Melted Onion Panade - delicious!

And to friends in Padstow may I say Oss Oss!  I’m sad I can’t make it there this year.

To business ...

The other day I cooked and ate a strange and marvellous thing; a panade which is generally deemed to be part of the soup family but also, I think, is related to the bread and butter pudding clan, a bit strata-ish if you are an American. 

Melted Onion Panade – for 4

Please use good (leftover) bread for this; I like sourdough,  because it goes well with the onions (and I make my own sourdough) but any good rustic substantial sort of bread will do.

caramelised onion strata
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3 large onions
3 tbsp olive oil
350g good bread – thickly sliced
About 500ml good beef stock (or other if you prefer) – hot
200g grated cheese

~   Melt the onions in the olive oil and when utterly tender turn up the heat and stir till starting to caramelise.
~   Preheat the oven to 350°F/180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Lay the sliced bread on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for a few minutes till dried out but not taking any colour.
~   Butter a shallow ovenproof dish and lay a third of the bread slices in it. Break them if necessary to fit in neatly.
~   Spread with half the onions and sprinkle with a third of the cheese.
~   Repeat these layers, using up all the onions.
~   Top with the final third of bread and sprinkle with the last of the cheese.
~   Pour over the stock, adding just enough to lift the top layer of bread so it starts to float. Do this gently so the cheese stays in place!
~   Cover the dish with a sheet of foil and bake for 45 minutes then remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes or so till the cheese is golden and delicious looking.

The result was a thick, warm, comforting (and cheap) sort of French Onion Porridge (OK, I admit it, I did add a tad of brandy to the stock).  Really delicious and I won’t be at all surprised if I make it again quite soon.  I wish I'd tried this before and put it in Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers although that does already contain at least 18 great ways to use up leftover bread.

Speaking of which, obviously this dish lends itself to the addition of any leftovers you have that need using up; wilted chard is traditional and kale fashionable but leftover cooked vegetables, meats, beans etc. will all work well.

In Other News ...

easy no-churn ice cream recipe book
Great review for Luscious Ice Cream without a Machine – it’s as if she knows me

I love ice cream but am allergic to an ingredient added to most commercial brands (propylene glycol). I have tried machines but they never worked well and most recipes required cooking first. So I was overjoyed to find this book! These are recipes anyone could do at home. I also loved the entertaining style the author writes with. She made it fun to just read the recipes. I could imagine her standing in the kitchen, sneaking sips of brandy and pieces of chocolate while whipping up ice cream. That is truly a difficult task with cookbooks, so kudos for a great concept, recipe, and writing style.”

And here is an entirely onion-appropriate photo I took on a recent trip to France, I've been waiting for a chance to post it!

onions, bike, France!

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1 comment:

Sue said...

I really like the sound of this and it's so easy to make a smaller portion just for one with little bits of leftovers ... right up my street.

What a nice review too!

Love the onion and bike picture - truly French :-)