3 pounds yellow onions, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarter-moons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
10 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons brandy, optional
4 to 6 baguette slices, toasted, for each bowl
1⅓ to 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (1/3 cup per bowl)
Chopped shallot or fresh onion
Cutting board and chef's knife
Oven-safe soup bowls
Season the onions: Place the onion slices in a 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Stir in the butter and olive oil, salt, and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Cook on LOW for 12 hours: Cover and cook on LOW overnight or for 12 hours. The onions should be dark golden brown and soft.
Add broth: Stir in the balsamic vinegar and the broth.
Cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW: Cover and continue cooking on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. This is flexible; as long as your slow cooker holds moisture well (wrap a towel over the lid if quite a lot of steam escapes), you can cook the soup for hours. Longer cooking will only intensify the flavors. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired, and stir in the brandy if using.
Portion the soup into oven-safe bowls: Heat the oven to 350°F. Ladle the soup and onions into oven-safe bowls and place the bowls in a baking pan.
Top with toast and shredded cheese: Top each bowl with a slice of toast and a generous quantity of shredded Gruyere cheese.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes: Bake on a rack in the upper third of the oven until the cheese is completely melted.
Broil for 2 to 3 minutes: Turn the oven to broil and broil the soup for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then serve with chopped fresh onion on the side.
Apparently it’s soup weather here in the Bay Area, seeing as Brie just posted this delish beef stew recipe on Monday. It rained a ton last week (everything is so lovely and green!) and even more rain is predicted for Thursday/Friday. So – hearty soups, comfort food, and hot chocolate are in the forecast in this Qwerty household for the next few weeks at least.
I’m also so thrilled to announce that I’m full time freelancing again. After a short stint with a great group of people at Jelly Belly Candy Company, I am back working from home (it’s a good thing). This means more time and emotional energy to make food and publish recipes for you lovely folks. Also – puppy snuggles.
I missed her like mad while I was away. I mean, just look at this face.
I call that picture, “our lady of noms.”
Anyhoo, I finally had it in me to do some recipe exploring AND real cooking, so allow me to present to you this slow cooker chicken noodle soup.
Prep your crockpot with a liner and fill it with 8 cups of water.
Add in the chopped onion, bag of mixed veggies, chopped celery, and bay leaf.
Mix your salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley flakes in a small bowl.
Now prepare to spend some quality time with the chicken - pat it dry, rub it all over with oil, then pat the mixed spices all over it.
Place a sprig of thyme on top of the chicken, and place the rest inside the chest cavity.
Lay that chicken down on the bed of veggies and water, set your crockpot to high, and cook for 5½-6 hours.
Carefully pull the chicken out and place on a large pan. Allow to cool enough to pick off the chicken meat (separate it from cartilage, skin, and bone), and put the shredded meat back into the crockpot.
In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup corn starch and 1½ cups of broth grabbed from the crockpot until thickened. Pour back into the crock pot.
So, we had about 6 pounds of pork “shoulder” sitting in our freezer for heaven knows how long. I remember buying it specifically to make Hoisin BBQ Pork Sliders, but it turned out one of the hosts of the potluck I was attending was also planning on making pulled pork. I stuffed the thing in the freezer and nearly forgot about it, until an ice cream run left me hurting for storage space.
I figured making a generic pulled pork would be versatile, and WOW, was it ever. We stretched the pulled pork for five days worth of meals and could have probably frozen some of it for quick/convenient reheated meals for later.
The below is the base recipe I used to make the pork, and with it I ended up making:
This is one of those dishes that takes a little planning to get the chicken right, but otherwise is simple and quick to assemble.
Plan ahead to throw two frozen chicken breasts, a cup of water, a light dusting of garlic powder, and two chicken bouillon cubes into your slow cooker for 4 hours. It’s really worth the extra time – the meat comes out flavorful, moist, and tender. It’s my chicken cheat – for some reason I’ve yet to master getting a really lovely level of doneness on pan cooked chicken, so I do this instead. If you make sure to use a slow cooker liner, the clean up is lightening fast.
The rest is just pulling together your favorite Caesar dressing, some pitas, Parmesan flakes, and bagged romaine. The below is our messy pita assembly zone (yes, that’s a taxidermied squirrel angel on the lazy Susan. What of it?).
Round out the meal by serving it with some kind of french fry & ketchup – we went the waffle cut route.
We created this space in 2013 as a home for recipes, reviews, and entertaining tips for those on the nerdier end of the spectrum. We're on vacation at the moment, but there are usually new posts every Thursday. Sometimes more, if you're lucky.
With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff. Oh! And Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! Clearly nerdiness runs in this family.
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