French Onion Soup Recipe by Chef Jay Jones

French Onion Soup

This classic is quick and easy to make. The key is getting your onions nice and brown.

Culinary Terms to know
Emincer- To thinly slice
Singer- To add flour to sautéed item as a means to thick a sauce or soup
Caramelize- To sauté an item until brown

Ingredients
4 Large Onions
¼ cup flour
4 cloves garlic smashed and sliced
Salt
Pepper
½ cup gruyere cheese shredded
8-10 cup beef stock

Equipment
Large Sauté pan
Large Stock pot

Preparation
Heat beef stock in large stock pot
Heat large sauté pan
Add onions to sauté pan
Caramelize onions
Use stock to deglaze onion sugars from bottom of pan
Singe with flour
Add hot beef stock to onions
Cut baguette into thin slices 2 for bottom of bowl and 1 for top
Rub baguette with garlic and oil
Put baguette in oven until brown on one side then flip and brown on other side

For Service
Put 2 slices of the baguette into bottom of bowl
Cover with soup to the top of the bowl or ramekin
Add one slice of baguette and cove with cheese
Make sure cheeses touches lip of bowl
Put in oven until cheese melts

Remove and serve hot
Enjoy

Cookbook Review: French Classics Made Easy

For many the mere idea of French cooking does not include the word “easy” in the sentence but author RIchard Grausman is determined to illustrate that it can be in his new book, French Classics Made Easy.

Grausman is a reknown Chef and teacher, the first culinary exclusive U.S.representative of the Le Cordon Bleu  in Paris.  He is the founder and president of the non-profit Careers through Culinary Arts Program otherwise known as C-CAP.  The program he founded was the center  of attention in the hit documentary, Pressure Cooker. (READ MORE)

Film and Foodie Pick: Kings of Pastry

Kings of Pastry is a truly thrilling and informative look at the somewhat secretive and incestuous world of French patisserie – specifically, the pastry- and candy-making portion of the quadrennial Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) competition among craftsmen in various disciplines. Acclaimed filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (Don’t Look Back, The War Room) follow three competitors as they prepare and compete in this high-pressure contest whose winners will forever hold the highest distinction in their field.   READ MORE

The Worldwide Consumption of Chitterlings

Chitterlings (often pronounced /ˈtʃɪtlɪnz/ and sometimes spelled chitlins or chittlins in vernacular) are the intestines of a pig that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious festivities.

 

United States

In the United States, chitterlings are an African American culinary tradition and a Southern culinary tradition sometimes called “soul food” cooking. In vernacular terms, chitterlings are often pronounced as chit’lins.

Chitterlings are carefully cleaned and rinsed several times before they are boiled or stewed for several hours. A common practice is to place a halved onion in the pot to mitigate what many regard as a pungent, very unpleasant odor that can be particularly strong when the chitterlings begin to cook. Chitterlings sometimes are battered and fried after the stewing process and commonly are served with cider vinegar and hot sauce as condiments.

History

In colonial times, hogs were slaughtered in December. During slavery, in order to maximize profits, slave owners commonly fed their slaves in the cheapest manner possible. At hog butchering time, the preferred cuts of meat were reserved for the master’s use with the remains, such as fatback, snouts, ears, neck bones, feet, and intestines given to the slaves for their consumption

Spain

Gallinejas are a traditional dish in Madrid. The dish consists of sheep‘s small intestines, spleen, and pancreas, fried in their own grease in such a manner that they form small spirals. The dish is served hot immediately after preparation, and is often accompanied by french fries. Few establishments today serve gallinejas, as it is considered to be more of a delicacy than a common dish. It is most commonly found served during festivals.

Zarajos: A traditional dish from Cuenca is zarajos, which are simply sheep’s intestines rolled on a vine branch and usually broiled, but also sometimes fried. They are usually served hot, as an appetizer or tapa. A similar dish from La Rioja is embuchados, and from the province of Aragon, madejas, all made with sheep’s intestines and serves as tapas.

France

Les tricandilles are a traditional dish in Bordeaux and its region. They’re made of pig’s small intestines, boiled in bouillon then grilled on a fire of grapevine cane. It’s an expensive delicacy.

Latin America

People in the Caribbean and Latin America also make use of it in traditional dishes such as Mondongo. They are also a popular street food in many South American cities and towns.

Chinchulín (in Argentina and Uruguay) or chunchule (in Chile) (from the Quechua ch’unchul, meaning “intestine”) is a dish made from the cow’s small intestine. Other name variations from country to country are choncholi (Peru), chunchullo, chinchurria o chunchurria (Colombia), chinchurria (Venezuela), tripa mishqui (Equador) and tripa de leche (Mexico).

*Wikepedia

France: History of Rosé Wine

Rose wine originally came from Bordeaux in France which has been traditionally known for its wine making skills. They first became popular just when the World War 2 ended when there was a demand for a medium sweet drink.

Commentary from the Wine Advisor: In one of the many ways in which the world of wine lovers is divided into two parts, we have those who love to sip rosé wine, especially in the summer time, versus those who consider roseé neither fish nor fowl, a weak substitute for red and an odd replacement for white.

I used to be firmly in the “No rosé, José” camp, but in fairness, a couple of summer visits to Provence and a few memorable lunches al fresco gave me a quick attitude adjustment, at least insofar as Provence-style pink wine is concerned, with its crisp, dry, berry and herbal scents and flavors and its great affinity for the food of the country. READ MORE

*The Wine Advisor is a great resource for wine lovers and those who think they can not afford to be a wine lover.  I have been a subscriber for 10 years.- Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

Olympic Gold Medalist Simon Amman: Profile of Swiss Cuisine

Switzerland's Simon Amman is the first Gold Medalist of the 2010 Vancouver and Whistler Olympics

The Multi Cultural Cooking Network is taking a look at foods from the nations of some of the athletes of the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympics. Switzerland has received the first gold medal from the 2010 Olympics, and they have ski jumper Simon Amman to thank for their victory. The 28-year old Grabs, Switzerland native adds a little more bling to his collection with his third gold medal coming from the normal hill jump in Whistler, B.C..

Switzerland’s cuisine has its own winning tradition. The Swiss have a multitude of influences coming from their other Europen neighbors: France, Italy and Germany. However, the Romansh region is where most of the traditional Swiss dishes hail. With Switzerland’s long-time history of farming, it’s not surprising that some of the more unique dishes incorporate the use of potatoes and cheese (Rösti, Fondue, and Raclette).

What They Eat in Switzerland

Meant to be shared, a group enjoys the Swiss favorite, fondue cheese.

Cheese: The most identifiable cheeses are the Emmental, Gruyère, Vacherin, and Appenzelle. Cheese dishes include fondue (communal dish where diners use forks to dip bits of food in semi-liquid sauce — often cheese) and Raclette (melted cheese eaten with boiled or roasted potatoes with small gherkins and pickled onions).

Rosti: Much like “hash browns,” the Swiss have eaten Rosti for generations. Considered a national dish, this a popular potato entree which used to be eaten for breakfast by many farmers in the canton of Bern. Now it is served as an accompaniment  to dishes like Cervelas (cooked sausage) or Fleishkase (specialty meat found in Switzerland, Austria and Germany consisting of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions)

Chocolate: When you think about Switzerland, it’s hard not to think about chocolate. Ever heard of Toblerone? Yes, the chocolate bar with the funky pyramid shape — a Swiss man James Tobler started that business in 1867. Nestlé, Kraft, and Lindt, all had their start as chocolate factories founded in Switzerland.

Callier chocolate

François Louis Callier (Vevey, Switzerland) opened the first chocolate factory in his country in 1819. It is now owned by Nestle

Bread: The Swiss quite enjoy the simplicity of bread. Bread rolls  come in all kinds of varieties and  for breakfast or  dinner, the Swiss eat sliced bread with butter and jam. Bread and cheese is also commonly eaten for dinner.

Cultural Influences

Italy: Zürcher Geschnetzeltes– thin strips of veal with mushroom and cream.

France: Papet vaudois –  leeks with potatoes, served with Saucisson, and/or with ‘Saucisse au foie’ and ‘Saucisse au chou’ (smoked liver or cabbage sausages).

Germany: Birchmuesli (known more commonly as Muesli) – a popular breakfast food made of uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts.

Graubünden Canton in Switzerland: Chur(er) meat pie– a popular dish from Graubünden in south eastern Switzerland.

Article by Monica Johnson

History of Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse Dessert by Chef Jay Bonilla

Mousse

(pronounced /ˈmus/) is a form of creamy dessert typically made from egg and cream (classically no cream,only egg yolks, egg whites, sugar, and chocolate or other flavorings), usually in combination with other flavors such as chocolate or pureed fruit, although recipes with chicken liver or other savory ingredients also exist. Once only a specialty of French restaurants, chocolate mousse entered into American and English home’s cuisine in the 1960s. Mousse-like desserts in middle America commonly go under designations like “whip.”

Depending on how it is prepared, it can range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick. -(Wikepedia)

Click European Food History to Learn more about other European Foods and Recipes.

The Fine Dining Restaurants of Vegas “Top Chef”

The Houston Chronicle recently did a piece on Top Chef, recognizing the Chefs and fine dining restaurants of Vegas.  Here is the listing.

Alex

Chef Alessandro Stratta’s sumptuous Alex serves what he calls French Riviera dining. We call it stupendous. Everything about the enterprise — the lavish interior, the expert service, the exquisite food — is at the top of its game. Housed in Wynn Las Vegas, home to an embarrassment of culinary riches, Alex offers dishes such as John Dory with fondant potato, ocean trout with charred cuttlefish, crispy pork belly with peas and Serrano ham, braised American Wagyu short ribs with onion jam and roasted squab with seared foie gras. If you’re going for broke, you might as well splurge on the $295 tasting menu, including wines. After all, you only live once.

(Photo Credit/Star Bulletins: Chef Alessandro’s creation)

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

There’s a reason Paul Bartolotta won best chef in the Southwest at this year’s James Beard Awards. His restaurant in Wynn Las Vegas has been described by food critics as one of the most breathtaking seafood experiences in the world. Much has been written about the restaurant’s way with sea creatures flown in daily. But the true gauge is your own taste: Go for the whole branzino (sea bass), orata (sea bream) or roasted aragosta (spiny lobster). From the tiny clams in garlic tomato sauce to the seafood risotto to the turbot, Bartolotta is out to impress. And impress he does. The prices may shock Poseidon, but you’ll have to travel far to find a better Italian seafood experience.

BLT Burger

High-end restaurants may be suffering in this economy, which makes a burger (especially a good one) a logical dinner option. Chef Laurent Tourondel, seen in Episode 4, knows from a good burger, and his BLT Burger in Mirage is ready to serve up the quintessential American meal, paired with expert fries and thick milkshakes. The spiffy restaurant makes you feel like a grown-up player while plying you with kiddie comfort foods such as mozzarella sticks, onion rings, nachos, s’mores and Krispy Kreme doughnut bread pudding. Hard to resist, so don’t even try.

Bouchon

Finding Thomas Keller’s bustling bistro in the Venetian’s Venezia Tower is a bit of a chore. But your rewards are many at this grand café from the chef whose French Laundry is one of the world’s most sought-after dining experiences. Bouchon serves up expert French bistro fare, including goat cheese salad, duck confit, roasted leg of lamb, croque madame, brandade, steak frites and profiteroles. It’s homey fare in a casual setting that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bread is heavenly. Don’t miss the rillettes of salmon (and excuse to consume even more bread). The raw bar is ready to serve you oysters and a cold glass of Sancerre. In the middle of the desert, you feel you’re in Paris.

Craftsteak

Head judge Tom Colicchio’s posh steakhouse in MGM Grand is probably the ultimate Top Chef restaurant. The same laser eyes that Colicchio trains on contestants are focused on his menu of grilled and roasted meats from the top of the beef heap. But as we saw in Season 6’s episode with Natalie Portman, Craftsteak is more than a temple of cow; it also serves impeccable seafood and the most pristine vegetables. If you’re craving Vegas razzle-dazzle you won’t find it in this rather serious dining room. But you will find expert service and terrific food.

Click to See Info on the following Restaurants Below

  • Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Fleur de Lys Restaurant

  • Joel Robuchon, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
  • Olives-Todd English’s Mediterranean restaurant
  • Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood

 

For more on this article, visit: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/6756197.html

Pasadena, CA: Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar

The 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau made its much-anticipated debut at a special wine tasting and dinner at Pop Champagne & Dessert Bar organized by the Alliance Française de Pasadena on Sunday, November 22 from 4:00 to 10:00 P.M.    Alliance director Fanchon, shares that the organization is very old and one of the first in the Southwest dating back to 1924.  The French school opened 15 years ago and is located across the street from the restaurant.  Fanchon describes the event as  “…just an excuse to have fun.”  If fun is what you are looking for then Pop Champagne and Dessert bar is the right place.  They have an extensive wine and champagne list to accompany your small plates. 

 

(Scallops Cordon Bleu)

My meals were from a prefix menu for the event.  Everything eaten except for the ice cream was paired with wine or champagne.   Chef Ray Velasquez is wonderful in balancing flavor and has a since of humor when it comes to food.  He told us that his mother always told him not to play with food.  Among his unique creations are scallops Cordon Bleu and popcorn ice cream.  Yes, popcorn ice cream is on the menu.  What does it tastes like?  It has the smooth flavor of kettle corn.   In the picture below give us a unique approach to serving poached pear on a tart.

Pop Champagne and Dessert provides a romantic and fun environment for an evening out.

Photos by Crystal Johnson

Review by Crystal Johnson Restaurant Critic, Los Angeles Examiner and the Valley Scene Magazine

Creme Brulee French Toast with Drunken Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • * * * * Creme Brulee French Toast * * * *
  • 1 loaf Challah or Brioche Bread, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup Butter, unsalted (1 stick)
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 5 large Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • Powdered Sugar (optional)
  • * * * * Drunken Strawberries * * * *
  • 1 quart Strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4-inch thick (lengthwise)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Preparation:

Make the French Toast

Butter a 9 by 13 baking dish.

In a small pot, melt the butter with the brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir together until the sugar is completely melted. Pour mixture into the baking dish.

Place the bread slices on top of the butter and sugar mixture in one even layer. Squeeze the edges slightly to make the bread fit.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla, salt, and 2 teaspoons of Grand Marnier. Pour this mixture over the bread. Tightly cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Let dish stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before placing in preheated oven at 350 degrees.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until french toast is golden and puffed.

Serve hot with drunken strawberries and powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

Drunken Strawberries

Combine sliced strawberries, sugar, and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate