Naturally sweet caramelized onions, rich stock, a toasted baguette and gooey cheese makes up this classic, full-flavored s...
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I cook primarily for fun, and to enjoy the reactions of those I cook for. I enjoy making and eating French Onion Soup, and I especially enjoy the bubbling Gruyère on top of the croutons. However, I have a problem. My wife does not like soggy food, and though she also likes Gruyère, she won't let me put any on her soup because she doesn't want the croutons... which of course get soggy as they absorb the soup.
I've tried crispy croutons, toasted french baguettes, crackers, and a half dozen other variations, but still haven't found anything that maintains its crunch after sitting in the soup while under the grill. Any ideas?
Besides serving the croutons on the side, I am not sure how you can get around something crunchy getting soggy as it sits in a liquid. For me that is the charm of French onion soup (as long as it is served quickly so that the bread doesn't get so soggy that it starts to fall apart).
Unfortunately, there are just some people that do not like dishes such as French Onion Soup or Beef Dip as they simply get soggy due to the way they are served and/or eaten. I know my sister wouldn't go near either of them for that reason. Cheers!
I'm having a problem carmelizing the onions. I followed the directions and turned the temp down to medium/medium low after 5 minutes. After 2 hours I still had a lot of moisture and water from the onions. So I turned the heat to high to evaporate the excess. Close to an hour later my onions started to carmelize but not as well as they should have. Any suggestions?
It sounds to me like your initial temperature was too low, so you ended up sweating the onions... which will produce lots of liquid. Essentially, you end up steaming the onions in their own juice. You didn't state what kind of pan you are using, but that also will make a big difference.
If you aren't already doing so, I'd suggest that you uses a large stainless steel pot or saute pan. The pan needs to be hot enough to cause the onions to brown. You want to let the onions rest on the bottom of the pan long enough to brown before stirring, then rest again, stir, rest, etc. The onions are cooking at a heat that is hot enough to burn them if they are ignored, but not so hot that you have to stir too frequently. They require constant watching... not constant stirring. There should be a nice sizzle as they are cooking, allowing them to rest long enough to start to brown. Careful tho' because if they burn, they will become bitter and unsuitable of your soup. Don't be in too much of a hurry, but you should be able to reduce a huge pot of onions to a beautiful brown sauce in less than an hour.
You will get to the point that you will be able to tell from the wonderful aroma that develops when it is time to turn them. I can practically smell them as I describe this! One of my favorite activities in the kitchen is to caramelize onions, simply because they make such an amazing and unexpected addition to almost any dinner. If you do end up burning some, don't throw out the whole pot. Personally, I quite like a few 'well cooked' onions as a garnish on my meat, or in hashbrowns, etc. but don't try to use burnt onions in your soup. :-(
I thought 'gratineeing' meant melting and browning cheese on the top of your dish. Then I was looking up information for a new oven and the salesman wanted me to see the Gaggenau (of course) wall oven which boasts 'gratineeing' as one of it's capabilities. Is that just fancy way of saying broiling.
Then I looked on the 'Merriam-Webster' website and they don't really know either.
Hmmm, I'm glad it's not just me.
In the culinary, the term "au gratin" refers to any dish that has been topped with grated cheese and/or breadcrumbs and then baked or placed under an overhead grill or broiler to form a nice golden crust—think gratin potatoes or even in some cases, macaroni and cheese (if it has a topping) and of course, French onion soup.
Gratins are meant to be served straight from the dish; therefore they are served in what is known as a gratin dish, which refers to an (often shallow and oval-shaped) oven-safe serving dish or pan.
Hope that helps to clear things up for you Suzanne. Cheers!