April 6, 2012

Onion Soup

After making Julia Child's onion soup I decided that it was time to make my own version. I wasn't sure what to expect out of my first "experimental" batch, but somehow it came out amazing. I hope you enjoy my soup as much as I do.

Makes 8-10 Servings (1 cup per serving)
5 - Sweet onions (large)
1 Tbsp - Unsalted butter
2 Tbsp - Light Olive oil
2 1/2 tsp - Thyme
1 tsp - Bakers sugar
4 Tbsp - Sherry vinegar
4 Tbsp - Brandy
1 1/2 cup - Dry White wine
8 cups - Organic Beef broth (reduced sodium)
2 Tbsp - Flour (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
8 Slices of French Bread (baguette)
1 cup - Mozzarella cheese

1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large pot.  Add the sliced onions and stir to ensure all onions are coated in the butter olive oil mixture.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions start to become soft.
2. Stir in the thyme.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are soft and golden yellow. Add sugar and 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar, this will help caramelize your onions. DO NOT cook your onions too fast otherwise they will burn and taste bitter.
3. Once your onions are caramel color add the flour, stir well, cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn your heat up to medium-high and add the broth, wine, 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar, and brandy to the pot of onions. Add salt and pepper if needed. Bring your soup up to a boil then cover, reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 hours.
4. Once soup is ready turn your oven on to broil.  Ladle the soup into oven safe bowls, adding one slice of french bread topped with cheese to each bowl.  Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Nutrition Information:
PER SERVING: 261 calories, 10g fat, 625mg sodium, 26g carbs, 10g protein

Lighter Version (without bread and cheese)
PER SERVING: 166 calories, 7g fat, 416mg sodium, 17g carbs, 5g protein

April 1, 2012

Smoked Pork Shoulder

Prep Time: 24 hours
Cooking Time: 1.5 hours per pound (est. 6 hours 45 minutes - 7 hours 30 minutes)

5 lb Pork Shoulder
Hickory Smoker Chips

Dry Rub
¼ cup - Ground black pepper
¼ cup - Paprika
¼ cup - Sugar
2 Tbsp. - Salt
1 Tbsp. - Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. - Onion Powder
1 Tbsp. - Dry Mustard
1 tsp. - Cayenne
2 Tbsp. - Brown Sugar

Wet Rub
Remaining dry rub
2 cups - Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. - Worcestershire sauce
1 cup - Water

1.      To do the night before you plan to smoke your shoulder: 1) combine the rub ingredients into a bowl. 2)  Massage ¼ to ½ of the rub onto the pork shoulder. 3) Place your shoulder into a zip lock bag and place in the refrigerator overnight.
2.      The next day pull your pork shoulder from the refrigerator an hour prior to smoking it.  Add another layer of rub onto the pork shoulder and let it sit room temperature.
3.      Prepare the smoker bringing the temperature to 200 to 220 degrees. Remember to add your smoke chips based on your smokers instructions.
4.      In a small pan over a low heat add your wet rub ingredients. Mix well. 
5.      Add your shoulder to your smoker and cook it for about 1 ½ hours per pound, or until it’s falling apart. 
6.      Baste your pork with your wet rub every hour.
7.      Remove the pork shoulder when done and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Shred or chop the meat to your liking.

**Serve with your favorite bread and bbq sauce to make an amazing pulled pork sandwich.**