French onion soup – come for dinner and dress FRENCH…

When Roxy’s invite say “come for dinner and dress French”, that is what we do. Inspired by a recent trip to France and Italy, Roxy wowed us with two elegant dinner parties, Dress French and Dress Italian…

This French onion soup recipe was the starter at the “Dress French” evening.

The “french maid” greeting her guests…

For the French Onion Soup you will need:

60g butter
1 kg onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons castor sugar
300ml dry white wine
1.5 lit brown beef stock
bouquet garne (bay leaves, thyme and parsley stalks)
4 x 2.5cm thick slices of french loaf
225g grated gruyere cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper….
(serves 5)

The French inspired menu…

To make the soup:
Heat the butter in a large heavy bottom pan. Add the onions, garlic and sugar. Simmer over a LOW heat for 30 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until the onions are caramelized. This is a very important part to the ultimate flavour of this soup…..

A French inspired table…

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, add the beef stock and bouquet garni, cover and simmer for another 30 – 40 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and toast the bread on a baking tray till dried out but not browned.

Up to here can be prepared in the morning before your dinner party…

A French table….

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Place 1 slice of dried french loaf in the bottom of each ovenproof soup bowl, and ladle the soup onto the bread. Cover the soup thickly with the grated gruyere, place the bowls on an oven tray and bake for 30 minutes till golden and bubbly, don’t let the cheese burn… (the dried slice of french soup will float to the top of the soup and will be covered with the yummy melted gruyere.)

This flavour full rich winter soup should be served piping hot as it comes out of the oven……

Golden and bubbly French onion soup…

Roxy darling, thanks soooo much for a lovely evening, i will keep you company in your kitchen at any time…. thanks for sharing this lovely recipe with me and for “introducing me” to French Onion soup, i love it…

Bronze by Louis Chanu…. just beautifull….

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Melon, Parma Ham and sweet balsamic sauce

Summer Picknicks at the dam, or snazzy party snacks….. these parma ham and melon parcels just works, time after time, such a pity the melon is seasonal, but papaya works as well as long as it is sweet and firm…

You will need:
One Melon, cut into small size slices
Thinly sliced parma ham, enough to have wrap around the melon
125ml white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup chopped mint

Make the sauce in advance by cooking the balsamic vinegar and castor sugar for about 10 minutes, until it’s thickened.
Let the sauce cool and place in a jar or container, ready to travel to your picknick destination. The sauce needs to cool down.

Cut the melon and wrap the parma ham around it, keep in fridge until needed, even better if you cut the melon in advance and wrap the parma ham while plating at your destination.

At the picknick spot, whip out your white platter, i always take my white platter with me, visual visual visual…. wrap the parma ham around the melon, sprinkle mint over and drizzle with sauce.

The sauce is a real winner, you won’t be able to keep your fingers off the platter….

Picknick at the dam…