Well, I probably shouldn't do this, but I've started another Blog. Like I don't already spend too much time at the MacBook. As some of you might have guessed, I like to cook and I love to eat. So I thought I'd share my recipes, humble as they may be and an occasional dinner menu at our house. I am somewhat "reluctant" to share this project right now, but caution to the wind. The plan is to be discovered by the Food Network for my cooking show Cranky Franky's in the Kitchen.
Am I ready for critics? Probably not. I know my instructions are not always clear or precise. Let me know if something doesn't make sense. Anyhow, if you're interested, check out "Dinner's Ready"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vegetarian Onion Soup With Mushrooms - Gratinee

This vegetarian onion soup soup is delicious and filling and did I say vegetarian.  No beef or chicken broth. 
I used about 10 cups of sliced onions, 10 ounces of sliced white mushrooms, olive oil, butter, dry vermouth (or a dry white wine) parsley, salt, pepper and shredded cheese - muenster and extra sharp cheddar (or include some swiss or whatever cheese you have on hand.  American cheese is not cheese - avoid it).  And some crusts of French or Italian bread.

Brown the onions in 2 batches in a very large skillet (or in 3 or more batches depending on the size of your skillet) over high heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring often to get all the onions caramelized.  

Remove the onions and brown the mushrooms in the same pan, add a little more olive oil, if needed.

Combine the onions and mushrooms in the skillet and over high heat, add one teaspoon of salt and one cup of dry vermouth or other dry white wine.  (If your skillet is not large enough - do this in 2 batches, halving the wine and salt for each batch)

Add a few grinds of black pepper (optional).

Bring to a boil and simmer until the alcohol evaporates and the liquid takes on a nice golden brown color, about 6 or 7 minutes.

Transfer the whole mixture to a large (about 3 quart) sauce pan and add 8 cups of water.

Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of salt (to taste).

Bring the soup to a boil, add a handful of chopped parsley (optional) and simmer for 45-60 minutes.

Grate or shred about 3 ounces of cheese per serving.  I like a combo of very sharp cheddar, muenster and swiss.  But I've used Gouda, Fontina, Jarlsberg or other good cheeses as well.  You can make up to eight servings (more or fewer, depending on the size of your oven-proof soup bowls).

Put a few crusts of good bread on the bottom of each soup bowl.  If the bread you have is not crusty, you can toast it lightly.

Ladle on the soup, with a good serving of the onions and mushrooms, over the bread.  Top with the cheese and place the bowls on a cookie sheet(s) to prevent spillage in the oven.

Place into a 450 degree oven until the cheese is melted and starts to brown and bubble.  Remove from oven and serve.

CAUTION: Contents are HOT.  Do not burn your mouth - let the soup cool a bit, and be careful!

Simple ingredients
Saute the onions in Olive oil and butter
Saute the mushrooms in olive oil and butter

Get the onions nicely caramelized
- a little more than above example
Combine the onions and mushrooms
Add the wine, 1 tsp salt and simmer
Transfer to a pot, add water, salt, parsley, simmer
Individual bowls of soup with melted cheese

Serve with a nice glass of wine. 
This soup, alone or with a salad, is a great meal.

Dinner's ready!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Potato, Leek, Swiss Chard and Feta Frittata

There's not much left in the garden at this time of year.  There are some leeks, which I grew for the first time ever, and some swiss chard that withstood some light frost.

Sunday breakfast called for something more than cereal so we had a nice frittata with potato, leek, Swiss chard and feta. (Of course, mushrooms and other good things can be added as well).

I had Leon dice up a potato while ran out in my bathrobe to dig up a few leeks and pick a handful of chard.

Get the potatoes going in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.  Add some salt and pepper.  Wash and chop the white and light green part of the leeks and add to the skillet.  Let saute until the potatoes are tender.  Wash and drain the chard thoroughly, then squeeze to get most of the water out of the handful of chard, then chop into rather fine strands.  Add to the skillet and cook until wilted.

Pour five or six beaten eggs over the veggies, add salt and pepper and some crumbled feta cheese (or any other cheese you like) and cook until eggs are almost set.  Fold over and let the set.  Serve with toast or crusty bread.