When I think of the most delicious french onion soups I have ever had, it's not mine that I think of believe it or not. The frist to-die-for french onion soup I ever had was my friend Melissa's mom, Terri's. I don't know what she did to that damn soup, but I can still taste it, and I must have been 12 or 13 when I had it. I will never forget it as long as I live. I also think she should make it for me again (HINT HINT). The second best french onion soup which was just a hair less good than Terri's was at the Locust Rendezvous Cafe on Locust in between Broad and 15th. I honestly don't know if it's even still there. If it is, I hope they never changed that recipe. Cause it was DELICIOUS.
There is something ridiculously fantastic about french onion soup. The soaked french bread in the bottom, the delicious onions and melty cheeses. It's like an overload of awesome.
It also inspired me for this recipe. My family loves potatoes whether they are smashed, baked, mashed, boiled, fried or grilled. I get tired of making plain old mashed potatoes, and I always try to pump them up with different flavors. It was a chilly day last November, and I was having the whole crew over for dinner and these just materialized. You won't be sorry you made these. They are so creamy, rich and full of flavor!! You might even lick the damn bowl.
"French Onion Soup" Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
3 pounds red skinned potatoes
1 tsp kosher salt (for potatoes)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 large yellow onions
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt (for onions)
1/4 tsp black pepper (for onions)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 stick of salted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream, give or take
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
salt and pepper, q.b.
Peel and slice onions into very thin slices. Heat olive oil in a medium sautee pan over low heat and add onions, salt, pepper and thyme. Allow to cook down and caramelize for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You do not want the onions crispy. If you find they are cooking too fast, reduce heat)
Wash your potatoes. Cut into cubes leaving the skin on. This will add even more texture to your potatoes. Peel and lightly smash 3 cloves of garlic.
Add cubed potatoes, smashed garlic and 1 tsp of salt to a pot, covering potatoes with 1/2 inch of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for another 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are completely tender.
Grate 1 cup of Gruyere cheese and set aside.
Once your potatoes are done, drain. Leave the garlic in the potatoes, because we are mashing that up right into the potatoes. Add 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and cheese. Mash with hand masher or beater until combined and creamy. You can always add or decrease cream depending on what consistency you are looking for.
Drain onions of any excess oil. Pick out the thyme stems. Pour caramelized onions directly into the potatoes and fold in gently.
Taste for salt and pepper. Enjoy!!
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