Our first dish, Roasted Onion Trilogy Soup Lyonnaise, was a twist on the classic French Onion soup. The ingredients consisted of three different types of onion (red, white, brown) plus leeks and garlic and, of course, a large portion of red wine. The soup is rumoured to be a hangover cure for the denizens of Lyon.
- sliced onions, leeks and garlic were roasted in a roasting pan along with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper
- once the onions were soft, a cup or two of red wine was added, and then it was all roasted some more
- everything was transferred to a large pot, and beef broth and water added.
- the soup was simmered for awhile and the seasoning adjusted
- once it was ready, the soup was poured into oven-proof soup bowls, two slices of French baguette were placed on top, and then covered with grated Gruyere cheese.
- the bowls were then placed under a broiler until the cheese melted, and served with a sprinkling of parsley on top.
- the sweetness of the roasted onion soup, combined with tartness of the red wine that Chef Eric had paired with it were fabulous. So fabulous that I ended up knocking back all my wine and didn’t have any leftover for the second dish, also paired with this remarkable wine: 2011 Cotes du Rhone Heritages Ogier.
- This wine won the Médaille D’Or (Gold Medal) in 2012. As they only give out one Médaille D’Or for a Red, one for a White and one for a Rosé, this wine was given an extraordinary honour. And for only $18 it is a real steal. At this point it is a bit young, but give it a few more years in the cellar and serve it with French Onion Soup and you’re in for a treat. I ran out and bought two bottles; now the challenge will be keeping them for two or three years!
Chef Eric has a recipe for a different, although I am sure equally delicious, French Onion Soup at: http://www.911cheferic.com/component/yoorecipe/recipe/759-french-onion-soup
Now we go on to the 2nd course in our menu of the Rhone Valley, which could have been an entire meal all on it’s own: French Potato Salad, Saucisson Chaud Lyonnaise (Sausage in Pastry) and Cranberry Spinach Salad…
- The potatoes, onion, sausage, bouquet garni (in the silver container), white wine, salt and peppercorns were simmered for 30 minutes.
- The potatoes were drained, peeled and sliced. A tarragon & shallot vinagrette was prepared as a dressing, and drizzled on the potatoes.
- Once the sausage had cooled, it was rolled in puff pastry and baked. An English member of the class called them ‘piggies in a blanket’. These are the French version of sausage rolls and oh, so tasty!
- All the ingredients for the spinach and cranberry salad were set up ‘mise en place‘.
- The salad was tossed at the last minute.
- French Potato Salad, Saucisson Chaud Lyonnaise (Sausage in Pastry) and Cranberry Spinach Salad.
I would definitely have both these dishes again – each one as a full meal! But in this class they were both just the preamble for the main course…
Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/