Husband has me cooking out of a cookbook in hopes that he can learn portion control and healthy eating. I think on some level he was also hoping we’d save some money by not eating out. We probably went out once a week to 3 times a month; not that often compared to some, but more than we ever did when I was growing up. Funny thing, is that our grocery bill has nearly tripled. Maybe it will ease off as I build a new pantry arsenal. So one of the things I cooked out of the cookbook was French onion soup. I love French onion soup. It’s beefy, and has toasted, buttered bread in it! What isn’t to love? Apparently, the smell.
I had never made FOS from scratch before. Alton Brown made it look like a major undertaking, and since it’s not exactly a Wow! item, I never took the time. I could just get it at a restaurant anyway. The new cookbook made it into a much easier process, but at a price. It said to melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan, then dump 5 sliced onions on top, with a bit of salt, and stir. Then, simply cover the pot, and walk away for 30 minutes, returning to stir every now and then. Once the onions were soft and caramelized, pour in 6 cups of beef broth, 1/2 a cup of red wine, and two bay leaves. Then simply simmer for another 15 minutes. I figured I could do that.
What the recipe didn’t say was that the onions, due to the amount, and that the lid was on the pot, would merely steam instead of caramelize. That steaming onions make the whole house smell like onions, and your eyes water – even if you’re in another room. That this smell will linger through the night, and assault you each time you awake in your bed. Even worse? The soup wasn’t that good. It was watery and sweet. It had no depth of flavor. No eye-rolling “hmmm.” I even tried to fix it last minute by adding loads of salt, and two whole beef bullion cubes. None of which really helped much. Quite the tragedy, really. And now it’s one that I have to be reminded of each time the heater kicks on.
Maybe it’s time to change out the filter.