Saturday, February 6, 2016

Recipes by Orson Bean: French Onion Soup; Steak with Mushroom-Wine Sauce; Vichyssoise

Orson Bean's French Onion Soup

4 large yellow onions, peeled, cut in thin slices
1/3 cup butter
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar
Two 10 1/2 oz. cans of beef broth (undiluted)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
A few drops Cognac
6 rounds toasted French breed
6 slices Provolone (or Swiss) cheese

1. Cook sliced onion in butter very slowly, stirring often. Add salt and sugar, cook about 15 minutes; remove excess butter. Add broth, season to taste, cook 30 minutes longer (or until onions have turned a deep golden brown.)

2. Just before serving, add cognac; correct seasonings. Spoon into ovenproof soup tureens. Float croutons topped with sliced Provolone (or Swiss) cheese. Run under broiler until cheese puffs and browns. Serve at once. Serves 6.

Orson Bean's Steak with Mushroom-Wine Sauce

8 large cleaned mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Dubonnet (or sweet vermouth)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 oz. filet mignon

1. Trim stem end of mushrooms. Slice stems and caps. Cook in butter very slowly until mushrooms are softened, stirring often.

2. Add Dubonnet (or sweet vermouth). Cook over medium heat while shaking pan. Cook until liquid is absorbed.

3. Rub steak with salt and pepper; broil (or pan fry). Slice meat thinly, across grain. Serve on toasted French bread; top with heated mushroom-wine sauce. Serve with sliced tomatoes and French fried onion rings (or French fried potatoes). Serves one.

Orson Bean's Vichyssoise

5 large potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin
4 leeks, white part only, thinly chopped
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and minced
1/3 cup butter
Two 13 3/4 oz. chicken broth (undiluted)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste (or lemon pepper)
1 1/3 cups milk
3 cups light cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chopped chives

1. Cook potatoes, leeks and onion in butter over low flame until vegetables begin to golden. Add chicken broth and lemon juice, simmer slowly about 1 hour. Put into blender to puree. Add milk and light cream; slowly bring to simmer; remove from fire; put through blender once more.

2. Cool to room temperature. Stir in heavy cream. Taste to correct seasonings. Cover, refrigerate overnight. Serve very cold in chilled bouillon cups garnished with minced chives. Serves 8.

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