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.
Quiche has always been an incomparable, one dish meal in my opinion. It’s kind of a whole food with protein, vegetables, dairy and carbohydrates. Quiche’s convenience wins hands down. After mixing the basics … eggs, milk or cream … any ingredients will work from leftovers to freshly cooked. You can use just about anything that you have in the refrigerator.
While some recipes are crust-free, most quiches have some kind of foundation. Potatoes, rice, cauliflower all make nice ‘crust’ options. Quiche makes a great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. To keep it interesting, I’m always trying to find ways to tweak the ingredients to make it taste just a bit different each time.
Two of Brion’s favorite foods are broccoli and rice. I decided to make a rice/cheese crust, which I pre-baked so it would get a little crispy. Then, when it bakes with the filling, it holds together quite nicely. The seasoning plays a crucial part in the quiche.
Shrimp Quiche Casserole
Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend crust ingredients. Using the back of a large spoon, press into a greased 8-inch round baking dish & bake for 15-20 minutes.
In a skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter; saute garlic & mushrooms, stirring for about 5 minutes. Stir in onions, cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Pour 2 cups water into skillet & bring to a simmer. Cook shrimp for about 1 minute or JUST until pink. Reserving 1 cup of the liquid, rinse shrimp under cold running water. Shell & devein shrimp; arrange over rice in baking dish.
Preheat oven to 325 F. (If you have turned it off after pre-baking crust). In a heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter & stir in flour. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, without browning; gradually whisk in reserved liquid & milk. Cook, stirring, for about 20 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, lemon zest & spices until cheese is melted. Stir into vegetable mixture & pour over shrimp in rice crust.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/4 cup cheese & bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over 'quiche'.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until quiche is 'set'. Cut into wedges & serve.
Today, December 21st, a very special member of our family is having his 15th birthday. He is ‘our’ little mini German Dachshund with the cute name of ‘Amigo’. My sister Loretta, adopted Amigo when he was only two months old so needless to say, their hearts have been well secured together.
Brion & I have had the incredible pleasure of being able to share in his life as well. On different occasions he stayed with us while Loretta had to attend to other things. It would usually take a bit of time at first for him to accept the idea she was gone temporarily. Then we would become part of his ‘pack’.
When I was growing up on the farm we had a Collie. I loved that dog but being a farm dog living outdoors, your interactions were only when you were out of the house. Until we cared for Amigo, I just had no idea what a privilege it is to be loved by a dog. Dachshunds are such a special breed. Amigo has left an imprint on my heart that will remain forever with me. Whenever Amigo is present, he brings such happiness and the perspective to enjoy the moment along with a dogs’ uncanny ability to understand humans and give so much unconditional love. We humans really need to learn some of these virtues.
As we watch him growing older, I find it so unfair that animals give so much and yet they still have to suffer the aches and pains of old age the same as humans. It seems they should be spared this ordeal.
Amigo is definitely a great source of pleasure to Loretta and I am truly grateful their lives were connected so long ago.
Two of Amigos favorite foods have always been cheese and chicken. Although he isn’t going to be having any, I’m putting a chicken meal on my blog today in honor of his birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMIGO!
Cranberry-Gruyere Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts go from ordinary to extraordinary when filled with tart cranberries and Gruyere cheese.
Chicken & Stuffing
Flatten chicken breast to a 1/4-inch thickness. In a small bowl, combine cheese & cranberries. Divide cheese mixture between breasts; roll up & secure with toothpicks.
In a food processor, place walnuts & parsley; cover & process until ground but not over processed. Transfer to a shallow bowl; stir in bread crumbs, salt & pepper. In another shallow bowl, combine eggs & mustard. Place flour in a third shallow bowl. Coat chicken with flour, then dip in egg mixture & coat with walnut mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with greased foil paper. Place breasts seam side down & bake for 35-40 minutes or until thermometer reads 170 F. Remove from oven; discard toothpicks & serve. This is real nice served with couscous & a veggie.