Filled my backpack with onions and… french bread

I woke up to sunshine in my eyes, shining through the trees in my back yard. It’s been this way the last few mornings. Absolutely beautiful the way the light dances along the walls and over my perfumes. Another nice day.

However I’ve been feeling “blah” lately. Can I use that, non-word? It really is the best word to describe how I feel. I think it’s because I’ve not been out in that sunshine… so this morning I threw my backpack on and pulled out my bike. It was crisp and the air smelled wonderful. There is definitely a different vibe out there now than there was just a few months ago. School kids here school kids there. There’s a kid, there’s another ok you get it. Even the sun looks different than it did before. I appreciated the change.

On my way back through my neighbourhood I stopped at the local market and filled up my backpack with a bunch of….. onions and a loaf of french bread…. Thankfully the bread fit in my bag so I didn’t have to finish my bike ride with a loaf of bread sticking out the top…. Time to fire up the slow cooker.

Upon purchasing my new slow cooker a few weeks ago, I’ve been filling up my book with new recipes to try. A basic, and one in which I’ve only ever tried twice in my life, caught my eye. French Onion Soup.

Now I’m excited to get this going. I’ve recently had two addictions…. onions and red pepper flakes. I’ve been going through onions like a crazy person gone mad. Luckily I wear contact lenses and thus…. no burning or teary eyes! Yes the rumor is true. Also, red pepper flakes…. why can’t they go in every meal? Give me one good reason why they can’t.  Mmmmmm spicy.

FRENCH ONION IN THE SLOW COOKER

Ingredients

3 Cans beef broth (I prefer Swanson)

3 T butter

2 yellow onions

¾ T sugar

1/3 C cooking sherry

1 t salt

Slices of crusty bread (I used french)

Gruyere Cheese (I had swiss in the fridge)

Directions

Turn slow cooker on to high

Add butter

Slice onions into rings and separate the rings from each other with your hands

When butter is melted add in the onion rings

Toss to coat onions evenly in the butter

Add beef broth, sugar, sherry, and salt

Cook on high for about 7-8 hours or low for about 10

It’s done when the onions are translucent and softened.

To Serve

Set your oven to broil

Toast a slice of bread for each person.

Cut the cheese into slices (My swiss was presliced)

Spoon soup into individual oven safe bowls

Cheese goes on the toasted bread

Float each piece of cheese toast in each bowl.   And hope they fit…

Place bowls of soup and cheese toast on a cookie sheet or baking pan for ease and safety

Put em in the oven under the broiler.

Broil for a few minutes until cheese is melty and slightly golden

Serves 4-6

While I had the butter melting in the slow cooker to start the soup, I started in on the next dish.  So incredibly glad I started this one early as I had no idea, nor did I even begin to think about just how long it would take!  OMG.  I made Beef Pot Stickers to go with Soup.  The filling itself is easy to make…. But it took a very long time to assemble each one.

I love gyoza and always order it when we have sushi..  It becomes the usual with our sushi order.  If you don’t know what gyoza are, well they are basically pork dumplings but I guess they can be made various ways.  They are fried on one side and slightly steamed I believe.  Yum Yum Yum  in my Tum Tum.  These are similar, and although I have not yet fried them up for dinner…. I can’t imagine them not being tasty

BEEF POT STICKERS

Ingredients

2 lbs extra lean ground beef

1 egg white

½ a carrot, finely diced

4 green onions, finely chopped

½ yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red pepper, finely chopped

3T oyster sauce

3T soy sauce

72 wonton wrappers

1 egg yolk, beaten

Directions

In a food processor, combine the beef and egg white and grind to a paste.

Mix in the carrot, green onion, yellow onion, garlic, red pepper and the oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Lay 4 wonton wrappers out on a clean, dry surface, then place 1 Tablespoon beef mixture into the center of each wrapper. Wet all four sides with a pastry brush or your finger, then fold the bottom right-hand corner up the top left-hand corner and seal the edges, being careful to remove all air pockets. Transfer potsticker to a wax paper-lined baking sheet and press down gently to create a flat bottom.

Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Annoying!!!

To freeze: Place baking sheet into the freezer until potstickers are frozen solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. When ready to eat, cook the same way as fresh.

To cook: Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a medium-sized skillet. Place potstickers, being careful not to crowd, into the skillet, getting oil on the bottom of each potsticker. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, then add enough water to come 1/3 of the way up the potstickers. Place a lid on top and let the potstickers steam for 2-3 minutes.

When there is just a couple Tablespoons water left in the skillet, remove the lid and allow the water to cook out and the potsticker bottoms to crisp back up. Use a spatula to gently unstick the wrappers from the skillet and serve with Au Jus dipping sauce (heat ingredients in a small saucepan or in the microwave.)

Serve as is or with chili-sauce-spiked soy sauce.

I don’t know how many wonton wrappers I originally had… I didn’t count and I ran out.  So I had to run out to the store.  The new ones seemed to work out quite a bit faster.  Don’t ask me why, but a trip to the grocery store when I had already been cooking for an hour was annoying!

Well I’m about to pull it altogether and serve Hubby his dinner.  Hopefully it all goes as planned. Wish me luck!

I’ll touch back later and add in some pics!

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