My NEXT Project ... SOUPS ...

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Joined Jan 4, 2011
In this project I'm gonna try to make wonderful soups. Generally I don't need any help in making very good soups, I just wanna try to make "over-the-top" bowls. Maybe that's asking a lot ... an "over-the-top" bowl of soup? ... Kinda funny. ... But we'll see.

OK then ... here's my first ...
"French Onion". ...

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I didn't have any decent white wine handy ... so I'm going with beer. The two(2) cheeses didn't come sliced at my store so I'm gonna have to blitz them up. I'm using both beef and chicken stocks because a vid I saw said that it makes more layers of flavor that way.

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Another vid I saw said to cut each half horizontally ... then cut less slices vertically. ... They're gonna seriously reduce anyway. It's a lot less cuts and gives more continuity to each piece. *** A note as to cutting up onions: Unless you're an Asian speed-freak with a knife ... think about "slicing" more than "chopping". Less "cell explosions" and a LOT less tears.
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Heres the cheese all blitzed up (I would have preferred slices). *** A note as to blitzing cheese: Be careful with spinning the blades too long. Pulsing is so much better, especially with softer cheeses. Too much blitzing a softer cheese will give you nasty "globs" instead of "crumbles".
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I waited until the onions were caramelized to a point I was good with. Then I added the first round of liquids (beer, whoosty, vinegar). I cooked that all down and added the second round (stocks). I let everything come back up to simmer and last added the bourbon.
... You all remember my Sous right?
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I toasted the bread on a rack to get both sides at once. I used a pretzel roll on lack of anything else available at the time.
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Going in ...

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... Served up.


All in all ... I'm very pleased. Next time I'm gonna use yellow onions instead of Spanish ... and I'll go with all beef stock. The chicken can hit the road.

... There were NO leftovers ...
grade: B+.





"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
 
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Joined Nov 26, 2020
In this project I'm gonna try to make wonderful soups. Generally I don't need any help in making very good soups, I just wanna try to make "over-the-top" bowls. Maybe that's asking a lot ... an "over-the-top" bowl of soup? ... Kinda funny. ... But we'll see.

OK then ... here's my first ...
"French Onion". ...

I didn't have any decent white wine handy ... so I'm going with beer. The two(2) cheeses didn't come sliced at my store so I'm gonna have to blitz them up. I'm using both beef and chicken stocks because a vid I saw said that it makes more layers of flavor that way.

Another vid I saw said to cut each half horizontally ... then cut less slices vertically. ... They're gonna seriously reduce anyway. It's a lot less cuts and gives more continuity to each piece. *** A note as to cutting up onions: Unless you're an Asian speed-freak with a knife ... think about "slicing" more than "chopping". Less "cell explosions" and a LOT less tears.
Heres the cheese all blitzed up (I would have preferred slices). *** A note as to blitzing cheese: Be careful with spinning the blades too long. Pulsing is so much better, especially with softer cheeses. Too much blitzing a softer cheese will give you nasty "globs" instead of "crumbles".
I waited until the onions were caramelized to a point I was good with. Then I added the first round of liquids (beer, whoosty, vinegar). I cooked that all down and added the second round (stocks). I let everything come back up to simmer and last added the bourbon.
... You all remember my Sous right?
I toasted the bread on a rack to get both sides at once. I used a pretzel roll on lack of anything else available at the time.
Going in ...

... Served up.


All in all ... I'm very pleased. Next time I'm gonna use yellow onions instead of Spanish ... and I'll go with all beef stock. The chicken can hit the road.

... There were NO leftovers ...
grade: B+.





"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
Looks goooood. Yum Yum
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
I made some French Onion Soup last week as well. It was perfect for the cold snowy weather here:
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My personal recipe takes what I like best from Thomas Keller's recipe from the Bouchon Cookbook and Anthony Bourdain's from The Les Halles Cookbook.

I use a LOT of onions, about 3lbs per quart of stock. I slice them thin. I find making French Onion soup to be great knife skills practice. It helped me to finally learn how to tap chop properly at speed.

I very slowly sweat them in a stock pot with butter and then once they have soften slowly brown them, stirring every 20 min. It takes 3 to 4 hours, but it's worth it. The onions are so beautifully rich and soft and add so much to the flavour this way. But that is a luxury of working from home during COVID.

Then I deglaze with a little sherry and sherry vinegar. Then I add the stock and bouquet garni and simmer for another hour to meld everything together. I agree that I also greatly prefer a beef stock only base.

When the soup is done I check for seasoning and flavour and if I find the soup too sweet, I add a couple dashes of sherry vinegar for a little freshness.

I use a crusty French baguette for the croutons and brush the slices with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt before toasting.

For the cheese, I use a combo of narrow slices and long grated strands, which those block of cheese you bought are perfect for. You want long pieces that will drape from the floating crouton over the edge of the bowl, so that the cheese does not melt into the soup itself. I would recommend against using chopped or blitzed cheese as a result. I make a basic lattice of overlapping slices and then snow the grated cheese on top of the slices to fill the gaps and make a more natural even surface.

Bon appetit!
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
'm very pleased. Next time I'm gonna use yellow onions instead of Spanish ... and I'll go with all beef stock. The chicken can hit the road

I worked at a place that did a mix of beef stock and duck stock. I use the general principle when I make it but which chicken in place of the duck. I've found personally it balances out well as opposed to going 100% one way or the other.
 
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Thank you al for your comments. I think that really adds to a thread. I really don't want this to be me talking to myself.

CatManDoo88 ... I find that for my work, timing for onion caramelizing is fast is good. When they're done they're done. I personally have not found long and slow to be any better. I'm glad that what works for you is good too. I like your ideas about the cheese. I never noticed any melting into the soup, but I'm sure it probably did. Your point is well taken. I'll be using more flavorful cheeses next, not delicate flavors like this first time. Probable Swiss and Muenster.

Seoul Food ... That's a serious thought using duck stock. Too bad it doesn't come in Swanson boxes at 'da Jewels. Next time I'll be going only beef, and I'll use broth instead of stock. I want flavor ... I don't need no stinking balance. The books say that broth has more flavor. Who knows? LOL.




"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
 
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OK ... Today I made another soup. I've been wanting this soup since even before the onion soup, but things got in the way. I've never made this before and my head was somewhere else until 10-minutes into the process so ... SORRY ... I didn't take pics. As it was that really isn't a problem. I won't be putting my name on this maiden voyage. It didn't suck ... it wouldn't have been sent back. At the same time ... nobody is gonna come to my place asking for it either. I've learned a number of things and next time ... it's gonna be good.

... WonTon Soup.

I used all standard ingredients. Standard I guess for Asian dishes.
I made the soup first.
Sodium free chicken stock ...
first mistake. Chx stock is kinda like the "tofu of soup", really simple and it takes all the flavor you give it. Next time it's chx broth with all the sodium it's got. Four(4) slices of ginger smashed. Two(2) medium garlic cloves smashed. Two(2) long green onions chopped into pieces that fit a regular saucepan. Crushed stems from cilantro that is used for garnish. Two(2) shiitake mushroom caps that also became garnish. I put that all on serious heat until boiling then I pushed it to a back burner and let it simmer until the rest was ready (20-minutes).

Next I made the filling.
1/2-lb ground pork. Half a bag of cocktail-sized shrimp. I got these because they are the cheapest ... I won't do that again. I chopped the bageebies out of them and added to pork. A good teaspoon of grated ginger (next time tablespoon). A grated small garlic clove (next time large). A minced green onion. Half a teaspoon corn starch. A splash of seasoned rice wine vinegar. A splash of sesame oil, A splash of hot chili oil. Next time I'm gonna also add fish sauce and/or oyster sauce. A tablespoon of minced cilantro. Some ground black pepper. Many recipes say to use white pepper, but I wasn't gonna buy that for just this dish. I can't remember the last time I used white pepper. ... Everything gets mixed.

I tried making the dumplings with both round and square wontons. The rest of the world uses square but I wanted to try round too. They ended up looking goofy but were easier to eat in one bite. I folded the squares like "Pope's Hats"
(tortellini). They came out fine. Everything sticks together just fine using water. I have however, seen a real Chinese Chef use an egg wash.

If you've watched my "Lasagna" video you should remember that these wontons are really starchy. Therein I boiled them up in a separate pot of water. I could have used chx stock/broth, but I went cheap. I've seen it both ways. I've also seen them cooked in the soup not worrying about the starch. I'm thinking that I just might do it that way next time. I gently boiled them for eight[8] minutes. If you've seen my "Ravioli" video you should remember that gentle boiling keeps them from bouncing around the pot and getting beat up. After 5-minutes I threw in a fistful of trimmed pea-pods that are more garnish.

After boiling is the assembly.
I put (4) of each wontons in the bowl and covered it with the soup. I added the garnish and served it up. The garnish was the mushroom caps sliced thin, a chopped green onion, the pea-pods and some minced cilantro.

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Now like I said in the beginning ... it didn't suck ... it wouldn't have been sent back. For my tastes it was just too bland for all that it had in it. I'll fix that next time.

** edit: Usually a halved or quartered hard-boiled egg is included. I just didn't want to do it. I'm not all that crazy for hard-boiled eggs and I didn't want the extra work. Sorry.

... There were NO leftovers ... grade: C-.




"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
 
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OK ... Today I'm making the soup I'm going with ... good bad or ugly.

WonTon Soup (round 2) ...

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Today's ingredients include "more flavor". I'm using full chx broth instead of stock and I'm adding woosty sauce (I don't have any fish or oyster sauce and I'm not buying any). The glob in the right ramekin is leftover from last time, think of it as ground pork. The left ramekin is just more shrimp, think of it as larger fresh raw shrimp. My condiments include a quartered baby boy-choy.
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Making the soup first because it needs time to simmer. I'm adding the extra liquids and the salt. I just chopped up the cilantro instead of going with the stems by themselves.
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All the WonTon guts. I added the "Yuzu" stuff for the extra flavor.

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ALL mixed.

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Here is the "condiment tray". The shiitaki cap is in the soup. The bok-choy and pea pods will cook a few minutes with the wontons. The women in a Chinese kitchen could have trimmed 5-lbs of wontons each in the time it took me to do those. LOL @ Me.


Anyway ... that's the first half. I'm gonna go make the wontons and finish up the soup. ...
Stick around.
 
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I strained the soup to remove the solid items. I them blanched the boy-choy and pea-pods for +/- 3-minutes. The sliced shiitake replaces sliced pork loin which is a common condiment.
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I used both round and square. The rounds come out a bit smaller and is easier for dainty people to eat in one bite. The squares I folded two(2) different ways; both "Pope's Hats", just different looking. I'll show you when I make a video of doing this.
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I took a chance and cooked the wontons in the soup. I pre-planned this by brushing off any extra starch that I could. It worked out OK. Be careful dropping in the wontons. Make sure they are immediately moving. They like to get stuck to the bottom. If you tear them open it's a real freakin' mess.

Here it is ... All assembled and served ...
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If I was gonna add anything ... it would be a drizzle of chili oil.

That's it. I'm happy. The first time I was very lightweight on the seasonings. This time I was more heavy handed. I got lucky in that I didn't over-season ... which could/would be very easy to do. For next time I might go buy the fish and oyster sauces. There was however, nothing wrong with the woosty sauce. I think it could be cool with a softer boiled egg, not runny but creamy. We'll try that next time.



... There were NO leftovers ... grade: A-.
... (minus only because I didn't do it the first time)







"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
 
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
.

LOL ... That would be funny. But NO ... I'll let it go.

Thanks for letting me know though.
 
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290
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Thank you al for your comments. I think that really adds to a thread. I really don't want this to be me talking to myself.

CatManDoo88 ... I find that for my work, timing for onion caramelizing is fast is good. When they're done they're done. I personally have not found long and slow to be any better. I'm glad that what works for you is good too. I like your ideas about the cheese. I never noticed any melting into the soup, but I'm sure it probably did. Your point is well taken. I'll be using more flavorful cheeses next, not delicate flavors like this first time. Probable Swiss and Muenster.

Seoul Food ... That's a serious thought using duck stock. Too bad it doesn't come in Swanson boxes at 'da Jewels. Next time I'll be going only beef, and I'll use broth instead of stock. I want flavor ... I don't need no stinking balance. The books say that broth has more flavor. Who knows? LOL.




"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
Yeah it was actually broth. I know there is an actual difference between stock and broth but i end up calling everything stock out of probably laziness.
 

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