The Good Home Cookbook (Collectors Press, Fall 2006) is a landmark cookbook that compiles tried and true American favorite recipes. Key to the book's success is the more than 1,000 people currently participating in the first ever national public recipe testing campaign.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Grilled Onions

This weekend we grilled some shrimp, but what took the stage was this recipe for Grilled Onion Slices. The bouillon and brown sugar went on dry but blended with the juices of the onion to make a sweetened broth that was a nice change from grilling onions directly. We think it's a keeper. Let me know if you agree.

Grilled Onion Slices
Grilled onions are the perfect accompaniment to any grilled meat, but especially grilled steak. And they make a terrific topping for grilled hamburgers. By grilling the onion slices in foil packets, you solve the knotty problem of how to keep the onion slices from falling into the fire.

Serves 6

4 medium sweet onions (Walla Walla, Maui, or Vidalia), sliced 1/3-inch thick
4 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

1. Prepare a hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill.
2. Tear off four 12-inch squares of aluminum foil. On each square, place one sliced onion, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon bouillon granules. Fold in the sides to form a sealed packet.
3. Place on the grill, cover, and grill for 20 to 30 minutes. The foil will puff up.
4. Snip open the packets and serve.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Beef Burgundy and the Tour de France

Just got back from France. A friend and I rented an RV and drove all over the country following the Tour de France. We did a lot of riding on the tour and have great photos of Lance. You get hungry chasing that man, so of course we had to eat! One night I cooked Beef Burgundy in the RV. I didn't have all the ingredients available to me in the classic recipe below, but the beef, onions, mushrooms and wine alone on a hungry and cold night in the Alps was comforting and filling--especially with fresh baguette from the local bakery. Let me know what you think of this recipe from immigrants of our past.

Beef Burgundy
Boeuf à la Bourguignonne is French for a beef stew made “in the style of Burgundy,” meaning the beef is marinated in a red Burgundy wine and usually cooked with onions and mushrooms. The meat can be marinated as briefly as 2 hours, for up to 24 hours. The longer the marinating time, the richer the wine flavor. Beef burgundy should be served with boiled new potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles. A green salad and crusty French bread complete the meal.

Serves 8

3 pounds boneless beef chuck or bottom round, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups red wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 medium onions
2 carrots
4-5 garlic cloves
1 celery rib
7 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beef broth (see page 000)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups small boiling onions
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 cups sliced mushrooms
5 red ripe tomatoes, diced

1. Combine the wine, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, thyme, and bay leaf in a large bowl. Slice one onion, one carrot, one clove of garlic, and the celery. Add to wine mixture. Marinate the beef in this mixture for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
2. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
3. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade and reserve.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a single layer of meat and brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a two-quart baking dish. Repeat until all the meat is browned and transferred to the baking dish.
5. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved marinade to the skillet and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, for 3 minutes. Add to the baking dish.
6. Finely chop the remaining 2 onions, 1 carrot, and 2 garlic cloves.
7. Melt 4 tablespoons of the remaining butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, carrot, and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Blend in the flour and cooking, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining marinade, broth, and tomato paste. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Pour over the meat and cover the baking dish.
8. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
9. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat and add the boiling onions. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the sugar. Sauté until golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes more.
10. Add the sautéed white onions and mushrooms and tomatoes to beef. Continue to bake for 10 more minutes. Serve hot

PS If you're interested in becoming a recipe tester for The Good Home Cookbook send an e-mail to recipetester@collectorspress.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Off to France

I'm off to France for a bit, doing some research as well as some cycling. I'll be sure to say hello to Lance for you all! The book is coming along now, and the feedback from testers is amazing...thank you!