasts in order to keep the spirit of our  culinary profession vibrant and alive !
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Ingredients :

Salmon filet,                     cleaned, skinless, marinated w.salt. pepper, lime juice
Whole egg,                        to dip fish
Flour,                                  to dust fish
Butter,                                 to saute fish

Baby portabellas,            quartered
White beans,                    cooked
Red peppers,                     finely diced
Garlic,                                paste
Onion,                               diced
Scallion,                            sliced
Scallion ,                           whole
Salt,                                    to taste
Cayenne pepper,             to taste
Butter,                                to saute vegetables

Method :

dredge seasoned fish in flour, coat with whisked egg, saute until
egg is tender and fish is cooked but still juicy. Remove to absorbent paper.

Saute onion and mushroom in butter until onions are translucent and
mushrooms start to brown.
Add Garlic paste, saute another minute. Add peppers, whole and sliced
scallions and seasoning.
To plate, put ragout on plate, top with salmon and garnish with whole scallion.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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