"Eating With Style" ~ DenverFarmer.com's Recipe Blog
Mom’s French Onion Soup
We have promised Mom’s French Onion Soup recipe for a couple of weeks, and we are finally going to deliver. We are sure you enjoy this traditional treat! This recipe was given to Mom by Julie Miller, a French Teacher in Indiana.
French Onion Soup
3 medium onions, sliced thin
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
2 cans of Consommé
4 cups of Water
¼ cup of Boiled Milk
¼ lb or Swiss Cheese
6 dried slices of French Bread
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp of Melted butter
Cook onions in butter in heavy skillet until slightly brown. Sprinkle with flour and cook over low heat until golden, never allowing them to become dark brown. Add consommé and water. Bring to boil, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, simmer gently for 20 minutes uncovered. Add milk. Pour into an oven safe casserole dish or individual oven safe bowls. Place slices of French Bread on top. Sprinkle generously with cheese. Add pepper and salt, drizzle with melted butter. Brown quickly under broiler flame or butane cooking torch. Serve piping hot.
Did somebody say Tomatoes…
It’s a wonderful time of year here at our Urban Farm… our tomatoes have come in, and they are deee-licious! However, they keep coming… and coming… and coming. Not that I’m complaining, but I find myself in the all too familiar gardener’s quandary of how to preserve, and I think honor, the fruits of one’s labor.
So, this weekend, I decided to can some of our excess tomatoes. Canning is a relatively straight forward process, much like freezing veggies. There are four basic steps – wash, blanch, prep, and process.
You can find the basic canning information on canning on many websites, and I won’t pretend to be an expert canner. Just know, there are two types of canning methods – water bath (WB) and pressure canning (PC). Water bath canning is utilized for high acid foods – pickles, jams & jellies, and some tomato preparations. Pressure canning is used for low acid foods – such as beans, corn, and most canning involving meat products. For your food safety, be sure to follow the canning method recommended by the recipe you are following. Also, note that altitude makes a difference! Here in Colorado we need to add 10 minutes of processing time (3000-6000 ft) to either method of canning.
My experience of canning tomatoes was fun, tedious, rewarding, and exhausting. The washing and blanching was a breeze. For blanching, I cut an “x” in the bottom of the tomatoes, blanched for 60 seconds, placed the tomatoes in an ice bath, and the skins truly did just peel right off.
At this point, I was feeling pretty darn good!
Then, the prep got to me….. the coring of the tomatoes “got” to me….. it took seemingly forever…. I stopped and searched to internet for tips…. I folded a load of laundry… I even contemplated (briefly) running away from home. In the end, I decided I was being too fussy about the coring. You can use the tomatoes whole, halved, quartered, or chopped. With all these options, why stress?
OH! I did do one thing right – I put my cutting board in a cookie sheet with a lip - this kept tomato juice from running all over the counter….
Once I had the tomatoes cored and seeded, I hot-packed the tomatoes into pint jars, adding a tablespoon of lemon juice per pint to ensure an adequate acidity level for water bath canning. Forty minutes later, I had 5 lovely pints of canned tomato loveliness.
I guess my point is – don’t be afraid to step outside you comfort zone when it comes to your family and food…. Try freezing or canning…. Try a new fruit of veggie, that you don’t quite know what to do with…… Try that new recipe (although, if you are adding wine to a chicken dish – I suggest not using red wine…. Ask Farmer Brad about the “Purple Chicken” incident of ’03…. I’m telling ya, the man’s a Saint when it comes to my cooking!)
After bragging on Wilma’s World Famous Freezer Cole Slaw, I have to share my Mom’s All Occasion Spinach Pie! I’m not sure exactly when this recipe came into our lives – but I do know it was at least in the late ‘80’s. We had it at Christmas Brunch, birthdays, and for family coming in from out-of-state. I loved it then – I love it now. (And, what better time to share it, with our Recipe Contest going on? Hint, hint…)
It’s like a crust-less quiche – but quicker, tastier, and better (I might be a little biased.) It goes great with some fresh cut tomatoes for dinner or with some grapes for breakfast. It goes together in minutes, which makes it the perfect weeknight meal. And, leftovers freeze wonderfully, making a great “grab and go” option for office lunch.
Have I built it up enough? I think so, so let’s get to gettin’!
5 Tablespoons flour (white, wheat, or a combo)
1 teaspoons salt (I don’t salt ours… the other ingredients have enough salt for us)
1 teaspoon black pepper (I don’t measure – I just get out the grinder and go until it looks peppery enough)
Note: Mix the flour into the eggs 1 tablespoon at a time – keeps out the lumps
10 oz Frozen organic spinach (or better yet –blanch some fresh spinach – INCREDIBLE taste!)
16 oz Cottage Cheese (we prefer small curd)
8 oz “cheddar” cheese (we use all kinds of cheese! Pick your favorite! And, we sometimes use more than 8 ounces – don’t tell Mom!)
Place in a greased 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for an hour.
The thing I truly enjoy about this recipe is that you can play with it. Have leftover veggies? Add them in! Have 3 kinds of cheese you want to use up – go for it! Want to sub in Kale for Spinach – why the heck not…..? It’s your Spinach Pie – make it your own! I would advise on not going too “non-fat” with the cheese and cottage cheese - sometimes non-fat items do not melt down enough during the baking to give the dish the delicious meltedness it was made to exude.
One other thing -I must caution you– watch out for flavored cottage cheese in the dairy aisle!! I once (OK – Maybe twice!) purchased cottage cheese with pineapple added, imstead of plain cottage cheese… you can do a lot of things to Mom’s All Occasion Spinach Pie, but Pineapple? Not so much…. It did, however, make one Thanksgiving a bit adventurous for Brad and me…. But, brave Hubby pressed through a piece, just for his not-always-successful-in-the-kitchen wife.
Hey – be sure to enter our Recipe Contest. It lasts thru September 19th, should be tons of fun, and who knows – you might be the BIG WINNER!
The Cabbage is turning ripe at urban farms and gardens all over and now is a great time to stock up and buy in bulk. Bulk Cabbage? For even the biggest Cabbage lover more that one head a week seems like it's more than enough. This is where "Wilma's World Famous Freezer Cole Slaw" come to the rescue. If you have never tried Freezer Cole Slaw, this recipe will amaze you.
I had my first experience with this slaw about a decade ago in the place of its origin; the Great State of Indiana. Sally, my wife, is a Hoosier and her sister's mother-in-law Wilma, brought this recipe to some family function. Suffice it to say I couldn't get enough. I love fresh cole slaw, and we have it on a regular basis, but when I tasted this delightful mixture of fresh tasting vegetables and home made dressing, I was an instant convert.
I highly recommend this recipe for any slaw lover. Try it and tell us what you think!
Wilma’s World Famous Freezer Cole Slaw
1 Head of Cabbage (Shredded)
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Cup White Vinegar
2 Cups Sugar
½ Cup Water
1 teaspoon Celery Seed
1 teaspoon Mustard Seed
1 Carrot (grated)
1 Green Pepper (finely chopped)
- Add salt to the shredded cabbage and let sit for one hour. The cabbage will release water.
- Combine Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Celery Seed, and Mustard Seed in a sauce pan and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
- Let stand until lukewarm.
- Squeeze the water and salt out of the cabbage.
- Place the cabbage in a large bowl, add carrot and green pepper, pour the syrup over the cabbage mixture, and thoroughly stir.
- Put into freezer-safe containers and freeze.