Sunday, October 24, 2010

French Onion Soup

The weather here is cool and rainy. A perfect time for a great French Onion Soup. This is a great recipe. Original recipe from the Jersey Tomato on One thing you can try is to use sherry instead of the red wine. I have tried this with very good results. This recipe makes 2 servings. Original recipe was for four. Thanks to Jersey Tomato for such a great recipe. If you have time the other thing you can do to make this outstanding is to make your own broth.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large red onions, thinly sliced
1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
24 fluid ounces of chicken broth
7 ounces beef broth
1/4 cup red wine1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 sprig fresh parsley
1/2 sprig fresh thyme leaves
1/2 bay leaf
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 thick slices French or Italian bread
4 slices Gruyere or Swiss cheese slices, room temperature
1/4 cup shredded Asiago or mozzarella cheese, room temperature
2 pinches paprika

1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
2. Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.

3. Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.

4. Arrange 2 large oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slice Gruyere cheese and 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.

5. Broil 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Arrogant Chef's Lobster Bisque

I wanted to try to make a lobster bisque. I searched the Internet and came up with 3 or 4 recipes that looked quite good. I then sat down and combined the four by adding and leaving out certain ingredients. The result...amazing. This takes awhile to make but the results are worth it.

Step 1 Ingredients

1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
The shell and bodies for 2 cooked lobsters (reserve the meat from the claws and tails)
1 stalk of celery chopped
2 large carrots diced
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 ounces of brandy
½ cup of white wine
2 litres of water


In a large pot melt the butter and add the vegetable oil

Add the vegetables, cooking until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute more before adding the lobster shells and brandy.

Add the white wine, stirring until almost completely reduced.

Add water and simmer for 2-3 hours

Strain reserving only the liquid.

Step 2 Ingredients

4 cups of stock
the lobster meat from the claws and tails of the 2 cooked lobsters
1 ½ cups of heavy cream
½ teaspoon of salt
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of cayenne
1 medium shallot finely chopped
¼ cup of white wine
2 tablespoons of flour
1 ounce of brandy


In a medium size pot over medium heat melt the butter. Slowly whisk in flour. Whisk until a creamy mixture is created.

Gradually pour in stock, whisking constantly. Whisk in cream, salt, shallot, lobster meat, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. Heat the soup. Serve the soup and for a little extra, drizzle some brandy and heavy cream into the soup. Serve with French bread.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Arrogant Chef’s Watercress Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing, Straw Potatoes, and Feta

This is a work in progress. I have tried about 4 variations on the salad dressing. This one is very close to the way I would like it to taste. If I change anything I will re-post it.


1/3 cup virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
1 small shallot finely diced
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
¼ cup or more of Pure Maple Syrup or more to taste (I add a little more because I like a little more sweetness to the dressing.


Straw potatoes (finely julienned potatoes deep fried for about 2-3 minutes at 375F)
Pecans (lightly roasted)
Crumbled Feta


In a bowl, combine the dry dressing ingredients.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify the dressing.  Then add the maple syrup to taste and adjust the seasonings.
Finely julienne the potato and soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Dry the julienned potato on paper towels and deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Lightly toast the pecans.
To assemble the salad clean the watercress, put the straw potatoes on the plate followed by the watercress, and pecans and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Finish by sprinkling crumbled feta onto the salad.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Haddock with Fennel, Red Pepper, Egg Plant and Tomato.

This is a very healthy, relatively low carb, delicious meal. I am not quite sure where I got this recipe. I came across it while looking for the health benefits of fennel.

This recipe makes more than enough for two people:
extra-virgin olive oil
2  fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
1 small red pepper, chopped
small eggplant, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole (more if you like!)
1/3 cup white wine
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice (410g/14.5oz)
handful or two of black olives, left whole
1-2 teaspoons dried or 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 filets of haddock or any other mild white fish
fennel fronds (if you have them from the fennel bulbs) and fresh basil for garnish

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan oven over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel and sauté until it starts to brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Remove the fennel, then sauté the pepper until it starts to soften (again, about 10 minutes). Remove the pepper and sauté the eggplant until it starts to soften (yes, about 10 minutes), then remove the eggplant as well.

Add more olive oil to the pot in between each batch of vegetables if you need to. Cooking each vegetable separately ensures that they do not stew in their own juices and that they are nicely sauteed.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add the garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Pour in the wine and simmer until it’s slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, oregano and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered, about 15-20 minutes, in order to soften the garlic and let the flavors meld. Then add all the vegetables and balsamic vinegar and heat through.

While the sauce is cooking on the stove, preheat the oven to 200C (390F). When the oven’s ready, season the fish filets with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and put the vegetables in a casserole dish and lay the fillets on top.Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

Remove from the oven and plate with garnish of fennel frond.