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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Cheesecake with Cherry on Top

Cheesecake With Cherry on Top

Luscious, juicy, sweet and versatile, cherries are at peek at the height of summer! This Cheesecake with Cherry on Top is a fun and elegant play on cheesecake;

Bowl of Cheeriosinstead of baked in the oven, the cream cheese is set in the fridge and then topped with a gorgeous mound of fresh cherries and a sweet cherry wine reduction. The result surpasses the expectations.

Cherries have a perfect balance between sweet and acid, making them very easy to pair with wine. A good red wine, such as Pinot Noir is a great combination, but feel free to use another type of red wine of your preference.

Cheesecake With Cherry on top

Be careful to place the cherry topping on top of the tart only at last minute, just before serving, as they will “bleed” and stain the white cheese filling.

 

Cheesecake With Cherry on Top

Yield: 8 servings

 

Graham Cracker Crust

1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs

2 ½ tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin

1 ½ cups heavy cream (divided)

½ cup (4oz) cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cherry Topping

2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir is a good option)

1 cup sugar

1 star-anise

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups red cherries

Equipment: 10-inch tart pan

  • Make the Crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. in the bowl of a food processor or mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix until well combined, then slowly drizzle in the butter until the rust comes together. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake for. 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the Filling: in a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of the heavy cream. Allow the gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring ½ cup of the heavy cream and the cream cheese to a simmer. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the cream cheese melts. Add the mixture to the bowl with gelatin and whisk until the gelatin dissolves. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Whip the Cream: in the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the remaining ¾ cup of heavy cream, the sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture holds medium peaks. Fold a third of it into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream mixture in two additions. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Prepare the Topping: in a small saucepan, bring the red wine, sugar, and star anise to a simmer. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer until the sauce is syrupy and sticky, about 30 minutes (don’t allow the mixture to caramelize; it should stay dark red). Strain the mixture, discarding the solids and stir in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate until cooled, at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.
  • Just before serving, toss the cherries with ¼ cup of the red wine glaze. Spoon over the tart, mounding them in the center. Serve the tart with some of the remaining red wine glaze on the side, to drizzle more on the plates if desired.

 

 

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Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Let’s suppose someone opened a Mason Jar and poured you a glass of Mint Lemon Agua Fresca. It’s refreshing, full of zest and sweet intensity from the coconut water, and if acidity can be thrilling, this recipe has it. Would you be surprised to learn this is a staple from my cookbook Latin Superfoods? I usually drink it right after exercise, or as soon as I wake up, on an empty stomach. It feels pretty awesome. And you can watch a video of this recipe on You Tube. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!

 

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Makes 2 Ball Mason Jars

 

6 sprigs fresh mint

10 thin slices of cucumber

1 lime, sliced thinly

4 cups coconut water

Ice cubes

 

  • Divide the mint, cucumber, and lime between the 2 Ball Mason Jars. Fill each with coconut water.
  • Close the jar and let it steep in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add ice before serving.

 

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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And remember always,

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See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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!

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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,

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Bean Broth

Bean Broth with Croutons

I used black eyes peas simply because that’s what was in my pantry. Feel free to use any kind of dried beans to make this delicious bean broth recipe and serve with croutons, parsley and Parmesan, or other garnishes that you might prefer. I used the ends of a loaf bread to make garlic croutons. It goes to show, in times of pandemic, nothing goes to waste! Inspired by the magazine Bon Appetit, this is another great one! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids here. 

 

Bean Broth With Croutons

Serves 4 to 6 people

 

For the Black Beans:

1 pound dried black eyed beans, picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)

8 to 10 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 fresh bay leaves

 

For the Croutons:

2 end slices of any type of country bread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly chopped parsley

 

For the Beans:

Place the black beans in a pressure cooker and cover with tap water by 2 inches. (about 8 to 10 cups of water). Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Lock the lid and bring to a boil. When you hear the sound of the pressure cooker in full gear, reduce the heat to medium- low (it is very important to maintain a constant gentle pressure because the pressure keeps increasing as the boiling point of the water increases). Check the beans after 20 to 25 minutes – they should be tender, showing no traces of starch, but not mushy. The water will be cloudy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

 

For the Croutons:

Tear the bread into small pieces or cut them with a serrated knife. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the oil and butter. add the bread in a single layer. the oil and butter should be bubbling lightly. Adjust the heat as necessary and keep stirring the croutons as often as you can, to make sure they turn golden evenly all around. Cook until the croutons are crisp and a beautiful golden rich golden brown on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let them cool completely. Once cooled they can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed back in a hot oven for 3 minutes to crisp up again.

To assemble, pour some of the beans into bowls and garnish with croutons, parmesan and parsley.

 

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!

Contact me!

Order a copy of my cookbook Latin Superfoods!

Follow my food adventures on social media!

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And remember always,

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

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

avocado toast

Avocado Toast With Eggs

Kids Eating Breakfast

My kids Bianca and Thomas, on a typical day, eating Avocado Toast with Eggs.

 

“Mom, can you make breakfast?” How about Avocado Toast with Eggs? At the turn of the year, this daily question made me think that pretty soon, my growing children will be going off to college. Like many professional urbanites, life gets too crazy, and it’s always a rush in the mornings. But over the years, I came to appreciate breakfast with them and for them. When I’m traveling for work, or leave the house before the crack of dawn, my kids get a breakfast sandwich at the deli. This experience, effortless and pleasurable in anticipation, is usually expensive, even when it’s at a theoretically inexpensive restaurant, like the local deli. And according to my kids, not always satisfying. So, we’ve incorporated this daily habit to our lives: breakfast at home. It takes all of 10 minutes to assemble this Avocado Toast at home. It would cost almost $12 at a restaurant or deli. The time we spend in the morning is precious; we talk about the agenda, our schedules and our immense to-do lists. In time, I came to recognize that preparing breakfast for my children is huge privilege, one that I’ll miss tremendously when they go off the college.

 

Avocado Toast With Egg

 

Avocado Toast With Eggs

 

Serves 2

2 ripe avocados, at room temperature

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices multi-grain bread

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chia seeds

4 eggs

 

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Peel and place the avocado in a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork or a masher. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour the olive oil into a medium non-stick skillet, over medium heat. Working with two eggs at a time, crack each egg directly into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs.

While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread to a light golden color.

Spread each bread slice with the avocado mash; as soon as the eggs are done, place them on the avocado toast (cut to separate the eggs). Garnish with parsley and chia seeds. Serve Immediately.

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