Ooh La Lah! Quickie French Onion Soup!

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If you are anything like me – you’re always short on time, but big on flavor. Well, then…this recipe is perfect for you! One of my families favs. They think I’ve been cooking up a storm all day. Shhhhh!  I get this soup made in about 30- 40 minutes- enjoy! 

Ingredients: 

1/2 c unsalted butter

2 T olive oil

4 large onions, sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 fresh thyme sprigs

Salt & black pepper

1 cup good quality red wine, about 1/2 bottle ( optional )

4 T. flour

2 quarts beef broth

1 sweet baguette, sliced in 1 inch diagonal slices

1/2 pound grated Gruyere ( or your favorite swiss )

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine for garnish ( optional )

Method:

In a 8-10 quart stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. 10-15 minutes.

Add the wine, bring to a boil- reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Remove the herbs, discard.

Dust the onions with the flour, stir. Reduce heat to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn, and cook the flour about 5 mins. Add the beef broth slowly while staring to avoid and lumping. Return the soup back to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toast sliced baguettes in toaster or under the broiler in the oven until nicely brown.(remember to toast both sides of bread if using the oven ) Rub each piece of toasted baguette with additional fresh cut piece of garlic ( optional, for additional flavor ). Set aside.

When ready to serve, pre heat the oven to broil.  Place the soup bowls into a high sided roasting pan and ladle the onion soup into bowls. Top each bowl with 2 slices of the toasted bread, and top with a handful of grated Gruyere cheese. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top of the cheese. ( optional ) Place in the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

 

Time saving note: Sliced and toasted Baguettes can be made ahead during the day and set aside until meal time. It is ok if they begin to stale, they will reconstitute in the soup.

 

Skinny Orange ChickenĀ 


Well, skinn ( i-e-r ) ….

One of my favorite dishes is orange chicken! Mmmm, crispy bits of deep fried nuggets tossed in sugary orange glaze. 

Yikes! I did make a New Year commitment of cutting back on fried foods and recipes that include refined sugar. So- what’s a chef to do? 

Answer: Reworked the formula. Now, I can still have my orange chicken, and eat it too! And now- you can too! 

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free flour 

2 large eggs, beaten

2 cups panko bread crumbs, or Gluten free option ( optional) 

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Juice and zest of 2 oranges

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

2-4 dried chili peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

Black or white Sesame seeds, for garnish

Sliced scallions, for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 400′ F Degrees.
Line a high sided baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick silicone baking sheet .

Set up a dredging station with three medium sized bowls. One bowl filled with the flour and seasoned with salt and pepper, another one with the eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper, and one with panko. Next to the last bowl place the prepared sheet. 

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Begin dredging the chicken by first pressing it in the flour. Lift to shake off any excess. 

Next, coat in the in beaten eggs and finally, into the in panko- covering thoroughly. 

Last, arrange the coated chicken on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until no longer pink, 18 to 20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking . Prepare the glaze. 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. Whisk until combined. Add chili and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Once the chicken is baked and crispy- transfer into to a large bowl and drizzle in the orange sauce. Toss well to coat. 

Serve over cooked rice garnished with orange zest, sesame seeds, and chopped scallions.