Oh, Winesday. I’m feeling drained and overwhelmed on this Winesday because my work week has been so busy, today in particular, but now it’s finally nearing the end of the (work) day. The real Winesday is approaching, and it’s almost time to enjoy nothing but food, wine, and good company. And it’s an amazing New England Spring day…even though it’s February. So if you’re anything like me and you’re beginning to drag at work, just remember, it’s a short length of time away until you’ll be glass-in-hand-food-on-plate relaxed. Whoo whoo.
Enjoy this for a potential menu.
- Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay. And Bogle Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. And Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. Whoops, we drank a little more than usual, but in defense of that statement, two of the bottles were already opened and needed to be finished while the third was brand new and still needed to be finished. The third bottle was Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay, which comes from a vineyard in Washington State and offers a slightly sweet, citrus taste with just subtle notes of oak. Apparently, grapes grown north of California are afforded more sunlight, which encourage the fruit to ripen more. Often, wines from this region of North America will have better flavor development because of this. While I’m not particular to Chardonnay, this wine had a decent citrus flavor and tasted as though it could pair well with many foods. The winemaker suggests it be paired with ginger, lemon, tarragon, thyme, crab, poultry, salmon, or scallops, but I believe it’s subtle enough to be paired with a variety of foods.
- French Onion Soup. This has been part of my Winesday posts before , but I didn’t give many details other than the recipe. Below is a different recipe with a few adjustments, and keep in mind that a good French onion soup is a process. It will take several hours to really caramelize the onions, and the soup’s flavor will enhance if you wait a day or two to serve it.
Stuff You’ll Need
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
- 6 large yellow onions, halved and cut in crescent-shaped slices
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2 cartons of vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, or approximately 1 Tbsp dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 small baguettes
- 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- Port and Marsala wine for deglazing
- A large soup pot or Dutch oven that can go into the oven
- Ramekins or small bowls that are oven-safe
- Baking sheet & aluminum foil
How to Do It
- Adjust the oven rack to a lower-middle position, and preheat it to 400 degrees F.
- Spray the inside of your pot or Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray, and place the butter sections into the pot. Add the onion slices and 1 tsp of salt. Cook, covered, for one hour.
- Remove the pot from the oven, deglaze with port and Marsala wine, and stir the onions. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. Return the pot to the oven, covered but slightly open, and continue to cook for another hour. Repeat this process until the onions have cooked for approximately four hours and are soft and dark.
- Remove the pot from the oven, and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook the onions by stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates and the onions brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
- Continue to deglaze the pan as the onions cook, every 6 to 8 minutes. When the onions are very dark, stir in the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates, approximately 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetable broth, two cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Increase heat to high, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf and thyme if you’ve used fresh sprigs, and season the soup with salt and pepper.
- While the soup is simmering, slice the baguette into small pieces, and brush each piece with a little olive oil. Arrange them on a single baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F until they’re slightly browned and crisp.
- Adjust your oven rack so it sits six inches from the broiler, and preheat the broiler. Arrange the ramekins or oven-safe bowls on a baking sheet, and fill each 2/3 of the way full with soup. Put one to two slices of the bread in each ramekin, and cover with shredded cheddar cheese. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and a little bubbly around the edges.
- Serve with a salad and a cold glass of vino.
Recipe adapted from the blog Cookography.com.
- Slutty Brownies. This was the perfect dessert to serve on a Winesday when I didn’t have much time to prepare anything, and it’s fitting to serve to a group of your girlfriends. It takes under 15 minutes to throw together, and under 40 minutes to bake. It also takes less than a minute to consume…so be careful.