Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese & Rosemary French Onion Soup

Holy guacamole, Batman! You have to try these recipes.
They meet all the requirements for a weeknight meal- fast, easy, low maintenance.
Bonus - they taste amazing.
(Amazing tasting meals are not a weeknight requirement around here. That's reserved for things like birthdays and valentine's days.)

On the menu: Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese & Rosemary French Onion Soup

photo (not recipe) source

Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese
This was something I saw on pinterest. 1 point for pinterest - this was SO good. It's pretty obvious to make, so you don't really need a recipe, but there's a link to the page I got it from anyway. I'll make the ingredients needed pink below for quick reference in case you need to run to the store immediately to get them.
Here's what I did:
1. Pre-cook bacon. I did this early in day and got it nice and crispy. It's easier to work with if it's cooked earlier I think.
2. Make guacamole however you like it. Since it was going on a sandwich, I just did avocado + fresh diced tomato + seasoned salt.
3. I shredded some swiss and cheddar and mixed it together in a little bowl.
4. Use really good bread. We like bakery-quality sourdough. I think sourdough is the #1 to eat grilled cheese. Try it, even if you don't really love plain sour dough bread.
5. Butter bread; on unbuttered side, spread guacamole-a-plenty + add shredded cheese mix + add a slice or two of bacon
6. Cook on stove. Keep on low heat for a while to get everything melty & then crank it up to get the bread toasty. (Can you tell I'm no stranger to grilled cheese?)

Bonus Tip: I also put Cobb Salad on our menu this week because it uses avocado, bacon, and tomato too! Double dipping on ingredients makes for a happy grocery budget.

Rosemary French Onion Soup
adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens February 2014

2 C. halved and thinly sliced yellow onions (2 medium size) (I use my Ninja chopper- see below- because I hate chopping onions. So mine were partly diced and partly sliced. It was delicious.) 
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp snipped fresh rosemary (Using fresh was delicious! But I didn't really measure and it was very rosemary-ey, so I suggest measuring, and maybe even cutting down to 1 Tb, which I think would be about 1 1/2 sprigs all cut up.) 
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt (I'll do 1/2 tsp or less next time... I'm so thirsty... still. Too salty.) 
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 C. low-sodium beef broth (I used 3 1/2 because I needed 1/2 C from the container for tomorrow's recipe. It was plenty. Unless you're feeding a ton of people & need all 4 C.) 
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (You can sub 1 Tb red wine vinegar + 1/2 tsp sugar if you don't have balsamic... like me) :) 

1. Place onions, flour, 1 Tbsp of rosemary, pepper, and salt in a resealable plastic bag; shake to coat.
2. In a large saucepan, melt 2 Tb butter over medium-low heat. Stir in onion mixture. Cover and cook 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Uncover; increase heat to medium-high. Cook a minute or two longer until onions are golden brown. Stir in broth and balsamic vinegar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.
4. Simmer, covered for... however long you want. At least 10 minutes. I let it simmer while I made the grilled cheese & it was perfect.
5. I loaded each individual serving bowl with shredded swiss on top of the soup. Would have been yummy with croutons too.

Above mentioned Ninja chopper. This was one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever received. It is amazing. It works so fast and is small to store and I use it ALL the time. $20 at Target... if you cook with onions ever, get one. It will save you so much time! (I'm sure you can use it for other things too, but I'm most grateful for it when it comes to onions.)