Chef Amanda Freitag
demo, Chef Amanda wanted to show how to make one of her favorite classic restaurant
dishes that people do not typically make at home, a classic French Onion Soup.
She also taught several techniques during the demo.
Spanish onions to make the soup. They are sweet, inexpensive, and have lots of
flavors. Remember to season as you go; Chef Amanda likes to use kosher salt.
Onions have a lot of natural sugar, and adding kosher salt helps bring out
their flavor and liquid. Her best measuring tool; her hand. Use olive oil
first, then butter, because you do not want the butter to burn. Use unsalted
butter for savory cooking so that you can control the salt content level.
Salted butter can be used for baking. Dried spices are more powerful than fresh
spices, which are lighter in flavor, so use more fresh spices than when using
dried spices. Although she uses beef stock for this recipe, you could make it
vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead.
Spanish Onion, peeled
which provides the classis flavor in French Onion Soup
Cheese, or whatever cheese you have or prefer (mozzarella, cheddar, a mix of
crock to hold the soup, and the baguette cheese crouton
Method: Remove the
core of the onion, then slice lengthwise into long slices, and set aside.
Adding cut onions
pan. Add some olive oil. When oil starts to smoke, then add the onions a little
at a time so they can sweat and caramelize. Note: when you add the onions to
the pan it will lower the heat, which is why you add the onions a little at a
time. Do not stir the onions, let them cook and start to caramelize. Then add
more onions to the pan and remember to taste and season the onions as they
cook. If something starts to stick, it prevents even cooking. The browned bits that
stick to the pan are called "fond" which have lots of flavor, so stir them into
step is to create a roux of unsalted butter and flour. Blond roux is the
classic roux and is pale golden in color. (Note: New Orleans cooking uses a
deeper, darker roux which is obtained by cooking the roux longer to bring out
more intense flavors.)
Always good to sample
creating the roux and adding it to the onions, Chef Amanda said that you could
stop now and keep them in the refrigerator and use them later to create your
soup, or use them on sandwiches or steak, as caramelized onions are a great
deglazing the pan with the Sherry, then add as much beef stock as you like and
cook over lower heat for 30-60 minutes until you achieve the flavor you want.
Add more or less beef stock depending on how thick you want your soup. Add
baguette slice on the diagonal to fit the size of your crock. If needed, cut
two slices to fit the size of the crock. Toast your baguette slices and set
aside. Fill your crock(s) with the soup, top with the toasted baguette and add
the shredded Gruyere and place the crock(s) in the oven until the cheese is
melted and golden brown.
wrote a cookbook between restaurant jobs, called The Chef Next Door: A
Pro Chef's Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking, as she wants to make
cooking approachable for home chefs.
Until next time, cheers and Bon Appetit!
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Freitag, please visit her website or social media pages.
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