FRENCH ONION AND BLACK PEPPER STEAK

Our family has been in a bit of a steak-feeding frenzy since it’s my guys’ favorite and our grocery stores have been rather generous. Shoot, it doesn’t seem that long ago $7.99 a pound made me cringe. Now it’s a great deal. Hmm. Anyway, I toted steak home again, but this time with a different end in mind. What, I wondered, would steak taste like smothered in french onion soup? I found out–yum and yum again!

STEAK:

1-3/4 lb steak (whichever quality steak is on sale–in our case, top sirloin), about 1″ thick

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tsp ground black pepper, divided

2 tsp sea salt, divided

FRENCH ONION SMOTHER:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, quartered and sliced thin (I used a white onion)

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup red wine (I used semi-sweet)

1/4 tsp dry thyme

1 cup croutons (I used Texas Toast brand)

4 slices provolone

1) Crank up grill

2) Rub 1 tbsp olive oil into one side of steak, followed by 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp sea salt; flip and repeat on opposite side; set aside

3) In large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil; add onions and saute 15 minutes until they soften up and begin to caramelize; stir in beef broth, red wine, and thyme; reduce heat to low and cook additional 15 minutes (or roughly equivalent to the length of time it takes to grill your steak–coming up next), stirring occasionally

4) Meanwhile, preheat oven to broil and toss the steak on the grill (for medium, we grilled 7-8 minutes each side); when meat is cooked to your taste, transfer from grill to oven-safe skillet

5) Add croutons to onion mixture and immediately pour over steak in skillet; top with provolone; place in oven and broil 1-2 minutes until cheese melts and begins to go gold; remove from oven, slice into individual portions and enjoy!

Servings: 4

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FRENCH ONION SOUP CASSEROLE

It’s definitely soup season, which means it’s also that casserole time of the year, so here’s another dish to warm up the kitchen and draw hungry ones to the dinner table. Though the picture makes it look a bit like scalloped potatoes, this casserole is a delicious take on taste-bud pleasing, tummy-filling french onion soup. And those scallop-y things? Why, bread sporting melted swiss cheese, of course. Thumbs up all around!

2 tbsp olive oil

3 large white onions, quartered and sliced thin

ground black pepper

2 cups grated Swiss cheese

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (undiluted)

1-1/4 cup beef broth

1 tsp soy sauce

Ciabatta loaf, about 8 oz, sliced into 1/2″ thick pieces and cut into bite-sized squares (or about 3 cups cubed french bread)

1-1/2 tsp minced parsley

1) Lightly oil medium-sized, broil-safe casserole dish (I used a round 9″ diameter dish)

2) Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and saute until onions are tender and translucent, about 20 minutes; sprinkle with black pepper to taste and remove from heat (I didn’t use salt since the cream of chicken soup has plenty built in)

3) Spread half the onions over bottom of casserole dish; top with half the cheese (the second half will be used during broiling); spread remaining onions over cheese; set aside

4) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

5) Meanwhile, return skillet to stove top and add soup, broth, and soy sauce; stirring often, heat soup mixture on medium heat until it begins to bubble; remove from heat and pour over onion-cheese mixture

5) Scatter bread across top of casserole and bake in oven 20 minutes until casserole begins to bubble and bread turns golden and crusty; remove casserole from oven and heat oven to broil

6) Using back of large spoon, press bread into onion-cheese mixture, leaving top halves visible; scatter remaining cheese over bread; when oven reaches its broil setting, return casserole to oven and broil 1-2 minutes until cheese melts and turns golden; remove from oven and sprinkle parsley over top (you can’t go wrong adding those beautiful bits of green); serve

Servings: 4

*Note: This recipe is an adaptation of “Cheesy Onion Casserole” pinned on Pinterest and tracked down to: http://www.instructables.com

CAST-IRON FRENCH ONION SOUP

I won’t share last night’s recipe for cod in remoulade sauce because…well, it wasn’t baaad. However, I will happily share the recipe for french onion soup that I made for dinner the night before. When I make onion soup, I usually go heavy on the liquid and light on the onions. This time I went heavy on the onions, the scent of which still permeates my kitchen and probably will for days. My guys thought the soup tasted fantastic. Me too, though I like the presentation nearly as much–can’t beat my lovely little cast iron soup bowls that are perfect for the broiler when it comes time to melt that cheese. Hello fall!

3 tbsp unsalted butter

3 lbs sweet onions (this translates to 8 small onions), sliced into thin strips

sea salt

ground black pepper

1/2 cup sherry cooking wine (or use the real stuff–I’m not connoisseur enough to tell the difference in an enormous pot of onion-laden soup)

10 cups beef stock

12 slices baguette, about 1/2″ thick slices

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese

6 slices swiss cheese

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) In large soup pot, melt butter over low heat; add onions and a pinch of salt and pepper; increase temperature to medium and cook onions 45 minutes, stirring often until onions turn golden brown

2) Add sherry cooking wine to onions and stir well; cook 5 minutes; add beef stock and season to taste with salt and pepper; simmer 25 minutes

3) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500 degrees

4) Brush baguette slices with olive oil and divide parmesan cheese between slices; toast under broiler 1-2 minutes until cheese melts and turns golden brown; remove from oven and set aside; do not turn off oven

5) When soup is ready to serve, ladle into oven-safe (broil-safe) bowls and top each serving with 1 slice of baguette (reserving remaining 6 slices to serve alongside soup); top each slice of baguette in soup with a slice of swiss cheese; place bowls in oven and broil 1-2 minutes until cheese is golden; remove soup from oven and top with parsley; serve immediately with reserved slices of baguette; enjoy!

Servings: 6