Onion Soup

Onion Soup At Home

Talk about iconic French foods and Onion Soup will surely come to mind at top of the list. It just happens that it’s also one of my favorite foods. I can’t make enough of it. And the more I make it, the more I love it.

On a trip to France, I ate plenty of onions soups, and it’s always a special thing to eat typical food in its birth places.

Onion Soup

That’s me, in Paris.

But I have to say, there is nothing about this soup that cannot be replicated exactly at home. I’ve been making onion soup for so long in my home kitchen that I think I’ve mastered the recipe. Specially now, as this pandemic seems unending, traveling to France via the stove is the secret to life!

As simple as this soup may be, there are a few variables that impact on the results. First, the onions. You want to be patient and let the onions caramelize low and slow so that it flavors the soup — I talk about that in the recipe procedure, you will see.

Another important component is the liquid. Of course, you can use store-bought broth, but if you have the chance to make chicken broth, or buy the frozen version of brodo, (you can find plenty options nowadays), your soup will take you straight to France, in one quick shot. Bien sur!

The bread: any country bread will do, but if you have the chance to use a baguette, because of its thin shape, it will fit better in the soup bowl.

The cheese: my favorite for this soup is Gruyere, but Comte or any Alpine cow’s milk cheese will do.

The soup bowl: I have a couple of options at home, but the white soup bowl always wins.

Onion Soup

Soup bowls

Sometimes, I have the colossal courage to turn down the bread and cheese. It’s a way I have developed an appreciation for healthy eating defending my physical condition in the kitchen. Other times, my tolerance for fatty foods in the sake of kitchen travel is deeper that I know it myself.

For those on a diet: The onion and broth are so tasty that’ it’s still worth eating even without the bread and cheese.

When it comes to onions, feel free to use Spanish onions, yellow onions, or Vidalia onions, typical from Georgia. Spanish onions used to be imported from Spain and now they grow all over the U.S. They have a sweet taste and are perfect for all types of cooking. Yellow onions have a medium to strong flavor and are truly all-purpose. Vidalia onions are a bit sweeter than the two above. Any of those are good in this recipe.

 

Onion Soup

Serves 6

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves

5 large Spanish onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup dry white wine

8 cups chicken or beef broth

6 slices country bread, sliced

2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese

 

Cook the Onions: In a large Dutch oven pot, melt the butter and olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook it ever so lightly, until it just starts to become a little golden, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Season lightly with salt, pepper and nutmeg and keep on cooking. This process is going to take a good 20 to 30 minutes. You don’t want to rush this step, or the onions will burn rather than slowly caramelize. The beauty of this soup lies in the caramelized flavor and color of the onions, so keep the heat at low or medium low at all times and stir very frequently.

When the onions are nicely caramelized, sprinkle the flour and stir for a minute or so to cook.

Add the Liquid: Pour in the wine and let it reduce by half.

Pour the chicken stock and let it get hot. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. It probably will be necessary to add salt and pepper, especially if you use home made broth. If you use store-bought version, it’s the opposite; beware of the sodium component, and you might not need to add any more salt at all. Partially cover the soup and adjust the heat so that the liquid is just simmering; cook for 30 minutes. You can prepare the soup to this point up to 5 days before and keep it in the fridge.

Assemble the Soup and Top with Bread and Cheese:

When it’s time to serve pre-heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and have six deep ovenproof soup bowls ready to use. Carefully ladle the soup inside each bowl leaving some space for bread and cheese and place them all onto the sheet pan. Place a couple of bread sliced on top. (You don’t need to toast the bread.) and top with plenty of cheese over each bowl. Carefully transfer the heavy sheet pan to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

She called it Smokey Eggplant and Feta Galette with Garlicky Roasted Red Pepper Salad; I shortened the title a bit and called it simply Eggplant and Tomato Galette.

Adeena Sussman an American-Israeli food stylist, food writer and cookbook author. Born is Palo Alto, CA, Sussman has written more than 12 cookbooks including books with celebrities like Crissy Tiggen and Ellie Krieger.

She was living in New York and rocking the culinary world. One fine day, she met Jay, her now husband, and decided to move to Tel Aviv to be with him. She would continue rocking from Israel.

Living in the shadows of Shuk HaCarmel, the city’s main food market, she decided it was time to fly solo, sharing her passion for Israeli cuisine, something that has always been a part of her life anyway.

This recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Galette is inspired by her new cookbook Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen.  She serves it with a Garlic Roasted Red Pepper Salad on the side, which I ended skipping because I used a green salad instead. This galette is amazing even plain! Ever since the book arrived in my hands, I’ve been savoring the pages of this gorgeously produced and beautifully written book.

With more than 120 recipes, Sussman delights us with her personal spin and shows us how to incorporate many staples of Israeli cuisine our own kitchens. It doesn’t matter much in what part of the world you live right now; this book unlock the secrets to this incredible cuisine!

This recipe is just one of the many that I already cooked from her book. I hope you’ll find it as delicious as I have.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue to post more recipes featured at Sababa in future posts, as cooking with Adeena Sussman really makes us feel like traveling to Israel, via the stove!

Thanks for your work Adeena!

Sending lots of love!

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Adapted from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen

Serves 6

 

For the Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring your hands

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon vinegar

 

For the Filling:

1 jumbo or 2 medium Italian eggplants (1½ pounds)

1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper

 

For the Topping:

1 large egg, whisked with ½ teaspoon water and a pinch of salt

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 small Roma tomato, sliced into thin rounds

 

Make the Filling:

Chop the charred eggplant until chunky and transfer to a large bowl. Gently fold in the feta, dill, olive oil, jalapeno, sand and pepper until incorporated.

 

Make the Dough:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable oil, 2/3 cup water and salt to a boil over high heat (the water will form a ½-inch bubbles that begin to pop through the oil; that’s what’s boiling looks like here. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the vinegar, then add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour drinks up the liquid and a unified, velvety dough forms; let the dough cool for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.

Set a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Using lightly floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Place in the center of the parchment paper and gently roll it into a 12-inch round about ¼ inch thick (the dough is soft, go easy on it). Transfer the dough topped parchment paper to a baking sheet.

To Assemble and Bake: dollop the filling into the center of the dough round and spread it out, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Fold the dough up and over the filling (if you’ve ever made a galette, it’s the same idea—very rustic!) so that the dough forms a 1-inch frame around the filling. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg mixture, then sprinkle the edges with cheese. Arrange the tomato slices and olives on top of the galette and bake until the tomatoes are wilted and the dough is golden and flaky, 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

Have you bought my latest cookbook Latin Superfoods yet?

You will love it!

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Pork Ramen Noddle

Pork Ramen Noddle

This is how I layer my Pork Ramen Noddle: I make the pork, mushrooms and broth separately. And then, it’s the layers of ingredients that make all the difference.

You can also watch a video of me and my daughter, Bianca, making this dish on You Tube.

 

Pork Ramen Noddle

Serves 4

 

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 shallot, finely minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound pre-cooked pulled pork

1 onion, sliced

1 pound ramen noodles, cooked

2 scallions, white and green parts, cut ion the bias

2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half

6 cups reduced sodium beef broth

2 radishes, cut into thin stripes

2 baby cucumbers, sliced

1 cup cilantro leaves (not chopped)

 

  • Prepare the mushrooms: heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan on high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, without stirring until it starts to release its oil, about 3 minutes. Add the shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything and cook until mushrooms are soft and tender, about 5 minutes all together. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Prepare the Pork: using the same pan as the mushrooms, heat the remaining olive oil and add the sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until it soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pulled pork and break it up in pieces, making sure pork is completely broken up into thin threads. Cook, stirring frequently until pork is completely flavored. Add about ¼ cup water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat the beef broth and make sure it’s well seasoned.
  • To assemble the Ramen Soup, place some cooked noodles, about ¼ cup pulled pork and some mushrooms in a bowl. Ladle the broth on top, and garnish with the scallions, cucumbers, radish, eggs and cilantro. Serve immediately.

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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Leticia

 

 

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Maybe it will happen tonight, or tomorrow. How many sandwiches are you eating during this quarantine?

I saw a recipe at the NY Times Cooking Section (by Ali Slagle) that inspired me. And oh boy, this Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich is just as good as I thought it would be! I brought it up to quarantine cooking club and have been making this sandwich over and over again. It already became a regular in the weekly repertoire in my house.

Caramelizing onions does take a bit of time to prepare.  I usually prepare it when I’m cooking something else so that have it ready in the fridge, and then, when I crave for this sandwich, boom, it’s ready.

I usually like a small sandwich, so I always go for the end parts of the bread as they are smaller than the center cut of a loaf. But if you like a regular sized sandwich, be sure to center slices. I used Italian bread because that’s what I had at home at the time, but any country style or sourdough bread will make a damn good sandwich.

As for the cheese, traditionally, the classic French Onion Soup calls for Grueye cheese. I had cheddar in the fridge, that’s what I used. Feel free to use muenster, gruyere, cheddar or any other yellow cheese of your preference.

You can use a panini press machine, an iron camp cooker or just a simple plain skillet.

You can watch of video of this recipe on my YouTube Channel! And don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Serves 2

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted to mayonnaise point

1 center slices Italian bread

4 slices white cheddar cheese

1 raw garlic clove

 

Cook the onions: in a large skillet heat the olive oil over low heat and add the onions. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until they caramelize into a deep amber caramel color, about 25 to 30 minutes. If you see some onions burning on the sides, add a tablespoon of water. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat; they need to caramelize over low heat or else they might burn too fast. Transfer to a plate or a container and keep refrigerated. You can make the onions up to 5 days ahead of time.

Pre-heat the panini press.

Spread melted butter on the outer parts of the bread.

Mound some onions, about 2-3 tablespoons on one side of the bread, top with the cheese, close the sandwich and take it to press until nice and golden-brown and the cheese is melted, about 4-5 minutes.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

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See you next time!

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November Diabetes Awareness Month

November Diabetes Awareness Month

A Touch of Sugar

This month is an especially exciting time to talk about Type 2 diabetes as November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Our campaign America’s Diabetes Challenge—and our documentary A Touch of Sugar— are both brining with outstanding awards and also comes with an enormous feeling of pride having just celebrated the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes in Philadelphia, and taken a moment to reflect on another impressive year raising awareness about type 2 diabetes. There is so much to share!

When you see the film A Touch of Sugar (click above to see trailer) , you will hear about the amazing stories told through the voices of people living with the disease and their loved ones and advocates. Merck is determined to help raise the education about type 2 diabetes and to increase awareness and barriers to care, to spark action and, ultimately, to confront America’s type 2 diabetes epidemic head on, one community and one patient at a time.

Further in the film, we look at the importance of diet, cooking and exercising, from the personal voice and experience of award-winning actress Viola Davis, to a cooking session with Susie Katona in Yucca Valley, California. And of course, we feature some amazing recipes on our web site so that you can make good use of it.

I’m so inspired by the mission and work of Americas Diabetes Challenge and am equally motivated by the vote of confidence acting as the spokesperson for the campaign and the interaction with Merck as our sponsor. Thanks to Merck’s support, we are able to invest in this documentary, enhance our mission, provide a bigger platform, and continue our journey.

Since the film’s premiere in April, we have received over 800 requests from individuals and organizations to view and host screenings of the film to educate their networks and communities. A Touch of Sugar also continues to be recognized by and accepted into film festivals around the country.

I’m also delighted to report that the documentary airs nationally on A&E on November 17 at 9am ET and FYI Network on November 18 at 10pm ET and November 23 at 10:30am ET and November 25 ay 8:30am ET.

Scene from A Touch of Sugar

You can also head to ATouchofSugarFilm.com to request to watch the film or host a screening. On the website, you’ll find educational resources to help improve diabetes management and a discussion guide to learn more about how you can make a difference in your local community.

Always evolving as a professional, my new cookbook Latin Superfoods, has just released, and the response has been extremely positive! The book is completely inspired by my work with America’s Diabetes Challenge with lots of recipes for the whole family to enjoy. I’ve been touring the tristate area with cooking segments and sharing the incredible recipes that are meant to help you eat better, make good food choices, and perform at your peak in all aspects of your life. And every season there is more cooking, more photos, and more stories that inspire. They are made to be used and to be useful.

Latin Superfoods

With all these advancements, we continue to reach for more. I look forward to the work we are doing, to continue to lead the campaign, and helping people make better food choices, to increase the education for communities affected by type 2 diabetes, and to build prominence in the health and wellness fields via cooking.

I’m so grateful for being part of this important documentary, to share these delicious recipes in a new cookbook, and to partner with others who are also engaged in what we are seeking to accomplish!

I hope you enjoy seeing the interviews, watching the documentary, and cooking from Latin Superfoods!

 

 

Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it, share, like it!

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And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

As a Brazilian living in the US, it took me a few years to understand the deep meaning of Thanksgiving— especially the repeated menu every year. On the other hand, the chef in me loves to see the whole country talking turkey and cooking this one giant meal.

One of my favorite desserts from Thanksgiving is Pecan Pie. Over the last few years, I have tried recipes from magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, and websites. They are all good but in every recipe, I wish something was different. There are just so many variables that impact the end result of a pecan pie.

Should I pre-roast the pecans before adding them to the filling? Most recipes call for this step, but I noticed that the pecans have plenty of time to roast while baking, especially because they tend to rise to the surface, so pre-roasting, in my opinion, yields in a bitter nut.

Another step very common these days is the addition of chocolate pieces to the filling. Hey, I am a huge chocoholic, but I have decided that chocolate has no place in the pecan pie of my dreams. I think it changes the silky texture of the caramel, overwhelming the flavor, impeaching the caramel to shine on its own.

And what about the butter? In older versions of pecan pie, the butter is simply melted and cooled before incorporated into the filling, but in more recent ones, it calls for melting to a nutty point (beurre noisette). Let’s do that. It really adds great flavor without compromising the texture of the filling.

And what pan should I use? Many recipes call for a round fluted pan with a removable bottom, but I realize that my pecan pie needs a deep support system (like me!) so I am opting for a deep-dish pie pan. Should I make a little whipped cream on the side? It’s in fashion today to jazz up the whipped cream, like bourbon flavored, or spicy whipped cream. But let’s get real, the pecan pie already faces competition from other desserts, after all, there is always more than one treat at the table. Ok then, no side dish needs to get in this picture.

After trying different recipes and analyzing all these points year after year, I opted to create my own version of pecan pie and I simply love the result! I hope you will try it at your Thanksgiving table—and love it too. It’s the perfect combination of silky caramel and crunchy pecans mixed with a sweet crusty dough.

If you prefer to prepare the recipe a few days ahead of time, you can, just make sure to keep it wrapped in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature the day of Thanksgiving, and warm it up for 15-20 minutes in a 300˚F oven. Let it rest at room temperature before serving.

Without much further ado, here is the recipe:

Leticia’s Pecan Pie

For the Crust:

1 1/3 cups (205g) all-purpose flour, sifted

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons (28g) sugar

1 stick (115g or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, lightly chilled, cut into small cubes

3-4 tablespoons water

For the Filling:

6 large eggs

¾ cup (135g) sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup (320g) light corn syrup

½ cup (140g) maple syrup

½ cup (140g) dark corn syrup

4 tablespoons (63g) unsalted butter, melted slightly nutty and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (230g) pecan halves, coarsely chopped

Equipment: a 9-inch fluted deep-dish pie

1. Prepare the Dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, sugar, and butter until it looks like a coarse meal. With the machine running, gradually add the water until the dough just starts to combine. Depending on humidity you might not need all the water. The dough should look evenly moistened.

2. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead lightly, enough to incorporate and feel smooth, about 4-5 turns. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and chill to rest for at least 1 hour. (Dough can be made 2 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator, or frozen up to 4 months.)

3. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle large enough to fit the dish. Transfer to the pie dish, pressing onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan, leaving a ½-inch up-overhang. Fold the dough under itself, and crimp the edges in a decorative way. Chill the pie dough in the fridge until the filling is ready.

4. Prepare the Filling: Place a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 350˚F.

5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Add the sugar, salt, corn syrup, maple, and dark syrup, and whisk until homogeneous. Mix in the melted butter and vanilla. Mix in the pecans and fold with a spatula.

6. Remove the pie dish from the fridge, and pour filling inside the crust.

7. Bake the Pie: Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake the pie in the oven until the crust is lightly golden and the filling is puffed and set in the center, about 1 hour.

8. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 2 hours. Cut the pie into wedges and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, make sure to share this story with someone who’s interested in this topic.

If you haven’t bought my latest cookbook Latin Superfoods, you can find it here.

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

If you prepare any of the recipes on the site, snap a photo and send it to me.

Follow my food adventures on social media.

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See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

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