I love Sunday mornings and looking out the window to see The NY Times waiting for me on my driveway. I know, I could read it on my iPad or phone, but I love the tangible feel of flipping through the actual paper….just like I’ve gone back to reading actual books, as opposed to my iPad or phone.
Anyway, in The NY Times magazine this past weekend there was a recipe for French Onion Panade (pronounced pah-naad) by Samin Nosrat that looked amazing. I love French Onion Soup and this looked like a French Onion bread pudding with some broth thrown in. I decided to make it for the girls who were coming for mahjongg this past Wednesday night….and Taylor & Dan were here picking up Rowan. There were only 6 of us, so I halved this recipe. Next time I might use beef broth, which is how you make a traditional French onion soup, just to compare…but this one was even better than I imagined. It’s a bit time consuming, but worth it!
Here you go..
1 large, stale loaf crusty sourdough bread (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/3-inch slices
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds (about 5 large) yellow onions, thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
¼ cup white wine or dry vermouth
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 325.
Toast bread on baking sheets, flipping slices as they get lightly golden color and dried out. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 425.
Carmelize the onions. Set a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Once the onions cook down a bit and release some liquid, remove lid and increase heat to medium high. Continue cooking and stirring regularly until onions are tender and dark golden brown, about 45 minutes total. Turn off heat, add vinegar and wine and stir to deglaze. Taste, and adjust salt and vinegar as needed — the onions should be sweet, savory and pleasantly tangy. Spoon onions into a heatproof bowl, and set aside.
Return pot to stove. Add stock and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Taste, and adjust salt as needed — it should taste like good chicken soup.
Place both cheeses in a medium bowl, and mix to combine.
Butter the inside of a deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Line the bottom with a layer of toasted bread, breaking up pieces as needed to form a solid layer. Spoon half the onion mixture evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and season with pepper. Continue layering with bread, the remainder of the onions and another 1/3 of the cheese. (The recipe says to “Top off with a final layer of bread” but I finished with the cheese on top.
Ladle 3 cups of stock over the panade, then wait a minute, and allow the bread to absorb liquid….(I just poured the whole thing over) without overflowing. Dot the top layer of bread with remaining butter, then cover with parchment paper and foil. Place baking dish atop baking sheet to catch any overflow, then slide onto the center rack. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and parchment, sprinkle with remaining cheese (I had already put the cheese on top, so I just removed parchment & foil) and return to oven for 15 minutes more. Bake until golden brown.
Remove panade from oven, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cover, and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat to serve
C’mon, how amazing does that look?! It was delish! I served it with a simple Caesar salad.
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!
ps…someone asked me if I ever got glasses at Fabulous Fanny’s after this post…oops, forgot this pic