French Onion Soup

Cuddle up with a good book or the one you love, and enjoy a menu of cozy comforts for shorter days and cooler weather. These winter ready recipes will warm you right up.
All recipes serve 4.


French Onion Soup
3 large onions, chopped
4 tbsp. butter or oil
8 cups beef broth (or make your own with bouillon cubes)
¼ cup brandy
½ tsp. each salt and pepper
4 slices French baguette, toasted
4 slices Swiss cheese

In a large pot on medium-high heat, sauté onions with the butter or oil for 20-30 minutes until they’re golden brown. Add broth, brandy, salt, and pepper and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add more salt if desired. Transfer to ovenproof soup bowls and top with toasted bread and cheese, then broil or microwave until cheese is melted.

Steak Diane
4-6 oz. tenderloin, sirloin or rib steaks cut 1″ thick
2 tsp. soy or Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp. mustard
¹⁄³ cup beef broth
1 tbsp. brandy

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan, add steaks, drizzle them with soy or Worcestershire sauce, and sauté over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side. When they’re rare, remove them from the pan. Turn heat to medium-low, add remaining butter to sauté pan and stir in onions. Cook for 2 minutes, then add mustard, broth and brandy and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Add steaks back to pan for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked to your preference. Place steaks on plates and top with sauce from pan.

Garlic Spinach
2 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced, or ½ tsp. garlic powder
20 oz. spinach
Parmesan cheese (to taste)
¼ tsp. each salt and pepper

In a large saucepan melt butter then add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add spinach to pan, stirring until slightly wilted and heated through. Add Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Optional: If you prefer steakhouse-style creamed spinach, add 8 ounces cream cheese and 2 ounces heavy cream to butter and garlic in saucepan. Slowly warm until melted into thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and stir until wilted and coated with sauce. Place in ovenproof ramekin and top with Parmesan, breadcrumbs and pat of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until browned and bubbly. This sauce is also good with chopped and sautéed broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

Warm Fall Cheese Course
Whole round Brie or Camembert  (14 oz.)
4 tsp. dried raisins, cranberries or cherries (or other chopped dried fruit)
4 tsp. chopped nuts of your choice (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
1 apple or pear
French baguette

Place cheese in rind on 8-inch microwaveable plate. Carefully cut rind from top of cheese. Press raisins and nuts on top. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Microwave at medium power for 2-4 minutes. Serve with bread and thinly sliced apple or pear. This dessert is delicious with brandied coffee, rum, sherry, or port.

Brandied Coffee
20 oz. black coffee, hot
4 oz. brandy
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. sugar

Dip the rim of coffee cups in lemon juice followed by sugar. Brew coffee. Pour 1 ounce brandy in each cup and add a cinnamon stick. Pour coffee into the cups and serve with extra sugar and cream on the side.

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