Side Dishes: French Onion Casserole

 

final casserole

When I was home for Thanksgiving, I learned that I had missed out on this casserole. My sister-in-law, Tracie, had taken it to the big family get-together the weekend before. There was not a bite leftover by the end, so I am assuming it was a success. It sure sounds good.

I thought it would be nice to post it in time for this month’s various holiday get-togethers.

French Onion Casserole

  • 2-3 tbsp of butter
  • 3 large sweet onions (or 4 medium yellow onions),thinly sliced
  • 8 oz shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (substitute mushroom soup for vegetarian)
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • pepper
  • 8 slices of French bread

skillet, shallow 2 qt casserole or baking dish (glass)

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and add onions. Sauté until onions are translucent, a little caramelization is ok.

IMG_9006

In baking dish, layer onions, 2/3 of the cheese and pepper to taste.

Onions

 

IMG_9012

In skillet, heat milk, soup and soy sauce, stirring to blend well.

IMG_9009

Pour soup mixture over casserole and fold in gently to mix.

IMG_9013

Top with bread slices.

IMG_9015

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for 15 minutes, bread should be brown and toasted. If not, turn oven to broil to crisp the bread (watch closely).

almost there

Remove casserole, return oven temperature to 350. Push bread slices into sauce, top with remaining cheese, return to oven and bake an additional 15 -20 minutes until cheese is melted.

IMG_9019

Yum

Final 1

 

I think Tracie should blog here more often. Looks great and love all the photos. – TaMara

Christmas balls

Full Dinner Menu: Black Bean Soup

_DSC8525 [1024x768]

Mouthwatering Photo by JeffreyW

Believe it or not, they are forecasting snow by the end of the week. From 90 to snow in 4 days. Fall in Colorado. If it does snow it will be quick and brief I’m sure, then back to warm days and fall leaves. But cool weather means soup to me, so that is what I chose for this week’s menu.

This is a recipe from a restaurant in Ouray, CO that was in an old bank. They gave it to me 20 years ago on my honeymoon and I make it all the time. This was my first experience at having to change a recipe meant for 60 into one for 6-8. It’s spicy, so ease up on the cumin and chili powder if needed, you can always add more during the last 30 minutes if needed.

On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Black Bean Soup
  2. French Bread
  3. Red Grape Salad
  4. Apple wedges & Cheese

Black Bean Soup

  • 4-14 oz cans black beans
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp to 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine (opt)
  • 1 lb chopped smoked sausage
  • 12 cups water

Slow-cooker

Add all ingredients to slow-cooker and cook according to directions (usually 8-10 hours on low). Just before serving, take a potato masher or hand blender and blend/mash slightly to thicken

Red Grape Salad

  • ½ head red leaf lettuce, torn
  • 3 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 4 oz shredded carrots
  • Poppy Seed dressing

Serving bowl

Toss ingredients together, chill and serve

Shopping List:

  • 4-14 oz cans black beans
  • 4 -6 carrots or equivalent shredded carrots
  • ½ onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 oz dry red wine (opt)
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce
  • 3 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 pear
  • Poppy Seed dressing
  • French Bread
  • Apple wedges & Cheese

Also: salt, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, chili powder, beef bouillon, cumin, pepper

Originally posted December 2009

=============================

Dinner Menu: Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan

DSC_6482 [1600x1200]

Photo by JeffreyW

Heading out of town, but wanted to leave you with one of my favorite recipes.  I’m off to Boston…hoping for good weather and good food. Good company is a given.  When I get back I think I want to tackle some fun Halloween ideas.

This is a fairly simple Chicken Parmesan and the Mushroom Confetti is a light and tasty side. Enjoy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Chicken Parmesan
  2. Garlic Bread*
  3. Italian Mushroom Confetti
  4. Sherbet or (my favorite) Gelato

Chicken Parmesan

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bonelss chicken breasts, cut into fillets or 1 lb chicken breast fillets
  • 2 cups Italian Bread Crumbs
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste**
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green pepper, sliced into rings
  • 4 oz grated parmesan cheese

large skillet and 9×13 baking dish, lightly oiled

Wash and lightly dry breasts, then coat in bread crumbs. Heat oil in skillet, reduce heat to medium and brown chicken on both sides, remove, set aside. Add onion, sauce, paste & spices and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Place a ladle of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, place chicken on top and then spread remaining sauce over the top of the chicken. Add cheese slices on each fillet. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan, top with green pepper rings. Bake at 375, 20 -25 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown.

**Extra tomato paste can be frozen in ice cube trays and stored in a plastic zip bag. 1 cube = 1 tbsp of paste

Italian Mushroom Confetti

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large Portobello mushroom caps (or 6 to 8 button mushrooms)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • ½ onion
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 large tomato or 14 oz diced tomatoes, drained
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp basil

skillet

Cut mushrooms, peppers, zucchini & tomato into uniform pieces. Heat oil in skillet, add vegetables, including corn, sauté 2 minutes, add stock & spices. Stir over medium heat until vegetables are tender.

*Quick and easy garlic bread: slice loaf lengthwise, melt butter, add garlic and brush on cut side of each half of bread.  Top with a little parmesan and broil until golden.  Slice and serve.

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts or 1 lb chicken breast fillets
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 onion
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 oz grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms,
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 sm. Zucchini,
  • 1 large tomato or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz vegetable, chicken broth or equivalent
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread
  • 1 pint Gelato or Sherbet

Also: basil, oregano, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, butter

Originally published October 2009

================================================

Mmm…French bread

What makes it French?  Now there’s an excellent question.  I’ll get right back to ya on that.  LOL

Mmm…Italian bread.

Anyway, I’m simmering some spaghetti sauce and I wanted some nice garlic bread to go with.

 

Bah, another day older and deeper in debt

For a while now I have been getting a weird error code when trying to watch the TV in the kitchen when it is tuned to the Dish Network satellite.  Something like “we have detected a problem with your multi dish switch”.  I was a bit skeptical because two other receivers running off the same switch were doing OK.  I thought maybe it was the coax or a loose connection.

Spent the day yesterday laying a new run of coax, and checking the F-pin connectors and couldn’t get the receiver to work right.  Took the receiver into a bedroom and attached it to the coax there and it took right off.  Guess they did detect a switch problem!  Well, I ordered a new switch and some new connector fittings and some new coax.  During the day I explained to Mrs J what I was doing, and she became set on having her own TV in her room.  Oh my, that means a new TV to buy, not to mention a new satellite receiver box.  Heh, she’s going to get a hand-me-down.  I’ll get the latest model DVR twin tuner box for the front room, move the one from there into my room, and the one in my room to hers.  Or not, depending if she reads this first. LOL

I’d like a new TV for my room while we are at it.  I have an old RCA that doesn’t have any of the new connection options that the new TVs have, like ethernet ports that let you connect them to your home network.  I’ve been having fun with the new Samsung, been pushing pics and music to it.   Mrs J has been using it to play a game on the internet.

Cooking you ask?  This is a food blog you say?  OK, I have something…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sammich Adventures-Banh Mi Edition

We’re having fun now!  Yesterday I made a meatball banh mi sammich that turned out rather well.  I took some pork sausage and added a lot of diced garlic, and a bit of diced red bell pepper, some fish sauce, some basil, and maybe a few other things.  Put together a sammich with the daikon-carrot pickle, used some spicy mayo, and spinach leaves in lieu of that soap tasting greenery.  The mayo was spiked with a healthy squeeze of sriracha.  Later I remembered the left over sausage mixture from the fried wontons we did the other day and wondered if I had missed the boat, could have added that into the meatball mix.  Well, I still had that wonton mix in the fridge today.

Tried frying up some of it rolled into balls, but it fell apart even with an egg mixed into it.  Oh well, maybe a patty would work.  Hmm, still falling apart.  Decided to let steam do some of the work, splashed in some water and covered the pan. (hat tip to Kirk)  Gave that a few minutes and managed to get them onto a paper towel mostly intact.  Yay!  Went on to assemble the banh mi in the usual way.  Added some banana pepper rings to the pickle, along with some red and green bell peppers and a slivered jalapeno.  It sure looked like a nice sammich, but the meat was a bit too squishy still.  Worth trying again with a more conventional sausage recipe.  Here you go:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thursday Night Menu: Spicy Black Bean Soup

Continuing our theme of quick and easy recipes for the holidays, here’s a slow-cooker meal you can set up the night before and have ready at the end of a busy day of holiday events. This is a recipe from a restaurant in Ouray, CO that was in an old bank. They gave it to me 15 years ago on my honeymoon and I make it all the time. This was my first experience at having to change a recipe for 60 into one for 6-8. It’s spicy, so ease up on the cumin and chili powder if needed, you can always add more during the last 30 minutes if needed.  On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Black Bean Soup
  2. French Bread
  3. Red Grape Salad
  4. Apple wedges & Cheese

Black Bean Soup

  • 4-14 oz cans black beans
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp to 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine (opt)
  • 1 lb chopped smoked sausage
  • 12 cups water

Slow-cooker

Add all ingredients to slow-cooker and cook according to directions (usually 8-10 hours on low). Just before serving, take a potato masher or hand blender and blend/mash slightly to thicken

Red Grape Salad

  • ½ head red leaf lettuce, torn
  • 3 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 4 oz shredded carrots
  • Poppy Seed dressing

Serving bowl

Toss ingredients together, chill and serve

Shopping List:

  • 4-14 oz cans black beans
  • 4 -6 carrots or equivalent shredded carrots
  • ½ onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 oz dry red wine (opt)
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce
  • 3 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 pear
  • Poppy Seed dressing
  • French Bread
  • Apple wedges & Cheese

Also: salt, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, chili powder, beef bouillon, cumin, pepper