Saturday, December 29, 2007

Brain Fluff Soup

I must admit it - I'm not perfect. Wow, I could hear those gasps of surprise all the way from here. But, I assure you, it's true. Every once in a great while I have what can be described as a pre-senior moment, an unscheduled cognitive vacation, or a brain fluff.

I receive so many nice comments on my posts. I really appreciate it when people take the time to leave a note about what I've written. Perhaps some people might be reluctant to leave a comment, fearing it will go to my head and I'll become an insufferable prat, too big for my oven mitts. Never fear, dear friends, never fear. I have far too many real life brain fluffs to think I'm the next big thing.

Here is the tale of one such incident.

I leafed through a cookbook and found an onion soup recipe that called for Applejack, something I had just purchased for another recipe. Score! I quickly scanned through the ingredients and found I had or could substitute for all of them. It started by sauteeing the onion in butter, so I plopped the butter in the pan to start melting while I diced the onion. Then it occurred to me that 4 large onions was a lot of onion, and since it made 8 cups, and my son was likely to turn up his nose at it, we'd have onion soup leftovers for a long time to come. So I quickly adjusted plans and halved the recipe. It worked beautifully.

My family raved about the soup. My husband said, "This is so good! It must have a lot of butter in it." I patted myself on the back and smiled. Then, later, the daughter with a life came home and had some. "Wow, this is delicious!" she said. "Does it have a lot of butter in it?" Hmm, I was sensing a theme here. As I was about to reassure her that I'd halved everything in the recipe, the instant replay in my mind saw the stick of butter falling in slow motion into the pan. Yes, I'd halved everything. Except the butter.

I'll give you the recipe how I meant to make it. I'm sure it's quite tasty that way. And if you want people to rave about it, double the butter.

French Onion Soup with Applejack
adapted from America's Best Recipes - 1988

2 large onions, diced
1/4 cup butter
1 cup Chablis or other dry white wine
1 32 oz. carton beef broth*
3 Tbsp applejack brandy
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried whole thyme
1/2 bay leaf (optional)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Large croutons
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated Gruyere cheese

Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add onion and saute until tender. Add wine; cook over high heat 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently.

Stir in broth, brandy, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Cook over medium heat 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Place 4 ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with croutons, and sprinkle with cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

* I used chicken broth, as that's what I had on hand. French onion soup purists might blanch at that, but it still tasted good.


Melinda said...

Butter amounts in soup are just a serving suggestion. I bet your family will never like it with less butter now!

My best mistake was making 'Toad in the Hole'. It didn't seem like enough batter for the I doubled it. Of course, it didn't puff up. I created a memorable dish referred to (still ) as 'Jimmy Hoffa Toad in the Cement'. My husband loves to tell this cooking disaster story.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Melinda - Oh, I'm laughing hard at the Jimmy Hoffa Toad in the Cement!

Gabe said...

lol that is hilarious. I love reading your cooking stories as much as I like trying your recipes. Unfortunately I don't have much of a life and therefore don't have time to do as much in the kitchen as I would like to. :(

**doffs her cap and vanishes**

Peabody said...

The more butter the better I always say. I love French Onion Soup. I bet this was good! And with all of our chilly weather lately it would be a great meal(if only my picky hubby would eat soup).

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Gabe - I heard you are getting a life (and your own kitchen) soon. Congratulations!

Peabody - Ah, yes, my husband won't eat (or really prefers not to have) stew. So not much crock pot action for me.

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm onion soup with extra butter! Excellent mistake.

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

Oh dear, Lynn!! Well, I'm glad the soup turned out to be so popular ;) And I'd not call moments like these 'pre-senior', just proof of a mind with too much on its plate ;) I mean, how else would I explain things such as why I put the milk into the pantry and the flour into the fridge? (o_O)

WokandSpoon said...

Mmmm, I looovveee onion soup! All that butter can't be bad for you! hehe!
Um...I have to ask though...what is applejack????

Happy New Year!!

VeggieGirl said...

oh my, Lynn, I have PLENTY of "brain-fluffs" (especially lately - eek!! and I'm only 19!!). Even though you forgot to adjust the amount of butter in the recipe, it sure sounds like this was meant to be, since your family LOVED the soup. here's to successful "brain fluff" moments :0)

Elle said...

Recently saw an interview of Cat Cora, one of the Iron Chefs...she reminded everyone that the flavor is in the this soup was full of flavor and delicious!
Happy New Year!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

You are officially a famous southern cook~ the double butter did it!
How did you find that heart shaped onion ring? That is like magic!
Happy New Year Y'all!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Butter makes everything better. :)

Nora B. said...

Oh Lynn, I've mixed up recipe measurements so many times, so I can relate to your story. Thank goodness everyone loved the soup. Butter makes the world the round

Big Boys Oven said...

I love french onion soup one of my favourite!

Chelsea said...

I almost did a similar thing while making some shortbread. I had intended to double it but for got to double the flour. I realized my mistake when the batter looked suspiciously like butter.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

What do you think we could take over the world if we just doubled the butter! That's just the kind of tricks that win over the boys (and girls)!

Tartelette said...

Every kitchen whould have a sign that read "In case of an emergency, double the butter"!! I laughed with you because I just made a pund cake and forgot the baking powder, being distracted by Dr. Zhivago on now we have brick cake, tasty and moist but looks more like a door stopper!
I bet the soup was incredible! And look at that heart shaped onion slice: precious!

Brilynn said...

Butter makes everything better, (so does bacon...).
I always forget to halve things when I'm cutting a recipe in two, it's always a surprise to figure out what I forgot to half.