Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fast and Flaky French Onion Soup Bowls


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French Onion Soup is a wonderful dish and great for a first course or main entrée.  I have enjoyed it during all four seasons and justly so, because of the soothing beef broth and tender yet subtle flavor of the simmered onions.  More so because of the fresh and aromatic French bread and the bubbly melted Provolone atop, creating a harmonious and incredible balance of hearty, crispy and melty, a virtual spoonful of nothing short of a taste-bud orgy!   Alas, I digress, LOL.  I came up with this take on the classic French fare during the same week I created the Broccoli and Cheese Mini Turnovers and the Chicken Cordon Bleu Roulades.  I had some flaky style biscuits left from my food lab making the turnovers and wanted to explore their possible uses further and arrived at the caption above.  The Le Crueset ramekins were a new purchase at the time and were dying to be used.  I immediately thought individual mini versions of French Onion soup, about 4 1/2 ounces each, the biscuits being perfect as per the size.
This recipe is a simple one with all the bells and whistles of the original form.  Convenience and ease of preparation is one of the major pluses of this dish.  All the ingredients can be purchased ready to go, so a fabulous starter or light meal is right at your fingertips.  My five year old Bronwyn liked the personal size of the soups, as well as the flaky biscuit and smothering cheese,  so much so that she forgot she that didn't "like onions"!  There is nothing quite like the more time consuming version, but I feel this recipe is a not too shabby and super fun second, enjoy!
Recipe:
1 roll flaky style refrigerator biscuits
1 10 oz. can condensed French Onion Soup
8 oz. Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese blend
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST
Prepare the biscuits according to package instructions, cutting the cooking time in half.
 Meanwhile, place soup in small saucepan and dilute as desired and bring up to  boil, then remove from heat.   
Ladle soup into desired vessel drizzled or sprayed with olive oil, to the halfway point.  Float a partially cooked biscuit atop the soup and mound an equal portion of cheese on each one.  Drizzle or spray again if desired.
Place back in oven on broil and cook until cheese is slightly golden and melting.  SPST.  Serve Immediately!
Servings depend on rate of dilution and the size and number of your ramekins, you can make as many or as little as you like!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Amazing Grilled Chuck Eye Steaks w/ Red Miso and Hot Pepper Paste

 

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This was a fun and interesting endeavor using a cut of beef that was virtually not utilized or realized by me until this past year.  The chuck eye steak has been noted as an affordable alternative to the rib eye.  Indeed, this steak is several dollars per pound cheaper than it’s more popular and more often sold in restaurants rib eye steak, but prepared correctly, these little gems will satisfy even the snootiest of steak snobs.  The chuck eye steak is cut from the Chuck Primal also known as the chuck eye roast.  This is situated below the Rib Primal, from whence the rib eye hails and is best suited for short periods of hot grill cooking time or for braising for longer periods until tender to keep moist.  This steak retains the best flavor and tenderness when cooked medium rare to medium, at least in my opinion.  I used some wonderful ingredients to enhance the flavor profile of this dish, as well as the fantastic implement of the outdoor grill for an amazing smokiness and texture.  The marinade is a simple one using bold Asian influence, and may be utilized as little or as long as you wish, the more, the merrier!  The kids enjoyed the steaks tremendously, even my pickiest eater, nephew Braelyn, who told me and I quote “Mmm Aunt Tennelle ( my family refers to me by my middle name), I like steak now!” Score one for team Auntie, Go Me!  This recipe may be prepared with grilled corn or a grilled Romaine salad, one of which I have conveniently provided for you on my blog publication prior to this one Fresh Grilled Corn w/ Hickory Honey BBQ Butter and Lime!  A baked potato will do just fine with some sautéed green beans on the side for a hearty stay-at-home steak night dinner for two as well.  Any way you slice it, this steak is a winner in taste and economy, enjoy! 

Recipe:

About 1 1/2 lbs. chuck eye steaks, cut into about 6 oz portions

2 tbsp. red miso

2 tbsp. hot pepper paste

2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

juice of two limes, plus more lime wedges for serving

SPST

Olive oil for drizzling

In a large re-sealable bag, place steaks.  In a small bowl, combine miso, paste, vinegar, garlic and lime juice.  Pour over steaks and drizzle in some olive oil.  Turn and coat steaks, massaging as you go and press out excess air.  Seal and marinate for at least 20 minutes.

When ready, prepare grill according to preference (I used charcoal) and cook over hot heat flipping once, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare.  Allow steaks to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing or serving.  SPST and drizzle with olive oil and lime juice if desired.  Serves about Six unless sliced into portions.

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Smokinhotchef
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