Joyeux Winesday!

Happy Winesday in French! It’s always good to broaden your horizons and learn a new language though I don’t think they’ve figured out how to translate “Winesday” in French yet…but it can’t be that far off.

For the most recent celebrated Winesday, my book club had a meeting after reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (fabulous, but heartbreaking, book by the way), and we collectively decided to dedicate the meeting to a French culinary theme. This included French wines (of course), a brie pastry, French onion soup (not really French, but still delicious), and macaroons and pots de creme. I loved everything about this evening-the company, the discussion, the wine, and the amazing food. Mix those things together and voila! Joyeux Winesday!

The Wine

  • 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau. A deliciously tart chilled red wine from Beaujolais, France. The initial taste is much drier than the fruity finish, which has notes of red currant, blackberries, and strawberries. There is a bit of acidity in it but nothing that shocks your palette, and it’s much lighter in tannins than the average red wine. A new label for the bottle is added each year, and the wine is only available during the holidays.

The Appetizer

  • A brie pastry assembled and baked by Emily. To make the pastry, get a brie round and cut it in half horizontally. Place a large dollop of jelly in the middle (strawberry or raspberry work best), and then place the other half on top. Divide a can of Pillsbury puff pastry into large square sections. Roll it out and press the seams together. Put one section on the bottom of the brie and wrap the corners around the top (you may need to rip the corners off depending on how big the brie round is). You can also use cookie cutters to create shapes out of the remaining pieces the way Emily did with the hearts (for the love theme in The Paris Wife). Next, take the other half of puff pastry and place it on the top of the round while wrapping the corners around the bottom. Melt a little butter and brush it on the top as well. The crust will brown nicely, and you can stick cutout shapes on there more easily. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let it cool slightly before serving with crackers or by itself. It’s very, VERY hard to stay away from.

The Entree

  • French onion soup complete with delicious bread and melted cheese. Amber used a mix of recipe ideas, a friend’s advice, and her own culinary skills, but I’ve added a similar recipe below. She used vegetable broth to be kind to us vegetarians, but French onion soup is traditionally made with beef broth. If you want to be healthier (and kinder), use the veggie broth!

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 8 servings

  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-2 loaves of a somewhat-stale French or Italian bread
  • Any combination of cheddar, Swiss, or Parmesan shredded cheeses
  • A slowcooker or large pot
  • Ramekins or small oven-safe bowls

How to Do It

  1. Mix sliced onions and butter in a 3 1/2-6 quart slow cooker or large pot
  2. Cover and cook on a high heat setting for 30 to 35 minutes or until the onions slightly brown around the edges.
  3. Mix flour, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and pepper. Stir mixture and the vegetable broth in with the onions. Cover and cook on a low heat setting for 7 to 9 hours. You can shorten the time to 3-4 hours by cooking on a higher setting, but be sure that the onions are very tender before removing it from the heat.
  4. Preheat the broiler. Pour the soup into individual ramekins or oven-safe bowls on a cookie sheet or flat pan, and top each portion with a thick slice of bread. Cover with a combination of shredded cheeses, and broil until the cheese has melted and browned.

The Dessert

Trackbacks

  1. […] 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 […]

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