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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:10 AM

French Onion Soup from scratch, and I mean SCRATCH! (well, almost! lots of pics) (edited)

Last edited Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:21 PM - Edit history (1)

(The "well, almost"? I didn't actually make the cheese!)

I really enjoy making different types of soups, from Clam Chowder to Italian Wedding to US Senate Bean and many others. French onion is one of those types that takes a bit of time, but is SOOO worth it.

Now I admit here that I went completely overboard with this, (probably with the pictures too, so I'm sorry if there are too many) as it is CERTAINLY not necessary to make your own stock AND bake the bread loaves for the crouton, but what the hell. The downside is that I have been putting off some yardwork and other chores!

So no more entire Sundays spent cooking for a while!

For the French Onion Soup, I pretty much followed Julia Child's recipe found here. If you're like me, you look at numerous recipes and put together what sounds best from each one. The reason I like Julia's is because she used the white wine AND the Cognac. The Cognac or Brandy is PARTICULARLY delicious with this soup.

For the Beef Stock, I again, pretty much (LOL) followed the recipe in my "Joy Of Cooking book, page 40, for "Brown Stock".

OK...the mirepoix for the stock. Celery, Carrots, Onion, all large chop and a 6 Oz can of Tomato Paste. I actually held aside the leaf portion of the celery for the soup.


The meat and bones for the stock. I have a package of Beef neck bones, the grocery stores package of "Soup Bones" and a package of Beef back ribs. I'll only use one of the ribs for the meat. The rest I froze for barbecue later on. VERY light salt and pepper. I really want to control how salty the stock is, because I am going to freeze what I don't use and I can add salt to later dishes and sauces.



I used about 2/3rds of the can of tomato paste and in a small bowl (OK, not a bowl, but my handy dandy little Bass Ale glass I got in England, years ago) , mixed in about 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce. I just can't resist trying to "kick it up a notch"! With my hands, I spread and coated each piece of meat and bone with the Tomato Paste mix.


Into a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes or so. Out of the oven, add the mirepoix, back in for another 10. I don't want the veggies to burn, so out it comes and stir.

After the first stir;


Ten minutes later, and another stir around, browned up and caramelized pretty good;


All done and into the pot, water to cover plus about 4 inches. Maybe a gallon and a half. I added a cleaned and chopped leek after about 20 minutes per the Joy of Cooking recipe.


Now for the bread. For the French Bread I followed the recipe I found on Betty Crocker.com pretty much to the letter. When I make bread I like to mix the wet in my stand mixer using the whisk attachment (I suppose a professional baker might find this method acceptable), then add just enough flour to make a batter. As soon as it is about the consistency of pancake batter, I switch to the dough hook.

Prepping the batter. About 1 1/2 cups of the 3 1/2 the recipe calls for in the mixer.



Mix in the wet, including the yeast, which I used a packet of Fleischmann's "ActiveDry", the kind you mix with 1/4 cup of warm water (120 or so), add a Tsp of sugar to activate and wait till it starts to foam. My packet activated great, and I was off to the races.

I replaced the whisk with the dough hook, started the machine and slowly added the rest of the flour until it all starts pulling away from the bowl. I had to scrape it down once, but that's par for the course.


It came off the hook like a champ! Onto the lightly floured counter top, kneed for 4 or 5 minutes and then into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise. It was a fairly dry dough, not at all as silky feeling as when I've made sandwich bread doughs.



Florida in the Summertime is actually a great time to bake bread, because it is usually so humid and warm outside that you get a fantastic rise out of yeast doughs by setting it on the patio or deck. Well, it ain't Summer and it's cool and rather dry outside, so I have to improvise to find a warm, humid spot. Solution? The cabinet over the oven. I'll heat the oven up with a pie tin of water. That will warm the cabinet up. Into the cabinet goes the dough and I'll put the steaming pan of water next to it to keep the humidity up. 1990's vintage Marlboro/Penske Racing ashtray to keep it company! (yes, of course the ashtray is clean!)


Risen nicely, about double. (Edit) That was about 90 minutes.



On to the lightly floured counter, cut in two.


Now I'm going to roll one of the halves out, to about 14" or so across and about 1/4" thick.


Now to roll it up. Once I've done that I tuck in the ends and place it on my sheet to rise, seam side of the roll down.
Same thing to the other half of the dough. After scoring the tops, I place both of them back into the cupboard above my oven with the same reheated pan of water to rise a second time.


About 25 minutes later and about doubled again. I mixed a single egg white and a tablespoon of water and brushed that over the loaves, then baked in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. I put the tin of water in as well to keep the oven humid.



Now to start the onions. 2 large Yellow onions, halved and sliced thin.


Into a hot pan that has about 3 tablespoons of butter and a bit of olive oil. As soon as they're in, I turned the heat down to medium low.


About 2 minutes in.


10 minutes later


About 20 minutes now.



After about 40 minutes or so. Came along nicely, about the color of my wooden spoon.


Time to actually make soup! I'm going to use a Bouquet Garni. Sprigs of thyme, the celery leaves, bay leaves and the other items. This is more herbs than Julia's recipe calls for, but others that I have looked at call for some or all of them. I also added about a teaspoon of ground sage to the pot. (BIG EDIT!) Completely forgot this and worked on putting this thread together for 2 days!! TARRAGON! TARRAGON TARRAGON! The leaf at right is fresh Tarragon. I found one recipe a while back that called for this, most DO NOT. But I love the flavor, so I used some. I minced about 5 or 6 leaves and they went into the pot. What you see in this pic went into the garni and and I only left the garni in the soup for about 15 minutes or so. Tarragon can easily overpower a dish, so if you do use it, do so sparingly. It adds a beautiful backnote.


Wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with string.


1/3 of the stock into another pot with the garni in and a small bottle of Chardonnay. Salt and pepper.



Happy cook! I just noticed I don't have enough wires in the background.



Adding the onions to what is now soup.


About a ladle full of the stock to deglaze the pan, then back in the soup. Got to get all the oniony goodness!


Pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Not too much soup, not too much onion. Slow simmer while the loaves bake.





And out they come! Lookin' good!



Slicing one of the loaves for the croutons. This is the first time I used that Betty Crocker recipe and you know what? The bread was a bit bland, actually. Not enough salt. The recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 Tsp sugar but only 1 Tsp salt. 2 Teaspoons probably would have made all the difference. Shot of Bourbon in the background for courage!


Under the broiler, lightly toast one side....


Then the other. And YES......those are burnt ones at the top right! These three are try number two! Don't turn your back on bread under a broiler! What a dummy! LOL


I melted a couple tablespoons of butter and added just a small garlic clove. I don't want the croutons too garlicky, so as not to overpower the soup. I coated the 3 slices and put them under the broiler for another 45 seconds or so.



Now to assemble the cups.

Some grated Gruyere to top off the cups. I was actually trying to be snobby and authentic here! But honestly, Gruyere isn't really the best choice for cheese. While it has a great flavor, it loses a lot of fat when heated and becomes fairly chewy. Romano and Parmesan might be a better choice, even a mix with mozzarella. Some recipes call for Swiss cheese, but the bottom line is, like with so many recipes, use what you like. I like that I learned not to use Gruyere again!


A toasted crouton in first.


Ladle in the soup.



Cheese on top.....


And now for the piece de resistance! A splash of Cognac on top.


OK....Don't pour, SPLASH! I just drizzled it over the cheese. I've done this both ways, adding directly to the soup and adding it to the top like this just before the oven. The Cognac really does add a sublime flavor and makes a wonderful difference.



In to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, and it looked like this.


VOILA'!

French Onion Soup.

You can see the fat I mentioned from the cheese. I suppose filling the cups as high as I did worked to my advantage in this regard, as all that fat ran out on to the baking sheet. It really was the wrong choice, but still tasty.

Believe it or not, the first photo I took for this series - the one of the meat - I took at 10:30 AM on Sunday. The last photo above was taken about 8:15 PM!

Once again, I hope you enjoyed this and I hope it inspires you to give it a try. Packaged Beef stock works perfectly well, of course and so does store bought Baguettes or French Bread. You don't have to spend 10 hours making soup! But I enjoy the craft involved, so it was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday.

Enjoy, and eat and be well.

Paul

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Reply French Onion Soup from scratch, and I mean SCRATCH! (well, almost! lots of pics) (edited) (Original post)
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 OP
yellerpup Feb 2013 #1
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #3
livetohike Feb 2013 #2
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #4
mettamega Feb 2013 #27
4_TN_TITANS Feb 2013 #5
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #6
cbayer Feb 2013 #7
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #12
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #8
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #13
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #20
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #21
Phentex Feb 2013 #9
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #14
Nay Feb 2013 #88
snagglepuss Feb 2013 #10
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #15
oldbanjo Feb 2013 #11
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #16
NYtoBush-Drop Dead Feb 2013 #17
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #18
aquamarina Feb 2013 #19
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #22
Jazzgirl Feb 2013 #23
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #24
grasswire Feb 2013 #25
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #26
auntAgonist Feb 2013 #80
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #82
auntAgonist Feb 2013 #83
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #84
auntAgonist Feb 2013 #85
Lugnut Feb 2013 #28
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #36
cliffordu Feb 2013 #29
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #37
countmyvote4real Feb 2013 #30
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #38
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #31
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #39
tclambert Feb 2013 #32
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #40
FarPoint Feb 2013 #33
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #41
Daemonaquila Feb 2013 #34
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #42
mother earth Feb 2013 #35
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #43
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #44
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #45
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #49
LiberalLoner Feb 2013 #46
Ilsa Feb 2013 #47
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #52
Generic Other Feb 2013 #48
beveeheart Feb 2013 #50
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #53
pengillian101 Feb 2013 #51
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #54
66 dmhlt Feb 2013 #55
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #56
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #57
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #58
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #59
Papagoose Feb 2013 #60
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #61
Tuesday Afternoon Feb 2013 #62
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Tuesday Afternoon Feb 2013 #64
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #65
Texasgal Feb 2013 #66
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #67
Texasgal Feb 2013 #68
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #69
NJCher Feb 2013 #71
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NJCher Feb 2013 #74
Tab Feb 2013 #70
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #73
Whisp Feb 2013 #75
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #78
blaze Feb 2013 #76
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #77
auntAgonist Feb 2013 #79
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #81
Whisp Feb 2013 #86
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #89
Nay Feb 2013 #87
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #90
blaze Feb 2013 #93
Jenoch Feb 2013 #91
MiddleFingerMom Feb 2013 #92
Jenoch Feb 2013 #94
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Jenoch Feb 2013 #99
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #95
MiddleFingerMom Feb 2013 #97
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #98

Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:17 AM

1. Terrific post

and a beautiful soup! Thanks for sharing.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:44 PM

3. Thanks, and you're welcome! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:37 AM

2. Wow!! Thanks for posting this with the fabulous pictures

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Response to livetohike (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:45 PM

4. Glad you liked it! n/t

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Response to livetohike (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:35 AM

27. wow - you can say that again WOW

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:49 PM

5. <reaching for cigarette>

That was some awesome food porn!

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Response to 4_TN_TITANS (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:04 PM

6. LOL ...Glad you liked it! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:11 PM

7. Wow! 10 hours of love to make the perfect french onion soup.

Love the post, the pictures and so glad you included a picture of yourself this time.

Inspiring, really. I feel like I need to get in the kitchen immediately.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:29 PM

12. You're very kind and I am so happy you liked it.

I guess I had to mug for one of these, eh?

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:26 PM

8. what a great way to show a recipe!

I find that so helpful.
Excue, gotta go find a napkin, I am drooling.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:32 PM

13. Missed a spot.....

Right...........---->there :::dab dab dab:::

All better!


If you guys like these types of threads, I'll put one up every so often!

I Haven't made stuffed grape leaves and Pastitsio in a long time!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:21 PM

20. Do you deliver?????

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:16 PM

21. Only cars! Sorry. I ship though!. n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:22 PM

9. I've made many different versions...

from the all day kind to the leftover beef broth kind. Someone here suggested onions in the crock pot which I tried. Only problem was the smell made us very hungry!

Thanks for these pictures! This is awesome.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:35 PM

14. I'm very pleased!

You can make some excellent soup in a crockpot, no doubt. Never tried using one with this however, as I think the caramelizing of the onions is pretty important and may be difficult in a crockpot.

I make the bean soup I mentioned in the OP in a crockpot and it works perfectly.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:33 AM

88. Yeah, that's basically my problem with making many things in a crockpot. It steams/poaches

everything, and you don't get that caramelization/browning needed for true flavor. Even if you brown things before you put them in the crockpot, it's not the same.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:50 PM

10. Truly awesome. Bkmrkd. Thanks for posting.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:36 PM

15. You're welcome! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:09 PM

11. While I was looking at the pictures I could taste it.

Now I know I've been making it correctly. I don't make my own beef stock but I do make my own French Bread. Good Picture.

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:36 PM

16. Thanks! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:38 PM

17. OMG!!! AWESOME!

Thanks, Paul!

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Response to NYtoBush-Drop Dead (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:41 PM

18. You're welcome and it was my pleasure!! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:57 PM

19. Wow! BRAVO!

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Response to aquamarina (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:17 PM

22. Aww! Thanks!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:05 PM

23. I bookmarked this OP!

Wonderful foodography and I will try iy!

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Response to Jazzgirl (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:08 PM

24. Great!

You won't regret it, trust me.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:25 PM

25. Just one question........

Are you married?

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Response to grasswire (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:26 PM

26. LOL....

Nope. Came close 3 times in my life.

I probably would have been divorced 3 times by now as well!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:11 AM

80. If I EVER find myself single again .... oh and I can handle a 13 spd quite nicely .. just sayin'

LOL

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Response to auntAgonist (Reply #80)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:46 AM

82. Mine is just a ten.

no OD/Direct splitter to worry about!

Of course, the transmission is the least of your worries in car haul!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #82)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:43 AM

83. never ever had a desire to haul cars. Cattle maybe, not cars. Heights scare me. n/t

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Response to auntAgonist (Reply #83)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:46 AM

84. I always figured the best freight to haul....

Was that which you could have a crane come and pick off, open a valve and let flow off, get in and drive off or poke with a stick and have walk off!

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it might seem.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #84)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:39 PM

85. I hauled containers. easiest job ever. 2 x 20ft. fun.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:05 AM

28. Wow!

I'm drooling. I love onion soup.

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Response to Lugnut (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:04 PM

36. Me too!

One of my favorites. I order it in restaurants all the time but am often disappointed. Way too many eateries will use frickin SALAD CROUTONS!

Drives me nuts.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:18 AM

29. FOOD PORN IS the best porn there is.

Thanks - My GF LOVES French Onion Soup.

Now I know what I'm doing for VT day.....

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:05 PM

37. Well, after you serve her the soup, uncover the chocolate cake you baked for her!

She'll swoon!

I hope it turns out well and I'm sure she'll fall even farther for you.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:19 AM

30. Nicely done and very informative.

French onion soup is my favorite comfort food.

Please update us when you start making your cheese from scratch, too.
Oops, that sort of sounds like I'm being catty. I assure you, I'm not.
I just know it's bound to happen and I want your brilliant and adventurous insight.

Thanks again for sharing.

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Response to countmyvote4real (Reply #30)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:08 PM

38. You know, I am thinking of learning how to make Mozzarella.

I've seen it done on various shows (Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" for instance) and I know it isn't all that hard, just takes a few tools, some Rennet and some whole milk and a few hours.

Mozzarella and Ricotta can be apparently made from the same batch.

That will be an entire Sunday as well, I fear!

Glad you enjoyed the thread.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:02 AM

31. Awesome post! Makes me want to cook!

I love this recipe (modified): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/french-onion-soup-recipe/index.html but she lies about 20 minutes for the onions - lol!

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:12 PM

39. Some of The Barefoot Contessa's recipes are really good....

My mom is a big fan of hers! She talks about her like they are neighbors!

I like the fact that she has 3 alcohols in that recipe! Yum!

I agree about the time to properly do the onions. It really does take a while to get them nicely caramelized without burning them. Low and slow - not more than a medium heat is best has been my experience.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:06 AM

32. "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch,

you must first invent the universe." -- Carl Sagan

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Response to tclambert (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:13 PM

40. "To Bread.....

For without which, there would be no toast"

-My Brother


I miss Carl.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:41 AM

33. Absolutely fantastic!

I will bookmark your cooking adventure and reflect upon it repeatedly.

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Response to FarPoint (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:14 PM

41. No reflection without action!

Really happy you liked it.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:08 AM

34. Dude, you aced me.

Good job!

I recently did a large batch of homemade French onion, but not with some of those interesting touches. Must try! Of course, that might be next winter since springtime seems to have set in with a vengeance in South Texas.

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Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:15 PM

42. LOL...Didn't mean to!

Hey...it still gets cool in the evening where you're at, right?

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 06:41 PM

35. Your cooking is contagious! Serving us up all those pictures is very motivational, now I'm going to

have to cook some of this soup up & bake some french bread. Your loaves look wonderful!

Bravo, and thank you for sharing with us, once again. Keep 'em coming, HIA.

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Response to mother earth (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:17 PM

43. You are very kind.

Thanks so much for the enthusiasm.

I really do enjoy putting these threads together almost as much as I like the cooking part!

And the fact that they seem to be well received.....

I just have to make sure I'm doing something worthy of this very kind audience.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:54 PM

44. Looks like a rewarding project

My favorite device that I have for bread is a big silicone mat. It absolutely comes in handy for any type of bread you knead by hand or roll out, or form for proofing whether it be French bread or biscuits or cookies.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #44)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:06 PM

45. I need to get one.

I've looked at silicone mats for a while and I should just go ahead and get one.

I like baking bread - I actually find it therapeutic, if I can use that word. The act of kneading, the slow rise, forming the loaves in the various ways they can be done (Challah's for instance) I find fascinating. Just as with wine, bread is alive in a way, and takes great care to do well. It isn't just mixing the flour and the wet, as I am sure you know. I am by no means an accomplished bread maker, but I learn something with each loaf, and I get better at it each time, I think.

Now that I have a kitchen again, I'll be baking more.


Silicone mat. Check. This weekend's trip to Bed Bath and Beyond!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #45)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:45 PM

49. The one I have is big enough to do pizza

Yeast, flour, water, and salt. Just 4 ingredients are all you need to make all sorts of different types. Many of which doesn't take much skill to get brilliant results.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:30 PM

46. Wow!!!!!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:05 PM

47. That looks wonderful! Congratulations, I have

A recipe for French onion soup from America's Test Kitchens, but it isn't entirely from scratch. They did taste-tests of beef broths, though, and have a specific recommendation.

I remember cooking the onions in a Dutch oven for hours to let them caramelize. It turned out to be a fantastic, rich soup, but there was no cognac. I think I'll try it with it next time, though.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #47)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:57 AM

52. The Cognac makes a very nice difference.

It just seems to "marry" well with the cheese and the richness of the broth. Almost all of the alcoholic bite goes away after 25 minutes in the oven, but leaves the background flavor.

I think you'll like it when you do it that way.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:26 PM

48. Yum

That just screams delicious!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:57 PM

50. I've only made this soup from scratch one time years

and years ago. Like you, I spent the whole day making it. And just last night I watched a young Julia Child make it on one of the food channels and thought that it's time to make it again. So thank you also for the inspiration to get to work in the kitchen with this recipe.

Yum!

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Response to beveeheart (Reply #50)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:58 AM

53. I am going to have to see if that Julia video in on YouTube. (Edited to add videos)

Last edited Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:24 PM - Edit history (1)

She always made me smile.

Glad you liked the thread!


Found it!

2 parts.

Part one. Watch her knife work at the 5:00 mark;


Part 2;

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:06 AM

51. What a beautiful post!

Thanks - looks divine.

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Response to pengillian101 (Reply #51)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:59 AM

54. Well, thank you! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:52 AM

55. Much Appreciated! Hope you had as much doing it ...

As we all did enjoying it!

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Response to 66 dmhlt (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:55 AM

56. I did, indeed.

I enjoyed the process as well as putting the thread together.

I'm happy you liked it!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:23 AM

57. Do you need a roommate?



Seriously though, that looks very very tasty.

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #57)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:00 PM

58. LOL

Well, It IS a 3 bedroom house!

Thanks for the compliment!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #58)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:00 PM

59. Perfect, I call the bedroom closest to the bathroom.



I like to cook as well, but I've never had much luck with soups from scratch.
But I can sure eat like a pro.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:48 PM

60. I made French Onion Soup last weekend

I was proud of the results, but now I feel like a cheat, using store bought stock and bread!

This looks absolutely delicious!

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Response to Papagoose (Reply #60)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:58 PM

61. It did turn out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Had it again for lunch yesterday (thursday) and it had matured really well during the week.

But you're no cheat!

As I said, and as Julia Child said in the videos I added above, store bought stock is perfectly fine, just add the wine to give it a home made kick.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:29 PM

62. *drool*

wanna get married?

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #62)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:35 PM

63. LOL....that depends....

on whether or not you could put up with me!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #63)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:38 PM

64. honey,

you keep cooking and I'll keep eating and cleaning (surely, you would like help with the cleaning, no?).

we will get along just fine, I'm sure

really. these threads are some of the best to ever grace the pages of DU. thanks.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #64)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:43 PM

65. Awww, you are incredibly sweet to say so, BUT!

I'll give you exactly 7 hours to stop calling me "Honey".


OK....9 HOURS.


12 tops.


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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:43 PM

66. *thud*

OMG! That looks so freaking amazing!

I'll be right ovah!

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #66)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:15 PM

67. lol...I'll have to get home and start all over!

Well, not ALL over...I have some of the stock frozen, but the soup and bread are gone!

Next time?

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #67)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:23 PM

68. Heck yeah!

That looked amazing! The chef ain't too shabby lookin' either! LOL!

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #68)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:32 PM

69. Now you've gone too far.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #69)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:35 AM

71. women love men who cook

Years--errr---a decade ago on one of those dating shows they had a group of short guys and one tall guy. Only the tall guy got dates.

Then they had a show with tall guys and one short guy, but the short guy billed himself a "gourmet hobby chef." All the women wanted him.

So good chefs trump tall guys.

I laughed all the way through this post--from the wires to the chef photobombing the set. And the comments, too!

Does somebody have all these bookmarked? Can they be put on the links thread for future reference?


Cher



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Response to NJCher (Reply #71)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:29 AM

72. You're making me blush!

I have to be honest here......

They say there is the perfect woman for every man and vice versa. I have become convinced that my perfect woman is probably a Yak herder on the Mongolian steppes, and the likelihood of us ever meeting is slim, at best!

I love to cook for others and I don't get the opportunity to do it often enough, but you and anyone else reading this is more than welcome in my home at any time and it would be my pleasure to prepare a meal for you.

I mean that sincerely. If you are ever in the Jacksonville, FL area, just PM me.

You have flattered me and I appreciate it.

Thanks!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #72)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:43 PM

74. I'll take you up on that

But the likelihood of this New Jerseyan being in Jacksonville is about as likely as you finding a Yak herder on the Mongolian steppes.

I think I know someone like you. I went to a dinner party at his home a few weeks ago. He does four dinner parties a year and only invites foodies and interesting people. He's a 50-something English teacher and is totally involved in his interests, one of which is cooking. The others are collecting vinyl records and books. His sixteen-room home has a room devoted to each of his interests, all of which are impeccably organized.

I had a wonderful time at his dinner party and met so many interesting people--writers from the NY Times, concert pianists, food consultants, etc.

It was the highlight of my month.

Now, if you're not really into togetherness, you might consider a relationship like mine. My spouse is a gourmand who travels the world in his work. He's only here about half the time, but when he is, we pull out all the stops on wine and food. It's great, but it would kill us if we did it full time!


Cher

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:44 PM

70. We only have your word for it that it was delicious

Next time, the proper thing to do is to invite me over so I can vouch for it.

Really, though, excellent post and project!

p.s.: I've made mozarella and it's not that hard; there are some starter kits out there.

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Response to Tab (Reply #70)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:31 AM

73. See post # 72!

I'll take your taste test any time!

I'll have to look into the mozzarella starter kits. Thanks for the heads up!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:14 PM

75. That looks fantastic. I'm going to make this as part of next Sunday Fam Din. n/t

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Response to Whisp (Reply #75)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:52 PM

78. Great!

Let us know how it comes out!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:15 PM

76. Making this today!!

Well, not the bread....

And I'm finishing up the stock tonight and will make the soup tomorrow.

Thanks for the inspiration!!

Visiting my Mom in Tucson (from Denver) and it's snowing here!!! That's just not right!!

But soup will help. <g>

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Response to blaze (Reply #76)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:50 PM

77. Snowing in Tucson?!?

Wow.

I sure hope the soup turns out good for you.

Enjoy!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:10 AM

79. "applause" Very well done. Now the only thing you need is...

my address to send me some of that wonderful looking soup !!!

French Onion is my ultimate favourite of all soups. I have never made it from scratch and I just know I don't have the patience for all the prep you did!!

I love your thread presentation, the pictures and commentary.

Ever thought of pulling out the air brake and doing a tv cooking show? Hmmmm ?


I really, want some French Onion Soup now !!! LOL


well done P.

aA

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Response to auntAgonist (Reply #79)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:44 AM

81. Actually, I have

"Ever thought of pulling out the air brake and doing a tv cooking show? Hmmmm ? "

I thought I could do one for "the average guy" kind of thing, showing basic methods, knife work, basic skills like sauce making, comfort foods, etc.

But alas, I think I have a face for radio!

And I have no formal training in the kitchen, so I might not get too far.

I wish I could share some with all of you, but hey....maybe we can work out a way to ship some to ya!

Thanks for the compliment.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:14 AM

86. I made your Onion Soup for fam din last night

and it was a total hit. the oooooos and aaaaaaahs!

best one we have ever tasted!

thanks!

My beurre blanc didn't turn out that great but I wasn't paying enough attention I guess (I get off track with people buzzing around me in the kitchen , but will try it again now that I know what I did wrong.

10/10 for the soup tho. Magnificent.

Oh and I was asked where did you get this recipe?! and I said 'from a Herectic'. lol.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #86)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:56 PM

89. I'm so happy for you!

And I'm really flattered you mentioned me, even if it was via pseudonym!!

I'm very glad it turned out well for you.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:30 AM

87. Thank you so much for this! I don't know that I will get so down in the weeds that I make

the beef stock, but I've been looking for a decent onion soup recipe and this looks fabulous.

I'm considering hosting a big French dinner for a bunch of my foodie and work friends, and this will be a perfect starter. I already have prepared Julia Child's beef bourguinon several times and know that recipe is perfect. Now, what else....

What's funny is that I really don't like cooking. Mr Nay hates it with a passion and won't even cut up a salad, so cooking always falls to me; I'm trying to find ways not to dislike it so much, and one way is to cook food that really tastes good so I get at least some satisfaction out of it. It's too bad that really good food often takes so long to prepare!

I used to like to bake breads, but I've developed diabetes recently and just can't have much bread at all (and no white bread), so bread baking pretty much just tempts me and can't deliver much in the way of eating pleasure because I simply shouldn't eat it.

Still, your food porn is wonderful, and I encourage you to do more. It encourages a lot of us out here.

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Response to Nay (Reply #87)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:07 PM

90. That is very nice of you to say.

I understand what you mean about not liking cooking. I was the same way for a long time. And I get the part about cooking food that you like, even though it takes so long to prepare.

As I have mentioned in other posts, I have eaten so many (thousands, literally) meals in restaurants, that I can just about recite, or at least anticipate, every item on a menu, just tell me the theme of the establishment. I am rarely surprised.

So....I like to surprise myself! And I am not afraid to admit when I blow it, either. I learned that from Ms. Childs.

Think of the tastiest dish you would love to order in the finest restaurant you can think of and learn how to make that.

Trust me, you won't regret it.

All the best, and once again, thanks so much for the kind words.

I have another thread I'll be putting together in a week or two, again, it will take most of the day to prep the meal and probably two days to get the thread together.

Do you like Greek food? That's what's coming.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #90)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:26 AM

93. Greek food????

Oh boy!!! Looking forward to your next thread!!

(My onion soup was a hug success, btw!! Thanks for the inspiration!)

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:40 AM

91. Your post is one of the most interesting and enjoyable posts

that I have ever read on this site. While I have made both beef stock and French bread, I have never done it all on the same day as you did. Several years ago when my mother died, one of the ways I kept busy and coped was to make beef stock (I know, my family thought I went over the edge). I used Julia Child's technique which is similar to the way you made it. We had about 50 pints of jellied beef stock in the freezer by the time I was done. Homemade French onion soup and was easy to whip up after that.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #91)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:52 AM

92. I agree. Are you a food professional (or at least a professional food blogger)?

.
.
.
Your dedication to cooking and the quality of your photographs suggest that you'd do well
at either of those things.
.
From the time of my bad motorcycle accident in 1981 (where I was pretty immobile and
VERY broke for quite a while), I have the ability to enjoy meals vicariously when they've
been attractively presented.
.
Really attractively and I can actually TASTE them.
.
I could taste your soup.
.
.
.

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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #92)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:41 PM

94. You accidently replied to me instead of the OP.

I am going to guess that the OP is a serious home cook. With the quality of the post and the photographs, food blogging is not out of the question. I noticed to quality of the equipment, including the KitchenAid mixer, forged chef's knife, the honing steel, the rolling pin, the Peugeot peppermill, tri-ply stainless steel skillet, using the cupboad over the oven as a proofing box, and the induction stovetop (or is it a ceramic top?).

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #94)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:47 PM

96. The cooktop is a "GE Profile"

which I found out by looking it up is an induction style.

Could have fooled me!

Again, I rent this house, so this stove top would not be my first choice, but ya gotta take what ya got, right?

I might consider replacing it at some point if the owner of the home will go in halves with me. But I want a gas range and since I've only been in this house since November, I am not even sure if it has gas piped to it or not! If not, then going the bottled gas route would have to be undertaken and that seems a bit involved for a rental.

Your comments regarding my equipment are very kind and yes, I have always tried to buy good products. I learned long ago that if you spend $4.00 on a pot you get exactly that - four dollars worth of pot. I have a set of Calphalon Anodized I bought in the early 1990's that is still going strong, though the anodizing has come off the bottoms of most of the pots. In the OP, the one I made the soup in is part of that set. I had the full set with lids, skillets and all, like 25 pieces if I remember correctly, but I gave the skillets to my ex-girl friend in California back in 2004. I've been rebuilding the set ever since. The good stuff is NOT CHEAP as I am sure you are aware. I do believe however that you get exactly what you pay for in many things, and cookware is no different, as my almost 24 year old anodized pieces can attest. Hell, I went to BB & Beyond the other day to find a sister for my old, broken handled Revereware copper bottom pot. A similar one from either Lagasse's collection or Stainless Calphalon or whoever is like sixty frickin bucks! Sheesh!

Am I a "Serious home cook"?

Not if I can bleedin' help it! That's why there is the "Shot of Bourbon for courage" in one of the photos! LOL

I do try and take pride in what I prepare when I make something like this though. I also have learned an awful lot over the years simply watching cooking shows, and it is surprising how many basic techniques can be learned watching a professional do it. Speed slicing, par boiling, peeling tomatoes, mincing garlic, and on and on and on. The readers of this forum that are or have professional backgrounds have my admiration. If I ever won the lottery......off to the Cordon Bleu!

Thanks for your very kind words.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #96)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:20 AM

99. We have a ceramic top stove that came with our house.

Of course, the only good thing about it is the easy clean up. I have heard good things about induction although I have never cooked on one. We have gas piped in behind the stove but it always seems there are other priorities for our money. I don't know where you live, but we have been able to find good cookware and kitchen tools at thrift stores. I have found Tramontina tri-ply stainless steel 5 quart saute pan, as well as Cuisinart and Calaphon SS skillets, each for less than $10. Most of the time, the pots and pans are nonstick junk, but I get lucky once in a while. We also have about a dozen Wusthoff classic knives that cost an average of $2 or $3 each. While I have taken photos of finished food, I have never documented the process. I might have to do that sometime.

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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #92)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:22 PM

95. I assume your questions are directed at me.

I am by no means a professional cook, nor do I have any professional training of any kind.

I think the passion, if you will, really started back in the 1980's when I had a night shift job and so I was home during the day. I started watching the cooking shows (this is long before we ever had cable in my dads house) on PBS. There were a bunch of them back in those days - Justin Wilson as an example, who was a blast to watch because he was always drinking wine and would always have a joke to tell. You might remember the "Great Chefs of..." series that ran those years ago. Great chefs of New Orleans, of Chicago, of New York, etc. They were great shows and you can find shorts and perhaps full episodes on YouTube. Just search "Great Chefs of New Orleans".

For instance, here's one of Chef Warren LeRuth making Shrimp Remoulade.



That video was shot almost 30 years ago.


The series was very well done and very inspirational. They offered a series of cook books to go with them and I have 3 of them; Great Chefs of New Orleans I & II and Great Chefs of Chicago.

So that's where it started for me. As I indicated in another post, it wasn't until 1989 when I moved to Detroit that I started renting houses and apartments that had decent kitchens (I rented a few efficiencies prior to that and was a roommate for a while, but never had a good sized kitchen to myself). Also, the job I had that took me to The Motor City (A COMPLETELY underrated but fantastic food town) was in Indy Car racing, driving an engineering support vehicle. I would often cook for the crew of engineers and technicians that worked off the truck at races and test sessions.

I really do enjoy it and I particularly love cooking for others.

As far as your suggestion that I would do well as a blogger - well, that is very flattering, but I think I'll just stick with this forum!

I am glad you enjoyed the thread, and thanks for the compliment.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #95)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:18 PM

97. MiddleFingerMomMom taught me cooking survival basics as I was growing up.

.
.
.
In the 70's, I was living in Germany and married a German woman who was a VERY good cook. When
we got divorced, I realized that if I wanted to keep eating that well, I had to learn to do it myself. I
was pretty good, but nowhere near your level.
.
I loved PBS cooking shows... my favorites being "Floyd on Fish" and "Floyd on Food". In the former, he
would go onto small commercial boats (fishing, tugboats, etc.) and cook in the galley for the crew. He
was always wine-hammered, sipping liberally and trying to talk anyone nearby into joining him (including
the cameraman). He was even funnier than The Galloping Gourmet (in the drunken 60's, NOT when he
tried to revive his career in his clean-and-sober-and-healthy-diet 90's -- geez, was he boring).
.
His theme song over his closing credits sounded much like Primus' end theme for South Park 30 years
before its time, giving me even more reason to like him.
.
.
And my comments WERE directed at you. I was agreeing with the post before mine, but speaking to
you.
.
.
.

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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #97)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:33 PM

98. I don't recall "Floyd on Fish", but do you remember "Yan Can Cook"?

With Martin Yan?

He was funny as hell! Here he is boning/separating a whole chicken in 18 seconds;



Nervous Chicken!!!


There were so many of those and yes, I remember watching "The Galloping Gourmet" back in the late 60's/early 70's. Graham Kerr was great fun to watch as well. HE ALWAYS had 'Clarified Buttah!"


It really is all about learning how to not starve. If I did a blog or, as another poster suggested, a cooking show (I wish) it would be directed at 20 somethings to show them basics for the novice, FROM the novice.

I think it might sell!

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