Wednesday Dec 11
The News Journal
What's for Dinner? Onion soup au gratin
<![CDATA[Anyone remember H.A. Winston's & Co. restaurants? There used to be a Winston's in Brandywine Hundred, another one in Newark, and a third in Dover, I believe. I don't remember much about the place, but I do remember the French onion soup. The top had a ton of gooey, oozy melted cheese. When I was a kid this was one of my favorite things to eat. And, yes, it was mostly due to the cheese. I still adore onion soup, but I like a good broth even more than the melted cheese. This recipe from Gordon Hamersley's "Bistro Cooking at Home" is soul-satisfying. I was surprised the first time I read the recipe because Hamersley says you can use chicken broth or beef stock. The chicken broth and sherry makes for a lighter soup, while the port and beef broth makes a richer, darker soup. This is the time to use homemade chicken broth. (Or maybe you have turkey stock from your Thanksgiving turkey carcass?) Of course, canned or boxed broth is fine. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 medium onions, thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup dry sherry or port 5 cups chicken broth or beef stock 1 baguette 2 small garlic cloves, very finely chopped 1 teaspoon olive oil 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded Melt the butter in a wide soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, season them with a little salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions slowly brown. This will take 30 to 45 minutes; the longer the onion cooks and the lower the heat, the darker and sweeter they will become. If you want to hurry things along, sprinkle the onions with about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar as they cook. When the onions are browned to your liking, add the sherry or port, the chicken broth, or beef stock, and 3 cups water to the pot. Stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook about a half-hour to meld the flavors. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. When ready to serve, heat the broiler. Cut the baguette into slices about 1/8-inch thick. You want enough slices to cover the soup bowls, usually about 2 slices per bowl, depending on the size of the bread and the bowls. Put the slices on a baking sheet and toast them lightly under the broiler. Mix the garlic with the olive oil and spread a thin layer over each toasted bread slice. Set four ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheets. Ladle the soup into the crocks. Put a slice or two of the baguette on top of the soup. You want to cover the surface almost entirely without any overlap - cut the slices to fit, if need be. Sprinkle the toast with a handful (about 1 ounce) of Gruyere cheese each. Carefully slide the baking sheet, it will be heavy, into the oven and melt the cheese under the broiler until it starts to brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately, remembering the bowls are extremely hot. Makes 4 servings.
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The News Journal
Sorry, still can't get with Dover Library redesign
Being a fan of, I guess what you would call, the more conservative style of architecture and seeing the building exterior design consisting of a mismatch of materials, styles and patterns, I wondered: "What were they thinking?" It was as if a preschooler had been given a computer and copied and pasted a design that appealed to their desire to see ... (more)