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Category: appetizer

Garlic and Onion Soup

Garlic and Onion Soup

This is so easy, and so, so good. The only drawback is that it takes a long time, but it’s not hands-on time, just lots of waiting. It is kind of like French onion soup. I eat it as a soup on its own. My husband uses it for French dip sandwiches. It starts with homemade beef bone broth. I have been making it in a pressure cooker lately.

Ingredients:

Beef bones (5 or 6)

Onions (about 4)
Garlic (2 bulbs)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Coarse sea salt

Roasting

The key to this recipe is roasting the bones, onion, and garlic first. I do this in the oven at 400, for 45 minute to 1 ½ hours. You can use a glass baking dish or oven-proof bowl. A bowl seems to work best for the bones. Put all the bones in a glass, oven-safe bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top (just to keep them from sticking). Slice the onions into thirds. I don’t bother peeling them. Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs. Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Put the onion and garlic in the baking dish. Roast the bones, onion and garlic. The onion and garlic will be done before the bones.

Making the Broth

Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Toss in one bulb of garlic and half of your onions. Save the rest of the onions and garlic, and the oil they roasted in, for later. Toss in the bones and the oil and fat from the bones. Add some lemon juice (maybe ¼ cup), sea salt (about a handful or so), and cold water. My pressure cooker has a line that shows you how much water you can add.

Let this sit and soak for 30 minutes before starting the pressure cooker. Bring the pressure cooker up to temperature, then turn it down, or do it however your model works. Cook in pressure cooker for 90 minutes. Strain the liquid into another container, put the bones, onion and garlic back into the pressure cooker, add some more lemon juice, and cook it all again for another hour and a half. Strain the second batch and press all the juices you can out of the bones, onion, and garlic.

Discard the bones, onion and garlic (not the onion and garlic you saved for later).

If you don’t want all of the fat from the broth, put it in the fridge overnight. The fat will rise and congeal on top and you can just pull it off and toss it.

Finishing the Soup

If your broth is chilled, it will be a jiggly lump. That’s good; it means it came out right. Place about 6 cups of broth in a pot on the stove. Store the rest in the fridge or freeze it for other recipes or just to sip on. Peel the onions and toss them in the broth. Squeeze the garlic out of its shell, into the broth. Simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. It will reduce.

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Chocolate Covered Brie and Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Brie and Strawberries

This is my current favorite dessert. It’s more substantial than most desert foods, and very easy to make (much easier than baking a cake!) it makes a nice breakfast or appetizer. I use frozen strawberries because they are quick and easy and I know they will be ripe and flavorful. I DO NOT use the sweetened frozen berries, but you could if it isn’t sweet enough for you. raspberries would be good, too.

6.5oz goat brie wheel (or wedge)
16oz frozen strawberries (thawed)
2 cups semi-sweet choc (1 package)
¾ cup heavy cream
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 ½ teaspoon butter
French bread

Slice garlic and place on a small baking sheet. Cover garlic with the butter (cut into small pieces or slices). Broil on top rack until the garlic browns. Watch it very closely; this only takes a couple of minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place the brie in the center of a pie dish (I leave the rind, but you can try to cut it off if you want). Surround with the strawberries and their juice.

Melt chocolate chips and cream together in a double boiler stirring constantly (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom as you stir). Add garlic and butter to the chocolate and pour over brie and strawberries. Serve immediately with hunks of bread.

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Deep Fried Chicken

Deep Fried Chicken

Deep Fried Chicken

I used tenderloins, but any chicken parts will work. You may need to adjust the cooking time for different sizes. Chicken should be thawed before attempting the process. You can use melted butter or milk instead of eggs.

2 ½ pounds chicken tenderloins
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 or 3 eggs

Pre-heat the deep fryer to 375. That’s the highest setting on mine and, so far, everything seems to call for this temperature.

Put everything except the chicken and the eggs in a gallon size ziplock baggie, close and shake it up until thoroughly mixed.

Beat the eggs.

Dip chicken pieces in the egg. I put several pieces of chicken in at a time. Let the excess egg drip off the chicken.

Drop the chicken in the bag. You can put several pieces of chicken in the bag at once as long as you shake it just enough to cover each one before putting in the next. When you have several pieces of chicken in the bag, hold it closed and shake the crap out of it. You want to coat each piece of chicken completely in the dry mixture.

Place in deep fryer in just one layer. Don’t stack it or overfill. Fry for about 6 to 8 minutes. The coating will turn a dark golden brown. Dump chicken into a large bowl lined with paper towels, or whatever you like to use to soak up excess grease.

Repeat with remaining chicken.

Discard any leftover egg and coating.

This stuff is good served hot or cold. It makes a great main dish, appetizer, leftover, or snack. If you make it with skinless chicken it makes a great finger food. With the skin on it is very messy, but yummy! Make more than you think you need. This is one of those dishes that gets heavily munched, by the cook and anyone else in the house, on as you go!

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