Stepford Ct Wife

Stepford Ct Wife
Art by Anne Taintor

Friday, January 29, 2010

French Onion Soup Lesson 1.32

 I have been lazy with my Martha Stewart Cooking school since I made my onion soup. It took a lot out of me and then I had crazy hard time with my personal trainer where I was in pain from squats for three days! Sitting down even hurt! Then this past Monday I made for the first time for a good close friend's mother E (I have adopted her as one of my other moms) some gluten-free and sugar free blueberry muffins. I used some honey that I got from my friend L who has a bee hive in her backyard and used it instead of sugar. I also recently made a head of time a lot of cookie dough for a cookie making party that I had over the past weekend. We made a lot of cookies in a short amount of time!

  My husband thought that he was not going to like this soup and it took a really long time! But he loved it and requested that I make it again for him. It probably was the fact that it was basically a veal soup with onions (too much for him but maybe less next time), a little bit of wine, croutons with butter ( a rare thing in this house) and lots and lots of cheese. If I gave him a wedge of bacon he pretty much be in Heaven!

 My burn are healing now but still I think it is going to be a scar. I have learned a good lesson to always wear an oven glove even if I do not think that I need one. I thought the tongs would be long enough and nothing would happen. Well I guess that proves I have been near an oven and was not so good at multi-tasking!

 The onions for me never really turned brown maybe it was the type of onion that I was using-- white onion? I cooked them for the fifteen minutes until they became clear and then a whole hour instead of the forty-five minutes because they did not seem to brown. It took me two hours plus to make the onion soup but Jon loved it and my brother Andrew (who is never interested in my cooking) is starting to think he might like to try it again!

 I will not be doing the fish fumet unless my husband catches a fish because my local supermarkets (I do not know of a local butcher, etc) does not sell fish bones. I am not sure if they sell fish bones without the fish in it? I might save this for the summer either way we were going to use the fumet for a clam sauce so... I also could not find Kombu or Bonito flakes at my supermarket so I cannot make Dashi soon. But my next soup will use a vegetable stock (it only takes like an hour! finally!) and then make a nice Minestrone soup. My husband is actually quite excited about this soup. I have to soak the beans for 8 to 12 hours in a large bowl with two inches of water above it so I better start on that tonight and do the vegetable stock tomorrow...

Basic Brown Stock Lesson 1.3

The original plan was to make the French Onion soup at my parent's house since my father adores it-- as does my brother Andrew. But my dad did not "want to have to smell the broth being made" which is very odd but to each their own... Here at my condo I thought it smelled rather good. In fact my poor husband, came home and was so excited he thought he was getting a roast (soon dear, soon let me get past soups).
So the family refusal was the cause of the delay of the brown stock until this past week. The Stock takes about 10 hours to make and it needs to be refrigerated for 8 hours before use. So either get up early or be prepared to be up late! I started this Brown Stock on Tuesday around 4 pm and on Wednesday I made the French Onion soup. When I now see the word "Stock" I should see it to mean as a "investment in time." My friend and College Roommate got it right to paraphrase "Martha has a lot of extra step, she does not make it easy but her recipes always taste good!"

I had an issue finding the veal bones because of the fact that I do not have a local butcher. I went to Stop and Shop and they are not very helpful in the meat department (in the cheese department the woman that helped me was Divine!). I got two pounds of veal Osso Buca which was mostly bone and two pounds of Oxtail which was actually Beef tail. These items and a lot of the veal and lamb was in the wrong parts of the meat department which only helped my confusion. Osso Buca was actually really expensive $12 for two pieces in a package as I learned via the web it means "hollow bone." I wonder if that was actually what I was supposed to get but I am not sure. I just tried to "fake it until I made it" when I picked up the Osso Buca.
I also decided to buy the pre-cut/ in water carrots and celery (since I knew it was going to be a long night-- but I did not know it was going to be that long) which helped cut down on waste. I bought a huge thing of carrots and celery for last soup only to see in the cookbook that I really only need like five pieces of both carrots and celery. I also buy them anyways because they are great to snack on-- you got to save in this economy when you buy $12 veal bones....
I got to try-out and use my onion goggles on Tuesday and they never left my eyes on Wednesday. They are not beautiful Dior sunglasses/glasses but they do the trick. But if I had on my new Shape-up Sketchers with the glasses then I could have looked more the part (and firmed my butt and thighs). Or at least I would have a guest spot on "what not to wear." But I did not cry and the onion goggles were comfortable for the amount of time I wore them.
Reminder out to people that it takes about 85 minutes to roast the bones. You are supposed to put the bones in for 45 minutes and then add in the vegetables. I did the reverse I added the vegetables in the beginning but burned myself on the roasting pan while I was trying to get them out of the pan. It was the part where you had to put the roasting pan on the stove top and heat it for 30 more seconds... I barely touched it but it is raw skin now. The stock still came out very well but I learned a lesson: always wear a pot holder even if you are using tongs or get a chef jacket. My forearm looks like a rebellious teenager's "revenge" and it hurts!
I was happy to know that you can deglaze a pan with just water and you do not need to also purchase red wine. I am not a drinker so getting the cognac and the Pinot Grigio (which is a white wine that I do like) was experience I had to get the Stop and Shop Wine Port (it is next to the Stop and Shop because Stop and Shop's licence will only allow them to sell beer) workers involved. I was able to purchase a really, really cute hotel size "nip" of cognac which still has enough I think for two thirds of round two of French Onion soup. I got those items when I found out on Monday during a bad rain storm/monsoon that my car battery that was just put in died. they were very kind in the store allowing me to use their phone and I pointed out where to get the cognac/dry white wines with price checks. Now I have a HUGE bottle of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.
Martha wants you to spoon off the fat but if you have to baby sit something for eight hours then have it in the fridge at least eight hours you can spoon it off the next day. And that is what I did and the next day I had a nice thick skin of fat.