Monday, January 28, 2013

Soupe A L'Oignon (Week 5 - Onion Soup)

The Hubster and I on the top of the Arc de Triomphe
Something about this cold weather reminded me of the chilly afternoon (in June) in Paris where hubby and I hid away in a little bistro to warm up and avoid the storm. Although it seemed unbelievably touristy at the time, I had to have a bowl of that wonderful onion soup that landed on the table next to me.  As it may have screamed "Clark and Ellen Griswald Type Tourists", it was warm, silky rich and sinfully packed with liberal amounts of butter and cheese.  Be still my beating foodie heart!

With that, I dug out my "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and ....voila!

5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions (I had red but it still turned out fine)
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of sugar (helps the onions brown)
3 tablespoons of flour
2 quarts of brown stock ( I used home made veal stock)
1/2 cup dry vermouth
3 tablespoons cognac
Toasts (go with good quality French bread with texture and depth of flavor - LaBrea sourdough!)
Shredded Swiss cheese

In a heavy pan, sweat the onions (15 minutes) in the butter and oil (covered). Uncover and continue to cook until golden brown. Sprinkle on the salt and sugar. Stir and continue till evenly brown. Sprinkle with flour and stir in to paste. Add the liquids, stir and cover then cook another 40 minutes on simmer. Correct the seasoning to taste and set aside till red to serve. Just before serving, stir in cognac. Ladle in to bowls and top with toasts. Sprinkle toasts with Swiss cheese and broil till bubbly.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My version of Boudreaux's Zydeco Stomp Gumbo

It's that time of year again when my heart cries out for GUMBO.  This past Monday night, I had the boys over for dinner and went "all southern on 'em".  We're talking red beans and rice, greens, gumbo and even beignets.  I found a new recipe that I liked and then tweeted it for my personal tastes.

Boudreaux's Zydeco Stomp Gumbo

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage
  • 1 c. diced celery
  • 1 c. diced onions
  • 1 (10 oz) can of diced Rotell tomatoes with green chili
  • 2 tbsp chopped chili peppers
  • 1 bunch of parsley chopped
  • 3 quarts of pheasant broth (I know...I know....Hubby wanted it!)
  • 1 12 oz bottle of beer
  • 1 tsp file seasoning
  • 1/4 c. "Slap Yo Mamma" Cajun seasoning
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined


  • 3/4 c. bacon drippings (or you can be healthy and add butter or olive oil)
  • 1 c. flour

The "how to":

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken till no longer pink.  Stir in Sausage and cook till evenly brown.  Drain and set aside.
  • In heavy pan, heat bacon drippings (or other fat) and blend in flour to create roux.  Stir constantly until  browned and bubbly.
  • Gradually stir in beer and broth.  Bring to a boil and mix in everything BUT the meats.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • Mix in chicken, sausage and shrimp.  Cook, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes!!

I like to boil up some white rice and put a nice mound in the bowl and top it with some serious hot sauce.  Whoa baby....nothing better

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Dalmatian (Week 4)

If you scroll through last year, you'll see a few grapefruit recipes. This is because my parents have a massive tree that produces pure, unabashed golden gems. I have been remiss in my posts (something I warned my peeps about at the start of 2013) but this one, given the name was a keeper....

The Dalmatian (a drink)

1.5 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. Black pepper simple syrup (see below)
3 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice

Put ingredients in a shaker. Mix well and pour over ice. Yummmmmmmmmm! What more could this Dalmatian girl ask for!

Black pepper simple syrup

1/4 c. Black pepper corns, crushed
1 c. Water
1 c. Sugar

Put ingredients in a sauce pan and boil. Take off heat and let cool. Let pepper sorts stay in the mix until you have the desired spicy flavor, then strain.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chili Cheese Fries.....done RIGHT! (Week 2)

OK.  I admit I do NOT have their recipe but this has to be my new all time Fresno Favorite and it is now (today) on the menu at Dusty Buns.  The Facebook post (if you don't "like" them as of so NOW - says "Chili Cheese Fries - Seared Fingerlings, Black Valentine Beans, Balakian Tomatoes  Grass fed beef Rumiano Cheese".  One comment called it "food porn" true!

It so happened about a week or so ago, Hubby and I went to Dusty Buns to feed my addiction (to the Le Grilled Cheese).  I typically don't do the fries (big calorie splurge this time of year) but that never has stopped my husband   We both ordered the chili and after a few minutes of watching his expression while dunking his fries in their chili ....I started doing the same.  OH MY!  I Tweeted from the Bistro that dish was a HUGE hit.

Love Love Love it!!
Thank you Dusty Buns for doing Chili Cheese Fries RIGHT!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bayou Boudin (Week 1)

So....... It's Mardi Gras a bit early. Robin and Ralph made Cajun food so it thought to bring a batch of tasty Bayou Boudin. Hey baby.....let the good times roll!

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (Slap Yo Mama)
1 lb. pork sausage
3/4 lb chicken livers chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon purée garlic
2 cups white rice cooked
1 teaspoon salt
1teaspoon black pepper
4 eggs
4 cups bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Sauté the pork, chicken livers and the onions till, fully cooked and golden brown. Add the chopped garlic. Cool and add the rice. Mix in two beaten eggs and about 2 cups of bread crumbs. Form the meat into balls and roll in to the mixture of two beaten eggs. Then roll the balls into the remaining bread crumbs. Fry balls in oil instill Ogden brown on all sides and serve with a remulade sauce!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sarma - Cabbage Rolls Dalmatian Style

By special request (from Cousin Roger), I am sending along a recipe for sarma, stuffed cabbage rolls.  My mother in law (who resides in Poland) makes a similar version and they are are called Golabki (see week 27)   This version is a bit more Dalmatian (and it appears to be easier) and, since Roger wanted to try his hand at this yummy winter dish, ....TA DA!

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ham
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Vegetta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large head of sour cabbage
  • 2 quarts of sauerkraut
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • bacon strips
  • salt and pepper to taste
To sour cabbage: Core a fresh cabbage head and place in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, or until the leaves soften. One to two tbsp. vinegar may be added to the boiling water to sour the leaves, if desired. If a soured head of cabbage is not used, place cabbage in large pan of water, core head and separate leaves. Wash each leaf and drain in colander. Wash sauerkraut and drain.  Brown onion lightly in fat. Mix with meat, garlic,  Vegetta, rice, seasonings and egg.  Roll a generous portion of meat mixture in each leaf. Cover bottom of large roasting pan with sauerkraut and place cabbage rolls on top.  Alternate sauerkraut and cabbage rolls ending with sauerkraut. Pour tomato soup on top (optional) and cover with strips of bacon. Cover with cold water almost to top.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 2 hours.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The ONE (Week 1 of another 52)

With the new semester approaching and 52 weeks of a blog behind me, I am going to taper off a tiny bit with my posts but I plan to post "special" recipes and other goodies through out the year.  I am seriously hoping that a few of my foodie friends will throw a recipe or two my way (thanks to those of you this year who chimed in, Stephanie, Katrina, Leesa, Robyn, Roger and Mike).  I'd also like to add a few more followers to the mix since I "may" publish another dreaded cookbook in light of the upcoming family reunion   This is all subject to my homework, sanity and the pile of literature reviews needed for the 6 units of hell this spring.

On to Week One.  Last year, it was eating fresh and local.  This was really easy and I encourage all of you to do this.  Wojtek (my darling hubster) now wants to raise chickens and grow a garden (BUT he want these all at my parents house 20 minutes from our door.....perhaps the smell of chicken poo?)  I will be reflecting this weekend on my 2013 resolutions......more on this to come.  I have for the moment, decided to scratch sweets and sweet alcohol from my least till March 21st (my wedding anniversary).  Turns out both make me hyper.....and hyper is NOT pretty on me (I am type A any way!!)

On the subject of booze (thanks Stephanie for the new hooch lemons are nearly ready for lemoncello)

......I bring you the New Years Eve Lucky Hang Over Soup

1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 cups diced ham (from the holiday dinner) -- pork is suppose to be lucky on NY Day
2 left over baked potatoes, skinned and diced in small bits
3/4 cup chopped cooked French green beans (from NYE dinner)
1/2 cup fresh bacon crumbles from NYE dinner -- more pork
1 can 16 oz Rotels tomato sauce (with peppers)
1 small can of plain tomato soup
4 mashed cloves of garlic -- Polish Penicillin
1 Tbsp. "Slap yo Mama" spicy Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. Vegetta seasoning -- hey.....I'm Croatian so this is a must.
1 bag of regular lentils -- the Cro Cure-All
3 cans of chicken broth
1 glass of leftover NYE red wine (oh what ever......I was cleaning up.....)
1 crock-pot

Spray Pam on the inside of the crock-pot to prevent possible sticking   Dump everything above in the pot and stir it up to mix.  Throw a splash of water (or more if it looks like paste).  Throw the lid on, flip it to low.  Turn on the dishwasher.  Shut off the lights and go to bed.

Soup is ready for lunch......about when you will be getting up.  There should be left over French bread around somewhere in the house that can be toasted.