Fond of French Onion Soup

French onion soup (or soupe à l’oignon gratinée, if you’re French) is a classic example of winter comfort food. One plunge of a spoon through the melted cheesy crust to the richly flavorful broth below and you’ll be hooked.

French Onion SoupLegend has it that King Louis (either the 14th or 15th, take your pick) invented this dish after returning to his hunting lodge one night to find nothing in the pantry but onions, butter, and champagne. In reality it was probably created back in Roman times by a much more humble cook facing a similar predicament. This, like all truly great cooking, is a peasant dish born from necessity.

I love this recipe because at its core it’s about extracting as much complex flavor as possible from one ordinary ingredient, and that’s the ethos of Building Flavor!  Now bear with me as I geek out a bit – after a small science lesson you’ll know why each step matters, which means you can cook this without being chained to the recipe. [Read more…]

Beef Negimaki

When it comes to game day party food, the first thing that comes to most Americans’ minds is chicken wings.  Now there are a lot of delicious recipes for wings, but I’ve never really been a fan.  Call me lazy, but when it comes to grazing, I just don’t like having to work through something with a high bone-to-meat ratio.  So, when creating bites for a meaty snack platter, I take my inspiration from sushi.

Beef negimaki (negi=scallion, maki=roll) is that sushi restaurant staple for the carnivores.  The beef and the soy sauce are both rich in glutamates that lend that delicious umami flavor and the sugar in the mirin pulls it together into a glaze.

Beef Negimaki

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