Aaah the weekend, break out every piece of cookery! This Saturday our menu plan called for French onion soup. Problem is, I really didn’t want to deal with a separate seething hot bowl of soup on our plate, especially with two young girls at the table.
Keeping with the French theme however I had a fit of inspiration and was suddenly overwhelmed with culinary excitement for the evening’s menu.
Deconstructed French Onion Soup
Using a bit of culinary logic, I figured that getting rid of the bowl would mean thickening the soup a little so it would stay together when served on a plate. Despite the soup being delicious, everyone knows the best part of an onion soup is the bread.
It only seemed appropriate then to turn bread into the foundation of my deconstruction. With a rich and flavourful thickened onion soup served over well seasoned freshly baked croutons and a sprinkling of cheese, the main attraction of our Saturday meal was ready to go.
Beef Braised In Red Wine
It wouldn’t be a French meal without beef slowly simmered in copious amounts of wine for a few hours. This week I was fortunate to find some lovely fresh organic beef cubes at our local health food store. Starting early, the delicious morsels went into a Dutch oven right after lunch with a good amount of my favourite red that we have bottled at a nearby family-run wine & beer crafting store. The end result was so deliciously tender and definitely worthy of a rustic French family dinner.
Broiled Rosemary Salmon Bites
In keeping with the promise of always having a delicious pescatarian option at each of our meals, the counterpart to our braised beef was a thick fresh fillet of wild sockeye salmon, cut into large chunks and seasoned with cane sugar & fresh rosemary. The moist chunks were then broiled until just cooked and tender, making it challenging for everyone else to choose between beef or fish … so why not just have both!
Roasted Potatoes, Asparagus & Assorted Vegetables
In my mind I originally pictured a true smorgasbord of beautifully roasted vegetables to accompany my deconstructed French onion soup. The most important of all being asparagus, you can’t possibly have a repas campagnard a la francaise without a serving of asparagus, it would be somehow inappropriate.
The oven was filled with a spread of roasting pans containing large diced rutabaga, potatoes, carrots and acorn squash; it was exactly what I imagined.