10/13: oh so good french onion soup and steak frites

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Oh So Good French Onion Soup

Recipe Summary

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

6 medium onions, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, picked and chopped or poultry seasoning

1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

1/2 cup dry sherry

6 cups beef stock

4 thick slices crusty bread, toasted

2 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Heat a deep pot over medium to medium high heat. Work next to the stove to slice onions. Add oil and butter to the pot. Add onions to the pot as you slice them. When all the onions are in the pot, season with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Cook onions 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender, sweet and caramel colored. Add bay leaf and sherry to the pot and deglaze the pan drippings. Add 6 cups stock and cover pot to bring soup up to a quick boil.

Arrange 4 small, deep soup bowls or crocks on a cookie sheet. Preheat broiler to high. Once soup reaches a boil, ladle it into bowls. Float toasted crusty bread on soup and cover each bowl with a mound of cheese. Sprinkle remaining fresh thyme on cheese and place cookie sheet with soup bowls on it under hot broiler until cheese melts and bubbles.

Steak Frites

Recipe Summary

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Vegetable oil for frying

3 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried

Fine salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan

4 NY strip steaks, 3/4 inch thick, 10 to 12 ounces each

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup dry red wine

Heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat to 325 F degrees. Cut potatoes into thin slices lengthwise. Cut each slice into thin shoestring strips. Place cut potatoes on paper towels. Place 2 generous handfuls of potatoes at a time into hot oil, in 2 batches. Par cook the potatoes 2 minutes and transfer to a towel lined plate. Raise heat to medium high up to 375 degrees F. Allow oil to rise to a higher temperature, 3 to 5 minutes. Return potatoes to oil in 2 batches to crisp them, cooking them to a deep, golden brown color, another 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Remove potatoes from oil to clean towels to drain. Season with fine salt and serve.

For steaks, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add a little oil to the pan, 1 turn. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Place steaks in skillet and sear 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium and cook steaks 6 minutes longer for medium rare, 8 for medium to medium well. Remove steaks to a warm plate to rest. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the shallots to the pan. Cook shallots 2 or 3 minutes, add flour to the pan and cook a minute longer. Whisk wine into pan and lift pan drippings up. Add the last tablespoon of butter and remove the pan from the heat. Spoon wine and shallot sauce over the steaks and serve with hot, shoestring potatoes.

 

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