Although ancient in origin, French onion soup underwent a resurgence in popularity during the 1960’s due to the greater interest in French cuisine.
French onion soup is a type of soup usually based on a meat broth and onions. At some point in time, the French decided that the onions should be caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness. Then, to top things off, its garnished with Gruyere cheese on a slice of baguette and broiled in the oven.
These chicken meatballs put a bit of a different spin on that iconic soup. Made with all the classic ingredients, but turned into a main course meal. Nice to serve with either pasta or rice.
French Onion Chicken Meatballs
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil & rub with oil.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, Gruyere, bread crumbs, parsley, egg & garlic. Season with salt & pepper. Form into 16 meatballs then place on prepared baking sheet & bake until golden & cooked through, about 25 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions & cook until very soft & golden, 25 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic & cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add broth & thyme & season with salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & let simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Boil egg noodles in salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes; drain & add to sauce. Grate Gruyere & Parmesan cheeses & combine.
Divide pasta/sauce between 4 serving plates. Top each with 4 meatballs & divide cheese combo between them. If you wish, microwave each plate for a couple of minutes to melt cheese before serving.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, new year’s eve food = finger food. I thought I’d post one other recipe for the occasion. Meatballs seem to check all the right boxes. Crispy, savory, spicy and can be eaten in a single bite. These lemon chicken meatballs are kind of an interesting blend of chicken and bacon. The lemon sauce is a bit unusual in that it uses lemon jelly powder but rounds out nicely with some garlic and ginger spice.
The idea of being able to do some of the prep work ahead of time always appeals to me. These meatballs can be made anytime and frozen raw or cooked. Just perfect when you are ready to serve them.
I’ve probably said this before, but deep fried food never appeals to me. Baking these little morsels still achieve’s a great taste. Hope you give them a try!
Lemon Chicken Meatballs
Preheat oven to 350 F. Fry bacon until crisp & drain on paper towel. Crumble & set aside.
To skillet, add onions & garlic. Saute & remove with a slotted spoon. In a large bowl, combine bacon, onions & garlic with remaining ingredients; mix well.
Form into 1-inch size meatballs & place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine dry jelly powder & cornstarch. Add broth, dressing, garlic & ginger; stir until jelly powder is dissolved.
Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently. Pour over meatballs & stir to coat. Serve with picks.
Although rice takes top priority at our house, noodles (pasta) are always a staple nevertheless. Some years ago, we started using the ‘no yolks’ version of egg noodles.
Like many old world pasta products, there is a history. In 1976, Robert Strom created NO YOLKS. They would become the world’s first no-cholesterol egg noodle. They are made with Durum wheat semolina, corn flour, egg whites and have no problem cooking up firm and fluffy.
In Canada, they are the top selling noodle and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In this recipe, I have paired them with my favorite Chia Chicken Meatballs. Does it get more healthy than that?!
No-Yolk Noodles with Chia Chicken Meatballs
In a small bowl, mix together chia seeds & water; let stand for about 20 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining meatball ingredients. When chia gel is ready, add to meat mixture. Using your hands, combine ingredients well. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with foil & lightly coat with baking spray. Scoop into 50 meatballs; place on baking sheet & bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely if you are choosing to freeze half for a later meal. Set aside the amount you are using for this meal.
Sauce / Noodles
In a saucepan, melt margarine; saute zucchini & green onion until tender. Sprinkle with flour & seasonings. Add milk/broth & cook, stirring until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, cook no-yolk noodles as directed on package in salted boiling water to which 1 Tbsp of olive oil has been added. Drain.
In the pot you cooked the noodles, combine noodles with sauce & meatballs. Fold together & serve topped with some parmigano-reggiano if you wish.
Soup seems to be one of those comfort meals synonymous with cooler winter weather. So far, here in northern Alberta, Canada our winter has been very mild. Black bean soup has become one of my favorites. Of course, as usual there’s a little fond memory tucked away that I’d like to share with you.
For the many times Brion and I have spent holiday time on California’s Monterey Peninsula, I’m never quite able to absorb enough of it’s images. There’s something about the sea — the waves, the salt air, the broad expanse of blue, the ambiance of coastal living that forever calls us back.
It was on one of these trips that we were ‘snooping’ around an area called the Barnyard Shopping Village. Built in 1976, this Carmel landmark features more than 45 boutique shops. It’s cascading levels and beautifully landscaped courtyards create such a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. There are about eight locally owned restaurants offering various cuisine options. We came across one called ‘From Scratch’ restaurant. Sounded good, so we went in. There was either outdoor or indoor seating available. It turned out the food definitely had that ‘homemade’ flavor. Over the years we have made a point of always going back to have one of those great meals when we are in Carmel.
One of the first meals I had there was a Veggie Wrap that in my opinion, was to die for. It consisted of romaine lettuce, avocados, cucumbers, walnuts and cream cheese in an over-sized tomato basil tortilla. For some reason it seemed to disappear from the menu so I tried the famous ‘From Scratch’ Black Bean Soup. It was just wonderful! Upon returning home I started making a very easy version. No need to do any soaking of the beans overnight. One of these 4-ingredient recipes using canned beans. Of course nothing like the one ‘From Scratch’ but still tastes great especially when served with some Thai Chicken Rolls.
Black Bean Soup with Thai Chicken Rolls
Easy Black Bean Soup
In a blender, place 1 can of black beans, chicken broth, salsa & cumin. Blend for about 10 seconds to lightly puree.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the pureed bean mixture with remaining can of beans. Simmer until hot. Ladle into 2 bowls; top with a dollop of sour cream & a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
Thai Chicken Rolls (12 rolls)
Unroll dough on a work surface; pinch seams to seal & press into a 12 x 9 -inch rectangle. Cut into 12 rectangles.
In a small skillet, heat oil. Add chicken; cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Stir in water chestnuts, carrot, cilantro, garlic, apricot preserves, soy sauce, ginger & red pepper flakes. Divide mixture evenly between the 12 rectangles; placing some filling on long side of each rectangle to within 1/4" of short ends.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Starting with long side, roll up. Pinch ends to seal; place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg & bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.