Menu 13: French Onion Soup and Spinach, Pear and Endive Salad

We have come to the end of December.  Can you believe we have already completed a total of 29 dishes with 13 menus?  Wow, time sure flies!  I know that some has had their hands full and have not participated much this past two months – which is totally ok, life does happen and we work around that.

Having said that here is the last menu of 2010:

  • French Onion Soup - page 112
  • Spinach, Pear and Endive Salad - page 129

I think Raymond wanted us to relax this week, so these two options are pretty simple.  And I totally love the choices. I for one love French Onion Soup, which is my all time favorite soup and if you have never paired endive with pears, you are in for a treat.

There is not much I can say about Onion Soup.  Except to really go all out and use the best french bread and cheese to top this.  The recipe calls for Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese and both are great melting cheese – you can also try Fontina or even the Parmesan cheese will do well.  And if you don’t have brandy, you can use apple cider (unfiltered).  A splash of Cognac is good too.  Other tips? You can blend in a blender and served it as smooth soup.  Use vegetable stock instead of beef; to make this a vegetarian dish and if you want to lighten the whole thing up? Use chicken stock and white wine which makes a lighter-colored broth.

And the Endive salad?  Well, some of you may not like the bitter taste of the endive, but paired with the sweet pears and dressing, which has honey, will balance it out.  If you just cannot do endive, try going with the Frisee.  Or be bold and use a mixture of different salad greens.

If you are craving a dessert, you could choose any of the ones we had thus far, but you had not had a chance to make.  I’m giving the Vanilla Custards a try, since I missed them before.

How about you…Ready for the New Year?

Set, go and be Gutsy!