My dear friend Carolyn asked for more detail on Adam's French Onion Soup that we all enjoyed last week. I'm glad I asked him, becuase I clearly had several cooking points completely awry! So, here's the "skinny," as they say:
The recipe called for 4 lbs of onions. Adam used 3 lbs.
Slice them roughly and place in a heavy covered pot. We use our cast iron chicken fryer. Honestly, I think I use cast iron for almost everything I cook, and I use that chicken fryer ALL THE TIME. Thanks, Mother, for a very useful wedding present (20 years later!).
Cook onions for 1 hr. in a 400 degree oven. Remove and stir well.
Cook another hour. Then remove and put on the stovetop. Cook over medium heat, to remove moisture and build up fond. When all moisture is gone, add 1/4 cup water and cook till dry, stirring. When the moisture is gone again, add 1/4 cup water again, and cook till dry, stirring. Then, when the onions (greatly reduced) are dry, this time add 1/2 cup wine, and cook till dry. (This gets rid of the raw wine taste that is unpleasant.) You should have built up a beautiful, dark fond on the bottom of the pan by this time. This is your deep flavor. Be sure not to burn these onions as you cook them down each time.
Add 3 cups of beef broth and heat through.
You know the rest. Place some soup in an oven-proof single-serving dish. Put one or two thick slices of crusty bread on top. Adam actually toasts his baguette slices in the oven ahead of time, to ensure they are dry and rather hard. Grate mozzarella cheese on top generously -- or if you have a favorite white cheese, try that. We like mozzarella.
Bon appetit!! (As Julia would say)