Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Ton of Leftovers

I have been wanting to make French Onion Soup at home ever since I picked up these cute little crocks and when the November issue of Fine Cooking arrived with a recipe in it I knew it was time. I think I was partially holding off because I didn't think Jer was interested in it but when he saw the cheesy, gooey, overflowing bowl of the soup in the issue he said "Mmm, what is that?" I knew he would at least give it a try.

French Onion Soup
makes 4 servings

2 T unsalted butter, more for baking sheet
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t granulated sugar
1/2 small baguette, cut into 1/2" thick slices
1 quart low sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup grated Gruyere

Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in the onions and season with 1/2 t salt and a few grinds of pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover the onions with a piece of foil, pressed to cover them completely, cover the pot with a lid, and cook stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft (but not falling apart), 40-50- minutes. Remove the lid and the foil, raise the heat to medium-high and stir in the sugar. Cook, stirring often, until deep brown, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the baguette toasts, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a rimmed baking sheet (I lined it with a silicone mat, you could also use aluminum foil) and arrange the baguette slices on the sheet in a single layer. Bake until the bread is crisp and lightly browned, turning once, 12-15 minutes. Set aside.

Add the broth and bay leaf to the caramelized onions and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce he heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper (I found it needed a lot of pepper and not much salt at all).

To serve, position a rack 6" from the broiler and heat the broiler. Put 4 broiler proof bowls on a baking sheet and ladle the soup into each bowl. Top with 2-3 toasts and sprinkle with cheese. Broil until the top is browned and bubbly, 2-5 minutes. Serve immediately.


Last weekend, Jer thought a Pot Roast sounded good and, since I had never made one, I knew just where to turn for a recipe. The Pioneer Woman! Who better to turn to than a food blogger who lives on a cattle ranch!? Sure enough, she had a delicious sounding recipe and great step by step photos. I loved her idea of leaving the potatoes out of the pot and instead serving the meat and veggies over a bed of mashed potatoes. I knew we would have a ton of leftovers too, so the rest of the week was spent reinventing the meal into new dishes.

Pot Roast
makes 8-10 servings (or 4 with lots of leftovers)

2 T Olive Oil
1 4-5 lb Chuck Roast (nicely marbled)
2 yellow onions, cut in half
6-8 carrots, scrubbed well and cut into 2" pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup red wine (or beef broth)
2-3 cups beef stock
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat over to 275 degrees F. Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast. Heat the olive oil in a large (oven proof) pot or Dutch over over medium high heat. When the oil is very hot, but not smoking, add the onions and brown on both sides. Remove to a plate. Add the carrots to the same pot and toss until slightly browned, remove to a plate.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the pot and add the meat, searing for about a minute on all sides (including the ends) until nicely browned. Remove to a plate. With the burner still on high, add the red wine (or broth) and deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a a whisk. Place the roast back in the pot and add enough beef stock to reach halfway up the sides of the meat. Add the onions and carrots back to the pot and submerge the thyme and rosemary on either side of the meat.

Cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven for about 4 hrs. Serve over mashed potatoes with some of the juice from the pot poured over the top.


Leftover Pot Roast Green Chili Enchiladas

For leftovers the first night I shredded up some of the leftover meat and cooked it in a skillet with a little taco seasoning until heated through. Then I wrapped a little of the meat and some shredded cheddar and jack cheese inside corn tortillas, topped with green chili and more cheddar and jack and placed under the broiler until the cheese was melted.


Leftover Pot Roast Pasta

On the second night I cubed up the leftover meat and the carrots and onions and threw them all in with some marinara sauce. I served it over pasta on a bed of spinach.

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Anonymous said...

Looks great! Did you use a crockpot for the pot roast or something else? We just made a PW recipe tonight too :)