The 4 Basque-Pyrenees Pantry Essentials in My Kitchen

Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.

As a longtime home cook,…

Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.

As a longtime home cook, former grocery buyer for a specialty food shop, and now recipe developer, my pantry remains much more well-traveled than I am—from Malaysian sambal and shrimp paste to Pragati turmeric from Andhra Pradesh, to Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and Basque peppers. The euphoria I was filled with at the first thought of sharing my pantry was quickly replaced by stomach-dropping dread—what region or country was I actually qualified to write about?

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Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe

Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe
This Crème Brûlée recipe is easy to make and results in silky-smooth vanilla bean custard covered with a layer of caramelized sugar. A classic recipe perfect for special occasions!
READ: Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe

Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe

This Crème Brûlée recipe is easy to make and results in silky-smooth vanilla bean custard covered with a layer of caramelized sugar. A classic recipe perfect for special occasions!

READ: Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe

6 Macaron Recipes for the Perfect Parisian Treat

Macarons, the incredibly beautiful Parisian cookie, are perhaps equally known for their impossibly smooth surface, delicate raised “foot,” and irresistibly chewy texture. As a baker, I see macarons as a bit of a rite of passage. Learning to execute the…

Macarons, the incredibly beautiful Parisian cookie, are perhaps equally known for their impossibly smooth surface, delicate raised “foot,” and irresistibly chewy texture. As a baker, I see macarons as a bit of a rite of passage. Learning to execute these fluttery friends is a great test of a variety of baking skills: whipping a meringue, piping the perfect round, and getting the bake just right. But I also see them as an incredible opportunity to get creative. At their core, macarons are a simple cookie with a fairly short ingredient list: just almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. And since they are made with almond flour, they are naturally gluten-free. Best of all, the short ingredient list means that the cookie itself is neutral in flavor—meaning you can easily add a variety of different fillings and finishes to take your macarons to the next level.

In my newest episode of Bake it Up A Notch, I try to show off some of the many incredible things this cookie can do. While lots of macaron recipes play with adding different colors and filings, I want to encourage home bakers to also experiment with an array of sizes, presentations, and finishes, too! From the classic mini sandwich cookies to giant macarons decorated with royal icing, to a towering, sliceable layer “cake,” there’s a whole lot of ways to embark on your own macaron adventure. Here are the recipes to get you started.

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Homemade Eclairs

Homemade Eclairs
Learn how to make easy homemade eclairs topped with a chocolate glaze. These eclairs come together for a delicious pastry everyone will love.
READ: Homemade Eclairs

A cooling rack with chocolate dipped eclairs and one on top missing a bite to show the pastry cream inside.

Homemade Eclairs

Learn how to make easy homemade eclairs topped with a chocolate glaze. These eclairs come together for a delicious pastry everyone will love.

READ: Homemade Eclairs

Basic Pâte à Choux Recipe

Basic Pâte à Choux Recipe
I’m sharing all my tips for making light as air pâte à choux. This delicate pastry makes airy pastry perfect for filling with sweet and savory stuffings. Learn everything you need to know about choux pastry from how to m…

Basic Pâte à Choux Recipe

I’m sharing all my tips for making light as air pâte à choux. This delicate pastry makes airy pastry perfect for filling with sweet and savory stuffings. Learn everything you need to know about choux pastry from how to make, pipe, store, and fix some of the most common issues.   The Background If you […]

READ: Basic Pâte à Choux Recipe

Classic Omelette

Here’s how to make an omelette! This French technique makes an omelette recipe just the way Julia Child would…and it cooks up in seconds. Here’s a classic egg technique every home cook should master: how to make an omelette! This here is one of the first things Alex and I learned to cook from Julia Child. We started watching her in black and white when we first learned to cook. Julia was the perfect teacher for two new cooks, encouraging us that anyone could cook an omelette if we had the “courage of our convictions.” And this recipe? It makes for the most delicious omelette you’ve ever had: classic French style, with a golden exterior, soft interior, and loads of savory flavor. Here’s our adaptation of Julia’s classic technique, and it really does make the best omelette recipe imaginable. Omelette ingredients & equipment Before you start, you’ll need a few specific ingredients and equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to make the best classic omelette: 8- or 10-inch non-stick skillet: Non-stick is easiest for sliding out the eggs. These pan sizes make just the right size: don’t try any larger. (The best spatula for non-stick? Use a nylon spatula.) Eggs: The recipe […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make an omelette! This French technique makes an omelette recipe just the way Julia Child would…and it cooks up in seconds.

Omelette

Here’s a classic egg technique every home cook should master: how to make an omelette! This here is one of the first things Alex and I learned to cook from Julia Child. We started watching her in black and white when we first learned to cook. Julia was the perfect teacher for two new cooks, encouraging us that anyone could cook an omelette if we had the “courage of our convictions.” And this recipe? It makes for the most delicious omelette you’ve ever had: classic French style, with a golden exterior, soft interior, and loads of savory flavor. Here’s our adaptation of Julia’s classic technique, and it really does make the best omelette recipe imaginable.

Omelette ingredients & equipment

Before you start, you’ll need a few specific ingredients and equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to make the best classic omelette:

  • 8- or 10-inch non-stick skillet: Non-stick is easiest for sliding out the eggs. These pan sizes make just the right size: don’t try any larger. (The best spatula for non-stick? Use a nylon spatula.)
  • Eggs: The recipe below is for one serving. It cooks in just 30 seconds, so you can make them to order.
  • Water: Water helps to give a lighter and more tender texture to the eggs.
  • Butter: We prefer cooking eggs in butter: it adds a nutty, savory flavor and turns it a lovely golden brown color.
  • Shredded cheese (optional): Cheese adds even more flavor: we like it with a mix of cheddar and Parmesan for the best nuance in flavor.
  • Other filling ingredients: There are lots more filling ideas! See below.
Omelette recipe

How to make an omelette: basic concept!

Let’s talk about the basic concept for how to make an omelette before you scroll down to the recipe below. Here are a few things to note:

  • The omelette cooks in 30 seconds! This recipe is so quick to cook, so you’ll want to make sure to do one thing first.
  • Read the ENTIRE recipe before starting. We admit: sometimes we get impatient and start cooking a recipe before reading the entire thing. With this technique, it’s very, very important to read the instructions first!
  • The basic concept is as follows: You’ll melt butter over medium high heat. Add the eggs and cook just until a skin forms, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the fillings, then start to shake the pan to roll the eggs up and over the cheese. Cook another 10 to 15 seconds where the outside is pale golden and the interior is soft and creamy. Roll it out onto a plate and you’re done!

Maybe this is a little different from what you’re used to? Let’s talk about the two main types of omelettes…

French omelette vs American omelette

There are two main styles of omelette: French and American. We prefer French, because the eggs are a little softer and more flavorful. What are the differences?

  • French omelette: A French omelette is pale yellow on the outside, with a slightly runny center. The eggs are cooked a shorter amount of time by shaking the pan, and then the omelette is rolled up into a cylinder.
  • American omelette: An American omelette is golden brown and a little crispy on the outside, and the eggs are cooked longer than the French style. It’s served folded in half over the toppings that are on the inside.

Can you turn this French omelette recipe into an American one? Yes! Pour the eggs into the pan and let them for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes without touching them. Then turn the heat to low, add cheese, and fold it in half over itself. The top should be golden brown.

How to make an omelette

Omelette filling ideas

This basic omelette recipe is pure perfection, in our minds. Take a bite and it’s instantly savory, with a creamy interior and the perfect salty zing of cheese. Really, we couldn’t stop eating it when we made this one. We promise: it will absolutely wow anyone you make it for! Want to step it up even more? There are so many different types of omelette fillings. Just make sure to cook the ingredients in advance. Here are some ideas to play with:

Make it a meal

The best part about an omelette? As Julia Child would say: you can serve it for any meal! That’s right: the omelette recipe works for breakfast, brunch, an elegant lunch, or a simple dinner. In fact, there’s a whole Julia Child episode about making them for a dinner party with different toppings for everyone! To round out the meal, here are some ideas for side dishes:

What else would you serve with it? Let us know your recipe ideas!

Omelette

More ways to cook eggs

Want to cook eggs all the ways? Here are a few more basic methods for how to cook eggs:

This omelette recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Omelette

Classic Omelette


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make an omelette! This French technique makes an omelette recipe just the way Julia Child would…and it cooks up in seconds.


Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 grinds fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese, ideally 2 tablespoons each shredded cheddar and Parmesan
  • Additional filling ingredients, if desired (see above)

Instructions

  1. *Read all instructions before you start! Whisk the eggs: In a small bowl, crack the eggs. With a fork, whisk vigorously together with the kosher salt, pepper and water.
  2. Melt the butter: Heat a small 8-inch or 10-inch nonstick skillet over just below high heat, with the pan handle facing towards you. Add the butter and swirl the pan to fully coat. Wait until the butter starts to become foamy with large bubbles but not yet browned, then pour in eggs.
  3. Cook the omelette (0 to 15 seconds): When a skin just starts to form after 10 to 15 seconds, add the cheese (and other filling ingredients) in a line from left to right. Working quickly, run a small spatula under the far edge of the omelette to release it from the pan. Start to pull the eggs up and shake and tilt the pan to spread out any uncooked egg and allow it to cook. Using the spatula, roll the eggs up and over the cheese; this will be intentionally messy!
  4. Cook the omelette (15 to 30 seconds): Cook another 10 to 15 seconds until just barely set; the outside should be a pale golden and the inside soft and creamy. For a harder cooked omelette, cook several seconds longer. Turn off the heat.
  5. Flip the omelette onto a plate: To remove the omelette, hold a plate in one hand. Then pick up the pan with your right hand, thumb up, and quickly turn the pan upside down over the plate so that the omelette rolls off onto the middle of the plate, folding over itself into a rolled shape. Serve immediately.

Notes

*The cooking process goes fast, so make sure to read everything before you start. 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Omelette, how to cook an omelette, omelette recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

How to Master Pâte à Choux (For Éclairs, Gougeres & Cute Little Cream Puffs)

This original article was written to detail the process of specifically making crullers, a fried pâte à choux based pastry. For the February episode of Bake it Up a Notch, we took a deep dive into all things pâte à choux, and …

This original article was written to detail the process of specifically making crullers, a fried pâte à choux based pastry. For the February episode of Bake it Up a Notch, we took a deep dive into all things pâte à choux, and I wanted to update the article to discuss the broader scope of this process—one of my favorite pastry building blocks and baking standbys.

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Vegetarian French Onion Soup

This vegetarian French onion soup is the ultimate comfort food! It’s got the rich flavor of the classic, topped with a golden crust of cheese. There’s just something about silky caramelized onions topped golden, crusty cheese that takes your breath away every time. This is classic French cooking at its finest. It’s not just the flavor. It’s the promise that while the outside world is cold and brutal, every spoonful of French onion soup is pure bliss. This vegetarian French onion soup is our spin on the classic: it’s so full of rich, nuanced flavor you won’t miss the traditional beef broth. It’s a bit of a project: but it’s worth every moment of the prep. Promise! How to make French onion soup: an overview French onion soup has a long history; onion soups go back as far as the Roman times. But the modern version of French onion soup comes from Paris in the 1700’s. It was introduced in the US in the 1860’s in a New York restaurant, and it’s been popular ever since. You’ll need about 1 1/2 hours to make this vegetarian French onion soup. But it is 100% worth the effort, and you can make […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegetarian French onion soup is the ultimate comfort food! It’s got the rich flavor of the classic, topped with a golden crust of cheese.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

There’s just something about silky caramelized onions topped golden, crusty cheese that takes your breath away every time. This is classic French cooking at its finest. It’s not just the flavor. It’s the promise that while the outside world is cold and brutal, every spoonful of French onion soup is pure bliss. This vegetarian French onion soup is our spin on the classic: it’s so full of rich, nuanced flavor you won’t miss the traditional beef broth. It’s a bit of a project: but it’s worth every moment of the prep. Promise!

How to make French onion soup: an overview

French onion soup has a long history; onion soups go back as far as the Roman times. But the modern version of French onion soup comes from Paris in the 1700’s. It was introduced in the US in the 1860’s in a New York restaurant, and it’s been popular ever since.

You’ll need about 1 1/2 hours to make this vegetarian French onion soup. But it is 100% worth the effort, and you can make a few components in advance as time savers. Make it on a cozy day when you have time to prep, or do the advanced prep if you’re serving for a dinner party.

Caramelize the onions1 hour
Make the vegetarian broth30 minutes (while cooking onions)
Make the soup20 minutes
Vegetarian French onion soup

The key to vegetarian French onion soup: homemade broth

Here’s one important thing to note. Vegetable broths and stocks vary widely in flavor and quality. Try it in a French onion soup, and most purchased veggie broth comes out sweet: not savory like you’d expect! Trust us, we tested a few times and it did not taste right.

Here’s what you’ll have to do: make a homemade vegetable broth! It might sound like overkill, but it makes for just the right flavor. When Alex and I tried it with this homemade broth, we were amazed by the flavor. Don’t skip this step!

Of course, if you want a classic French onion soup: just use beef broth! You can make the same recipe without that step and of course, it tastes great too.

Caramelizing onions: a few tips

The main time-consuming step for vegetarian French onion soup is caramelizing the onions! Sure, you can saute onions in about 10 minutes. But to get them fully dark brown and caramelized takes about 1 hour. Here are the basic steps, and a graphic that shows the color of the onions each phase!

  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Sauté the onions in butter for 10 minutes on medium high.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low, add salt and saute for 40 to 45 minutes until deep brown and very soft.
How to caramelize onions

Dry sherry brings big flavor (or use white wine)

This vegetarian French onion soup uses dry sherry to bring in complexity and intrigue into the flavor. What is it, and what’s a substitute?

  • Sherry is a fortified wine made in Spain that’s made by adding grape liquor to white wine. The flavor is sharp, with a scent of apple cider and a very dry finish. It’s worth finding for this recipe if you don’t have it already.
  • How long does sherry last? An opened bottle of sherry lasts in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.
  • What’s a substitute for sherry? Don’t’ have it? You can use a dry white wine instead (make sure it’s not a sweet wine).

The crouton topping: broil or bake!

The last component to a great vegetarian French onion soup is the crouton topping! That is: it’s topped bread and cheese, broiled to golden perfection. There are a few techniques to achieve this, but I love the one that Alex devised using both Swiss cheese and grated Parmesan. Here’s what to do:

  • Place the soup into small oven-safe bowls or ramekins. This is key! Make sure you have some small serving bowls: typically this soup is not served in large vessels.
  • Add 1/2 inch slices of bread, then Swiss or Gruyere and grated Parmesan cheese. The two cheese really makes the perfect melting. Remember: grated Parm is the kind that looks like snow (don’t use shredded).
  • Broil for 2 minutes or bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The broiling method here is much easier and quicker: we prefer it! But if you don’t have a broiler, go the oven route.
How to make French onion soup

Make ahead tips for vegetarian French onion soup

Last tip before we get to this (very tasty) recipe: here’s how to speed it up! You can make both of the main components in advance:

  • Caramelize the onions in advance. This makes the prep time take next to nothing! Caramelize the onions, then refrigerate until serving. Bring to warm before you pick up in the soup recipe.
  • Make the homemade broth in advance. Same idea! You can refrigerate until serving, then warm it up and pick right back up in the recipe.

What to serve with French onion soup

Here’s a final important thing to note about French onion soup: it’s not intended as a full meal. It’s generally served as an appetizer to an elegant meal, or as a lunch. How to make it into a light meal? Here’s what to add:

Vegetarian French onion soup recipe

This vegetarian French onion soup is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread.

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Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Vegetarian French Onion Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian French onion soup is the ultimate comfort food! It’s got the rich flavor of the classic, topped with a golden crust of cheese.


Ingredients

For the caramelized onions

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds yellow onions (5 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 tablespoon flour

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (purchased or use this substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese (or shredded)
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 large or 12 small slices bread, sliced about 1/2” thick

Instructions

  1. Caramelize the onions: Thinly slice the onions about 1/8-inch thick. In a soup pot, heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and just starting to brown on the bottom. Reduce to medium-low heat and stir in the kosher salt. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes and adjusting the heat so they continue to cook slowly without burning. The mushrooms will change from raw to golden to light brown to very dark brown, and reduce in volume by about 1/4. (Make ahead tip: Make the caramelized onions in advance and refrigerate until ready to make the soup. Reheat in a pan and go to step 3.)
  2. Meanwhile, make the homemade broth: Slice the mushrooms. Wash and cut the carrot in half length-wise, then into large chunks. Cut the celery into large pieces. Smash and peel the garlic. In a second pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add 8 cups water, kosher salt, and vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. (Make ahead: Make the broth in advance and refrigerate until serving. Then warm before proceeding to Step 3.)
  3. Simmer the soup: When onions are very reduced and dark brown, stir in the sherry and deglaze the pan by scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the flour and stir until the onions are coated. Strain the homemade broth into the onions (discarding the vegetables). Add 1 cup water and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Broil the topping: Place the soup into 6 oven-safe small bowls or ramekins. Preheat a broiler to high or an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Top with bread slices (about 1/2-inch thick), 1 slice Swiss or Gruyere cheese, and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan per bowl. Broil 1 to 3 minutes (or bake for 20 minutes) until the cheese is melted and browned. Place on a plate and serve immediately, taking care since the bowls are very hot. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Vegetarian French onion soup, French onion soup, How to make French onion soup

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Beef Bourguignon

This recipe for classic Beef Bourguignon (or Boeuf Bourguignon) is made by stewing beef with carrots and mushrooms until it’s fall-apart tender. The sauce is rich, hearty, and worth every minute of slow cooking. Serve for Christmas dinner or …

This recipe for classic Beef Bourguignon (or Boeuf Bourguignon) is made by stewing beef with carrots and mushrooms until it's fall-apart tender. The sauce is rich, hearty, and worth every minute of slow cooking. Serve for Christmas dinner or any special winter meal.

Continue reading "Beef Bourguignon" »