December 31, 2008

Taste me soup, Vive la France!

Taste my soup and Vive la France!

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?  Yes indeed, mon ami.  But before we get down to the task at hand, let’s get some sustenance.  Oui?  You have to love those Frenchy frogs with their many culinary innovations.  The precision they employ to make their fabulous meals is unparalleled and has been turning us on for centuries.  Merci to that!  Who doesn’t love a bowl of French onion soup on a cold winter day?  The salty tang of the onions, the soggy French bread and stretchy cheese that always ends up on your chin.  My knees are knocking while I eat seconds as I write this.  Tres joleis!  This soup certainly stepped up to the plate of providing radical results.  My date was clearly impressed by the TLC put into it, but it was love at first bite.  Neither of us could finish the bowl due to the distractions of wine and spontaneous waltzing around the kitchen.  The first post-coital bite made me want to put on a beret and write post-modern poetry in French.  Sacre bleu!

Total time: approximately 1½ hours
Projected cost: $10 (gruyere cheese makes it costly)
Drinking Buddy: Wine of course, silly Yankee scum!

1. 1 teaspoon of salt
2. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
3. ½ cup of cooking sherry
4. 6 cups of chicken broth
5. ½ teaspoon of black pepper
6. 1 tablespoon of dried thyme (or 6 sprigs fresh)
7. 2 tablespoons of butter
8. 6 yellow onion chopped in long strips
9. French baguette cut into ½ inch slices
10. 8 ounces of Gruyere cheese (can substitute for Swiss)

Step 1
Heat a stockpot up on medium heat and melt the butter and olive oil with the salt.  Throw in the onions and mix them around.  Cook the onions until they reduce in volume and brown. (approx 20 minutes)
Step 2
Pour in 2 cups of water into the onions and cook until the water evaporates, leaving the onions in a big brown clump.  (approx 10 minutes)  Pour in the sherry and repeat.  (approx 5 minutes)
Step 3
Add the thyme and chicken broth.  On high heat, bring it all to a roaring boil, then reduce heat and simmer.  (approx 30 minutes)
Step 4
Preheat the oven to broil.  Ladle soup into the small, deep bowls.  Place French bread slices on top of each soup.  Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese over each slice of French bread so they are covered evenly.  Broil the soups (approx 5 minutes), allow to cool (another 5 minutes), and then eat up.  Ooh la la!


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December 29, 2008

You can always cut the crusts off

You can always cut the crusts off

Your childhood calls out to you for simplicity.  You want to make something for your date that is both easy to assemble, mighty tasty, and nostalgic.  Paging Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.  This is comfort food so classic that your date instantly will feel safe enough to let their guard down.  One bite and they will be transported to a delicious wonderland of sweet flavors and more innocent times.  What a perfect opportunity to pounce.  We’ve taken the classic, given it a little more texture with the creamy banana and crunchy toasted bread to set fireworks off in each of your mouths.  KA-BOOM!  You should be stylin’ and ready to rock.  Perhaps you can sing some childhood songs as you munch.  “B-I-N-G-Ooooohhhh yeah!”

Total time: approximately 5 minutes
Projected cost: $2
Drinking Buddy: Milk or a juicebox spiked with vodka

Ingredients (for two sinwiches):
pbj-prep1. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
2. 2 tablespoons of jelly (my choice was blueberry preserves)
3. 1 banana
4. 4 slices of bread

Step 1
Spread peanut butter on two of the slices of bread. Spread jelly on the other two slices of bread.  Peel the banana, then slice it lengthwise, yielding four thin slices of banana.  Cut each slice in half and place on bread with peanut butter.
Step 2
Push each sandwich altogether.  Place in toaster oven and set to medium-dark and toast until the bread becomes golden brown (if you don’t have a toaster oven GET ONE, but in the mean time you can broil the sandwiches in the oven, keeping close eye on them and flipping once).  Slice the sandwiches in half and serve with a childish grin.

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