Mushroom Quiche With Potato Crust

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Basic quiche recipes call for pastry for the crust. However, if you want, you can replace the pastry with potatoes. I did this and here’s my potato crust quiche recipe, which you can use as base for any kind of quiche you like: mine has mushrooms, red bell pepper, parsley, dill and onions, but variations are welcome.

The first step is to make the crust. You need two onions…

Two peeled onions

Two peeled onions

and about 6 medium size potatoes. Don’t ask me why my onions were one yellow and one red. Use whatever you have, the color makes no difference in this situation.

Peeled potatoes

Peeled potatoes

Peel and grate the onions. Here’s the part where you start to cry, so take your time, wash your face, grate some more, cry some more… the whole operation shouldn’t take you more than 5-6 minutes.

Grating onions

Grating onions

Peel and grate the potatoes. I grated them coarsely, but if you want a finer crust, use the fine side of the grater box.

Grating potatoes

Grating potatoes

Pre-heat the oven at 450F.

Squeeze the grated onions and potatoes very well to drain the liquid, then put them in a bowl and mix them.

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Use both your hands, not one like I did. You won’t have to hold the camera, I guess ;)

Add a teaspoon of salt, some ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of all purpose white flour. If you want, you can add spices. I added about a teaspoon dried thyme. Mix everything very well.

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Oil a baking dish (bottom and edges). Shape the onion-potato mix into a pie crust, trying to get even thickness all over.

Raw potato quiche crust

Raw potato quiche crust

Bake the potato crust at 450F for about 15 minutes.

Take the baking dish out of the oven, brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil and put it back in the oven again for 10 more minutes. If you don’t have a special brush, you can use a folded paper towel to oil the crust evenly.

Oiled quiche crust

Oiled quiche crust

While the crust is baking, we are going to prepare the filling for our quiche. You need one onion, 15-20 button mushrooms, half red bell pepper, parsley and dill.

Button mushrooms

Button mushrooms

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onion and fry it for about 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Chopped red onion in pan

Chopped red onion in pan

Thoroughly clean the mushrooms, chop them and add them to the frying pan. I also added about a teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced, but that’s optional.

Chop about half of a red bell pepper. Add it to the food. Stir and cook over medium heat. Chop the parsley and the dill and add them to the pan.

Vegetables in pan

Vegetables in pan

Continue cooking and stirring until the vegetables are soft and there’s a lot of liquid from the mushrooms in the pan. This process should take about 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from heat, transfer them into a colander and drain them very well. You can use a wooden spatula or a spoon to squeeze them dry.

Draining stir fried vegetables

Draining stir fried vegetables

Pour the vegetables over the quiche crust, spreading them evenly onto the surface.

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Grate the cheese. You’ll need about 1 cup of grated cheese. I used feta, but you can use any cheese you want such as Cheddar or Swiss cheese.

Grated Feta cheese

Grated Feta cheese

Spread the grated cheese on top of the baking dish.

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs. Please note that there are only two eggs in the photo, but after I beat those, I decided to add one more.

Beat three eggs and add milk

Beat three eggs and add milk

Add about 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika powder and some freshly ground black pepper.

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Mix well and pour over the grated cheese layer in the quiche dish.

Quiche - ready to bake

Quiche - ready to bake

Bake over medium heat for one hour.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Cut and serve hot.

Mushroom quiche slice

Mushroom quiche slice

Serving suggestion: decorate the quiche slices with pickled beetroot or gherkins.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Ingredients for this quiche recipe:

  • 3 medium size onions
  • 20 button mushrooms
  • 6 medium size potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup parsley and dill, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese

This recipe serves 4-6 people. I ate two big slices while writing the recipe for you, however :)

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Roast Whole Chicken Recipe

I like roasting the whole chicken. Although I know a big part of it will eventually end up in the soup, I still like to roast it whole, then tear apart those juicy, tender pieces, covered by the golden, crispy skin.

Here’s how it goes:

Take one piece free range chicken, as small as you can find. Mine was about 2 pounds.

Free range chicken - ready to roast

Free range chicken - ready to roast

Bigger chickens take longer to cook, so if you want to also roast some vegetables with your meat, they will be overcooked. If you cook for more than 3-4 people, you’ll probably need two chickens like this.

In a cup, mix one teaspoon of salt with half teaspoon black pepper, one teaspoon paprika and one teaspoon rosemary. If you can find fresh rosemary, that’s nicer. I only had dried rosemary, so that’s what I used. You can add whatever other spices you like. Red chili flakes and garlic powder are also excellent.

Roast chicken spices mix

Roast chicken spices mix

Rub the chicken thoroughly with the spice mix you prepared. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. In order to minimize the mess, I put the chicken in a big pot before rubbing it. It’s much better than doing it on the kitchen bench, believe me!

Rub the chicken with spices

Rub the chicken with spices

Don’t forget the interior and the underarms :)

Rub the chicken all over

Rub the chicken all over

Use plenty of spices, because this is how your roast chicken will get a nice color and amazing flavors. Rub the interior of chicken as well. You can also sneak some spices between the meat and the skin on the breast (you’ll see that there’s a kind of a pocket between the skin and the breast itself). That’s nice, because it helps the usually dry breast to become more tender and flavorful.

Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven now, you’ll need it soon. 400F should be a good temperature.

Free range chicken - ready to roast

Free range chicken - ready to roast

Oil an oven tray. Add some salt and the chicken. Now you don’t want your chicken to get bored for a whole hour in that hot oven, so add several potatoes, an onion and some 5-6 garlic cloves. Wash and cut the potatoes in halves or quarters. Do not peel them. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Don’t peel the garlic cloves.

Chicken and vegetables in the oven tray

Chicken and vegetables in the oven tray

Roast the chicken and the vegetables for about 45 minutes over medium heat. Take the tray out of the oven, turn the chicken and the vegetables upside down and cook them for 15-20 minutes more.

Roast whole chicken with crispy skin

Roast whole chicken with crispy skin

If you have guests for dinner, you can bring the whole roast chicken at the table, on a big plate, decorated with lettuce leaves. If you eat alone, like I did this time, you can simply grab whatever parts of the chicken you like most, put them on a plate with some of the roast vegetables and eat it using your bare hands.

Roast chicken leg and potatoes on a plate

Roast chicken leg and potatoes on a plate

I had that with pickled beetroot salad, which I was too hungry to photograph, so you’ll have to imagine it.

Now, the list of ingredients for this roast whole chicken recipe:

  • 1 whole free range chicken, about 2 pounds weight
  • 7-8 medium size potatoes, halved or quartered, not peeled
  • 1 medium size onion, peeled and halved
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, whole, not peeled
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
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Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffed bone-in pork chops

Stuffed bone-in pork chops


Although at first sight stuffed pork chop recipes might seem complicated, they are just as easy as any other pork recipe. All you need to take into account is that the total cooking time will be longer, because you have to prepare the stuffing, then to cut pockets in the chops, then to fill them with the stuffing.

Anyway, to start with, let’s take two beautiful bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick:

Thick, bone-in pork chops

Thick, bone-in pork chops

Most recipes call for boneless pork chops, but I think bone-in ones are nicer: cooking meat on the bone gives it a special flavor, a sweetness which I really like.

Wash the meat in cold water, then dry it on some kitchen towels. Take the sharpest knife you have and cut a pocket in each pork chop, like this:

Pocket cut in the pork chop

Pocket cut in the pork chop

Sorry I couldn’t take a photo of me slicing that chop, but these two are the only hands I’ve got and they were both involved in the cutting process. Anyway, here’s the result:

Pork chops prepared for stuffing

Pork chops prepared for stuffing

Salt the meat, season it with your favorite herbs (I used a mix of garlic powder, thyme and basil) and put it back in the fridge while you work on the stuffing.

Take one medium sized onion, cut it in half and peel it.

Halved onion

Halved onion

Chop the onion. Coarsely chopping is just fine, you don’t need to try too hard on that, because it’s going to be cooked for quite a long time anyway.

Chopped onions

Chopped onions

Take about 10 white mushrooms. I chose medium to small ones, like you can see in the following photo, and they were more than enough for stuffing the two pork chops you’ve seen. Wash them very well.

White mushrooms

White mushrooms

Chop the mushrooms and the stems. Don’t worry about making them really small.

Chopped mushrooms

Chopped mushrooms

In a non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions. Cook them over medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add the mushrooms, stir and season with salt, pepper, red chili flakes and any herbs you like.

Mushroom-onion meat stuffing

Mushroom-onion meat stuffing

Cook the mushrooms and the onions over medium heat, for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, take the parsley and the dill, wash them very well and chop them.

Chopped parsley and dill

Chopped parsley and dill

Add the parsley and the dill to the skillet and keep on cooking and stirring:

Meat stuffing getting cooked on stove top

Meat stuffing getting cooked on stove top

The stuffing still needs something to hold everything together. I used a slice of feta cheese. Other options are: any type of cheese that melts nicely or eggs. Here’s my cheese, crumbled, just before adding it to the skillet. There’s nothing special about this photo, I just want you to see how much cheese I’ve used.

crumbled feta cheese

crumbled feta cheese

Add the cheese to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, over low heat. Stir frequently, otherwise the cheese will stick to the skillet.

Pork chop stuffing

Pork chop stuffing

When most of the cheese melted and mixed with the other juices in the pan, turning into a sauce, remove the skillet from heat. Spoon the stuffing into the pork chops.

Stuffed pork chops - work in progress

Stuffed pork chops - work in progress

You’ll notice you’ve got more stuffing than needed. Don’t try to fit it inside the chops, because we are going to use it later on. Just use only as much stuffing as to allow you to secure the meat pockets with toothpicks. As you got here with the work, you may want to pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Stuffed pork chops - more work in progress

Stuffed pork chops - more work in progress

In a skillet, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and brown the stuffed pork chops for about two minutes on each side:

Stuffed pork chops browned

Stuffed pork chops browned

Transfer the chops from the skillet to the baking dish. Take the remaining stuffing mix, put it in the skillet, add about half cup of water and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Your purpose is to mix the flavored brown stuff on the bottom of the skillet with the mushroom-onion mixture. Eventually, you are going to pour it over the pork chops, before baking them.

Stuffed pork chops ready to bake

Stuffed pork chops ready to bake

Cover the baking dish and bake the pork chops for about one hour. You may now relax for 40-45 minutes. Just before the chops are done, you’d better get back to the kitchen and prepare some side dish. I boiled some potatoes, then drained the water and mixed them with butter and salt.

Stuffed pork chops served with potatoes

Stuffed pork chops served with potatoes

Serve the stuffed pork chops hot, with freshly ground pepper sprinkled on top. If you can, arrange with somebody else to do the dishes, as you’ll use plenty of them :)

Here’s the list of ingredients for two big chops (enough for two not-very-hungry persons):

  • 2 bone-in pork chops, 1 inch thick
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
  • 10 white mushrooms, medium sized, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 slice feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • herbs of your choice (dried thyme, basil, red hot chili flakes, garlic powder)
  • 2 toothpicks

Last but not least, I thought you might want to see how those stuffed pork chops look on the inside.

Stuffed pork chops - interior

Stuffed pork chops - interior

Yummy, isn’t it?

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Beef and Veggies Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 pound lean beef, ground
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, mozarella, goat cheese, Swiss cheese or whatever else you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup baked beans
  • 1/2 cup celery root, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrot, sliced
  • 1 red hot chili pepper, finely chopped (if it’s really hot, you can discard the seeds, then chop it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the onion over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef. Cook it stirring often, until it changes color from pink to light brown. This should take about 5-6 minutes. If the pan becomes too watery, drain it a little. Add the celery root, carrot, baked beans, parsley and red chili pepper. Salt and pepper according to your taste, then cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring well in order to mix the vegetables with the meat.

When you’re almost ready, oil a baking tray and put the tortillas on it. Spread the meat and vegetables mixture over half of each tortilla. Add a layer of shredded cheese, then fold the tortillas. Bake them at 400F for 5 minutes, then flip them over and bake them for 5 more minutes. Slice them into wedges and serve them with salsa or sour cream on top.

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Smoked Pork Ribs With Sauerkraut

Smoked pork ribs with sauerkraut is a recipe I like to cook in winter. It’s a rather fat and heavy dish, so it’s best when you come home from a freezing walk in the snow. It’s not a quick recipe, as it needs almost 2 hours to cook, so don’t try it if you don’t have enough time.

For what I’m going to describe further on, please note that I had the sauerkraut from my mum and the pork ribs were already smoked when I bought them. However, if you want and if your house setting allows for that, it’s nice to smoke meat by yourself.

So, I took an average size sauerkraut:

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

I cut it in quarters, got rid of the core, then chopped it like this:

Chopped Sauerkraut

Chopped Sauerkraut

After chopping the sauerkraut, I put it in a pot with cold water and left it there until I finished preparing the smoked pork ribs.

put the sauerkraut in a big pot and add water

put the sauerkraut in a big pot and add water

I had to do this because the sauerkraut was too salty to use it just as it was. If you are rather the “less-salty-foods” type, you might want to leave the sauerkraut in water over night.

Then I took the smoked pork ribs, rinsed them in cold water and put them on the chopping board:

Smoked Pork Ribs

Smoked Pork Ribs

I cut them into 1 – 1.5 inch thick slices, along the bones. It’s easy, if you follow the interval between the bones and if you use a really sharp knife.

Chopped Pork Ribs

Chopped Pork Ribs

I heated two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and browned the pork ribs. You don’t need to cook them completely, just make sure the heat is high enough to brown them nicely. This means you need to cook them for about 2 minutes maximum on each side

Browning Pork Ribs

Browning Pork Ribs

Be very careful, because the oil will jump in all directions when you put the meat into the skillet. I’m not saying your kitchen is going to be messy, because that’s for sure. I’m saying you may get some nasty burns if those hot oil drops land on your skin. I’ve got proof: I took a photo of my arm, but I’m not sure I want to post it here.

Anyway, after you brown all the meat, put it on a plate and set it aside:

Nicely Browned Meat

Nicely Browned Meat

Take the sauerkraut out of the water. Squeeze it very well to dry.

In a big pot, put two tablespoons olive oil, spread it all over the bottom of the pot, then add one layer of sauerkraut, one layer of smoked pork ribs, until you finish all ingredients. Add about one tablespoon black peppercorns, two bay leaves, another tablespoon of olive oil and two cups of water.

Sauerkraut-Ribs pot ready to cook

Sauerkraut-Ribs pot ready to cook

Now cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 50 minutes. Stir occasionally. If it runs very low on water during all this time, add some more.

Add one cup of tomato juice. Continue cooking over low heat, this time with no lid on the pot. Cooking uncovered has the purpose to reduce the juice. If you want, you can add a teaspoon or two of paprika at this stage of cooking. I didn’t, but if you do, you’ll see the food gets a nicer color.

Smoked Ribs - Sauerkraut Cooking

Smoked Ribs - Sauerkraut Cooking

Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often in order to prevent the food to stick to the bottom of the pan.

This is how the sauerkraut looks when done

This is how the sauerkraut looks when done

The sauerkraut with smoked pork ribs is best hot. Nonetheless, let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving it, as it gets REALLY hot!

Ingredients:

  • 1 average size sauerkraut, cored, chopped
  • 1 pound smoked pork ribs, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
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Vegetarian Quesadilla Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese mix of your choice (it can be Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Swiss cheese, Italian cheese or whatever your favorite types of cheese)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn, whole kernel (drain it before use)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black beans (from can, drained before use)
  • 1 teaspoon chili peppers, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Preparation:
Mix the green and red bell pepper with chopped onions, corn, black beans and chopped chili peppers.

Oil a skillet, heat it and place one of the tortillas inside. Heat it for one minute, then turn it upside down and heat it one more minute. Repeat with the second tortilla.

Spread half of the cheese amount evenly over the surface of the tortilla, top it with the mix of corn, black beans, onion, red and green bell peppers and chili peppers, then spread the other half of cheese on top. Cover with the second tortilla. Let it heat for about two minutes or until you start smelling the cheese melting.

Flip over the quesadilla and heat it for 2 minutes more.

Transfer it onto a chopping board and cut it into 8 wedges.

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Spinach Quiche

Spinach quiche is a permissive recipe. You can add other goodies such as bacon, mushrooms, chicken, turkey or ham, thus getting rid of your food leftovers in a delicious and easy way. This is the basic spinach quiche recipe. I used frozen spinach, because we are now in winter time, when fresh vegetables are hard to find. However, if you cook this quiche in the veggies season, you are welcome to use fresh baby spinach leaves.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust

  • 8 oz all purpose white flour
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 1 pound feta cheese, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients for the pie crust. Make sure the butter is at room temperature when you do that, because you want to obtain a homogeneous composition. Don’t be afraid to use your hands.

After you make the dough, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, then shape it round and flat. The diameter should be large enough to cover the bottom and the edges of the baking dish.

Butter or oil the baking dish, then put the pie crust in place.

While the dough is resting in the fridge, don’t check your emails, don’t watch movies, don’t step out of the kitchen, because you have more work to do: make the filling.

Thaw the spinach, drain it very well and chop it. Peel and chop the onion. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion and cook it for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Gradually add the shredded cheese, the eggs and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything very well, then pour the composition on top of the pie crust. Bake in the oven at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes.

The spinach quiche is best hot, but some people like it cold as well.

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Crustless Broccoli Quiche

Although typical quiche recipes call for pie crust, if you want a low-carb recipe, you can enjoy a healthy, crustless version of this delicious dish. It can make a perfect breakfast, nourishing and full of vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups broccoli, florets only
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli florets. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring often.

In a bowl, mix the eggs with milk, cheese, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add the sauteed broccoli and stir gently.

Oil a baking dish. Pour the broccoli mixture inside. Bake it for about 40 minutes at 350 F. Serve hot.

Posted in Crustless Quiche Recipes, Healthy Quiche Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

French Onion Soup Recipe

It somehow amuses me how a basic dish for poor people managed to become gourmet. If you didn’t know it, find out that onion soup was a popular dish in ancient Rome. Onions were widely available and very easy to grow, so one didn’t need to have advanced gardening skills to be able to cultivate onions in their own backyard.

Another interesting finding is that the word “soup” comes from the Latin “suppa”, which means “bread soaked in a broth”. So, croutons are also originating from ancient soups.

The modern version of this onion soup with beef broth and croutons was born in the 18th century, in France, hence the name “French onion soup”.

What makes a good French onion soup recipe? Although the ingredients are pretty much standard, not everybody can cook a delicious onion soup. Some chefs claim the secret lays in the cooking time, because caramelized onions make the difference, therefore it’s important to cook the onions as slowly as possible to unleash all their wonderful flavors. Caramelization is the process in which the onions are very slowly cooked in olive oil or butter, with the purpose of bringing out the flavors of onions sugars. After the onions turn brown, wine is used to deglaze the skillet and to enhance the flavors.

The French onion soup is made from beef broth and caramelized onions, served with croutons and cheese toppings. The most popular cheese used to top the French onion soup is Gruyere. Various recipes, though, use other types of good melting cheese such as Swiss cheese, mozzarella, Cheddar or even parmesan.

The easiest French onion soup recipe is the one that uses canned beef broth or beef stock and dehydrated onion soup mix. Although it’s easy to just buy, heat and mix, I’m not a big fan of such ingredients which may be full of preservatives, thus not so good for you. I’m for the old-fashioned cooking style, which means starting from scratch and using fresh foods as much as possible.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 5 yellow onions, medium sized (sweet onions are best)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (if you can’t find it fresh, replace with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme)
  • 4 cups homemade beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 slices of white bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, grated
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

Get five medium-sized yellow onions:

Five yellow onions

Five yellow onions

Cut the onions in halves, peel them and slice them thinly. You don’t need to worry too much about how the slices look like, because you’re going to cook them for a long time anyway.

Sliced onions for French onion soup

Sliced onions for French onion soup

I have to tell you that my chopping board is small, so what you see in the above photo is only a part of the whole quantity. This is how five chopped onions look like:

Chopped onions ready to turn into soup

Chopped onions ready to turn into soup

In a heavy bottomed cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil, then add the onions and a bit of salt. I used a large, thick-bottomed stainless steel pot, as you can see from the image above.

Saute the onions over medium to low heat, stirring from time to time. After 1-2 minutes, set the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t stir too often, because you do want the onions to turn brown and to caramelize.

Caramelized onions

Caramelized onions

After the onions get brown, add the fresh thyme and the garlic. Gradually pour the wine and scrape the burnt onions off the skillet bottom.

Pour red wine over the caramelized onions

Pour red wine over the caramelized onions

Keep on cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Pour the beef broth, add a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. If the soup is dark brown, you know you’ve done a great job with caramelizing the onions.

French onion soup with homemade beef broth

French onion soup with homemade beef broth

Ladle the soup into four oven-proof soup bowls, making sure to put some of the caramelized onions in each bowl. If you have a traditional onion soup bowl set, use it, because those bowls have a special shape that makes the soup stay hot until the last spoon. Float the toast croutons, one on top of each soup bowl. Lay the grated cheese on top of the croutons. I found it easier to first set the grated cheese on the toast, then place it on the soup.

Toast floating on French onion soup

Toast floating on French onion soup

Put the soup bowls in the oven and broil them until the cheese melts and starts to get brown spots. This will happen in less than one minute. Make sure to closely watch the food at this stage, because it’s extremely easy to burn the cheese and spoil the whole meal.

French onion soup in the oven

French onion soup in the oven

This last photo was taken with the soup still in the oven, just before it was done. The cheese had already melted, but it looked like it was going to sink, so there wasn’t time for a proper table setup before taking the final shot.

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Crustless Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, onions, broccoli, corn, asparagus or anything else you may like)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Let them cool down. Meanwhile, take a large bowl and mix the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Oil a quiche dish. Layer alternately vegetables and Swiss cheese until you finish all vegetables. Pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes.

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