03 February 2010

Cookbookyssey #3:
Everyone Can Cook Midweek Meals

Everyone Can Cook Midweek Meals: Recipes for Cooks on the Run
by Eric Akis
© 2008 Whitecap Books

I surprised myself by not making the Curried Shrimp-Stuffed Papaya recipe that first caught my eye, lover that I am of stuffing things (as evidenced here, here and here and here...). However I think I need to expand my horizons a bit beyond the stuffing of fruits and vegetables. I also love French Onion Soup, and have never tried to make anything resembling it, so what better place to start than with a recipe from the fourth installment of Eric Akis's Everyone Can Cook series, which reassures, as its title suggests, that everyone, even tired, distracted, busy people who rely heavily on dollar slice pizza to fuel them throughout the week, can cook.

Red Onion Soup with Brie
Serves 4
2 Tbsp butter
3 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove (actually I used 2), chopped
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine
4 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
4 slices (1 inch thick) toasted French bread
8–12 slices brie

Sauté onions in melted butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until onions are caramel-like and sticky.

Stir in garlic. Mix in flour and mustard. Slowly add wine, stirring constantly. Stir in stock and thyme and bring soup to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer about 15 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

Put a toasted slice of French bread in the bottom of each bowl. Cover with soup and then top with brie slices. Place bowls on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is melted.

Notes on cooking
• I misread the recipe and accidentally added 1 instead of 1/2 tsp of thyme. Don't do that. Too thymey.
• I mixed the mustard and flour together in a bowl before adding. Don't do that either; it makes it difficult to incorporate.
• I only used 4 cups of beef broth, because that's how much was in the carton. I could have done with an extra 1/2 cup of liquid.
• Make sure you have ovenproof bowls. I wasn't sure if mine was ovenproof, so I kept the broiling to a minimum.

Seven Spoons has a pretty in-depth review of Eric's book and the "fast" food movement here.

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