(Doesn't the Sound of Music make everything better?)
Well today begins the final section of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge! A brief recap: the rally began on September 10th with over 120 vintage vehicles (bearing both a driver and navigator) setting out from Peking, China with plans to cover more than 14,630 km/8,923 miles in 37 days. While the rally participants were faced with many challenges along the way - mechanical, environmental & social - nearly everyone arrived this morning in France! Due to a last minute rally in Paris protesting a recent change in legislation, the route through the City of Light was revised late last night and released to the participants for tomorrow's final drive! Today's journey, from Aix les Bains to Troyes (both in France) covered 430km/267 miles from the foot of the Alps, northwest through the beautiful countryside and into central France.
French Onion Soup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 large yellow onions, sliced
5 cups gluten free beef stock
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound Emmenthaler or Gruyere cheese, shredded
4-6 slices gluten free french bread (1/2" thick and toasted golden brown)
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions; salt to taste. Stir to coat well with the butter, cover and cook stirring occasionally, until very tender about 20-30 minutes. Remove the cover, raise the heat slightly and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions turn a deep caramel brown, about 1 hour. Add the stock and bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat a broiler. Discard bay leaves. Season the soup to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ladle soup into heavy soup bowls placed on baking sheet. Sprinkle a little cheese into each bowl, then place the toasted bread slices on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
The secret to wonderful onion soup is to cook the onions slowly so they caramelize. You can add sliced leeks or shallots with the onion for a more complex taste.
Like this recipe? Also try our French Onion & Garlic Soup
6 carrots, peeled and grated
2 shallots, minced
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
In a medium bowl, combine the carrots and shallots. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the sugar and cumin. Sprinkle the cumin mixture over the carrots and toss to blend. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and toss gently. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature. Just before serving garnish with Italian parsley.
Coq au Vin
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
7 ounces gf bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
3 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup brandy
8 cups dry red wine
Bouquet garni: 1 parsley sprig, 1 thyme sprig, 1 bay leaf tied with butcher string or cheese cloth
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tabllespoons gluten free flour
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Salt and pepper chicken pieces and add to skillet. Brown chicken on all sides. Transfer chicken to a large casserole with a lid or a dutch oven. In the same skillet, fry the bacon pieces until the fat is rendered. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the chicken. Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the chicken mixture. Add the mushrooms to the skillet; season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms, without their liquid to a plate; set aside. Add the tomato paste and brandy to the pan with the chicken mixture; stir and ignite with a match. When the flames subside, add the wine. Add the bouquet garni, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and reduce by half. In a small bowl, mix softened butter and flour into a paste and add to the sauce. Cook until smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper and add chicken and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat through.