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What to pair with french onion soup for dinner?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi Yall!  I am planning on surprising my husband for our anniversary with a delicious romantic meal.  I know one thing that I would love to make for the night is a french onion soup.  And for dessert I am thinking either a souffle or a cute crescent filled with a mousse (pinterest find that hopefully works out).  For the soup I am going to put a toasted slice of french bread in..at least I think toasted, maybe toasted is not what I want.  I am thinking of also doing a salad..I was thinking either Greek or Caesar salad, not sure which yet.  But I do know my husband and he is like most men that think that dinner isn't complete without a meat of some kind.  And let me just say that I am not made of money, so nothing extravagant.  And I am just a wife that tries to do her best in the kitchen (much better at baking the sweets than cooking the main foods). The dinner is set for Nov 16th, so hopefully I can figure something out by then. Any help would be very helpful!  Thanks in advance!  

post #2 of 25

No need to toast the bread, you just want the bread dry: either use stale bread or dry your bread in the oven for a while. Then the cheese, and make the gratin in the oven, where bread and cheese will "toast" together. 

 

If you want meat but not spend too much, pork is often a great choice. A nice pork tenderloin for example...

 

But I believe you should first decide wether you want the soup to be the first course or the main course? 

post #3 of 25

If it were the main course, I'd probably just opt for simple crudite or similar vegie heavy sort of antipasti.  Maybe a little sausage too. 

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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 25
With a rich enough beef stock for the French Onion Soup, your carnivore may not mind not eating a chunk of flesh. Maybe put some shrimp on the salad??

I like a soup and salad dinner every once in a while. With dessert it can be quite satisfying.
post #5 of 25

If you want to really get into it, some sort of steak oscar would be good. The steak needn't be beef, it could be halibut or salmon, for example.

 

mjb.

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post #6 of 25
Don't do a Greek or Caesar salad. Stay with the French theme and serve a salad of frisée, lardons (bacon) and a poached egg. Super easy but very classy.

Do a steak! Nothing says love for your man like steak! If you can't afford a ny strip or ribeye do an affordable cut like skirt steak, hanger steak, or sirloin. All are very flavorful and tender.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Do a steak! Nothing says love for your man like steak! 

Don't mean to be snarky, but Ill take a roast chicken, or even a veg pasta instead of steak. I wouldn't turn my nose at it though. 

 

Steak just seems so stereotypical. 

post #8 of 25

Maybe my palate is too old school but I prefer to stay with the same basic profile.

Beef to follow beef and the last cuts @Koukouvagia mentioned (sliced thinly against the grain) with a nicely done sauce does it for me.

IMO.

 

mimi

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake t buds View Post

Don't mean to be snarky, but Ill take a roast chicken, or even a veg pasta instead of steak. I wouldn't turn my nose at it though. 

Steak just seems so stereotypical. 

To each their own but I find it difficult to follow up beef with poultry. That's just me. It's a typical pairing - steak and French onion soup but it works and it's a classic for a reason.

But that's just me. I prefer steak over chicken hands down lol.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post


To each their own but I find it difficult to follow up beef with poultry. That's just me. It's a typical pairing - steak and French onion soup but it works and it's a classic for a reason.

But that's just me. I prefer steak over chicken hands down lol.

I wasn't referring to the OP question. Just steak in general. I agree with the pairing, tho

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

What is better doing soup and salad together as a starter or serving soup then salad or vise versa?  I want this night to be special and I want it to be elegant.  I want to show him (the cook) that I can do this.

post #12 of 25
Serve the salad first as your soup gratinates in the oven.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Don't do a Greek or Caesar salad. Stay with the French theme and serve a salad of frisée, lardons (bacon) and a poached egg. Super easy but very classy.

Do a steak! Nothing says love for your man like steak! If you can't afford a ny strip or ribeye do an affordable cut like skirt steak, hanger steak, or sirloin. All are very flavorful and tender.

I really like this idea.  I know that we actually do have 2 sirloins in the freezer that I could thaw for the night.  For the steak or main portion of the course, what would you recommend to go with it?  Baby reds, or greens, or like a squash medley?  And with doing the steaks, do you know of a great sauce that could be used in place of steak sauce.  I see some restaurants doing like a white buttery sauce.   

post #14 of 25
You could do a sauce but you don't have to, if you don't normally do much cooking id say skip it and just concentrate on cooking your steak perfectly. An easy sauce though would be mushroom sauce, I'll give you a recipe and method if you're interested.

A nice side dish to go with it is green beans, steamed until slightly tender and tossed with garlic herb butter. It is nice to serve it with starchy side as well although not entirely necessary if you're trying to keep it a light meal. Perhaps some baby new potatoes, halved and steamed and then tossed with olive oil and some herbs.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhwcu2009 View Post
 

I really like this idea.  I know that we actually do have 2 sirloins in the freezer that I could thaw for the night.  For the steak or main portion of the course, what would you recommend to go with it?  Baby reds, or greens, or like a squash medley?  And with doing the steaks, do you know of a great sauce that could be used in place of steak sauce.  I see some restaurants doing like a white buttery sauce.   

You might be thinking of a Bearnaise sauce. It's not really "easy'" and requires a bit of skill. 

https://www.google.es/search?q=Bearnaise&es_sm=119&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIpfC0y6X8yAIVyYkaCh0CIwGf&biw=1447&bih=884

 

Steak au poivre is relatively easy. It's a pepper corn sauce. Although it has heavy cream or creme fraiche, it's not as thick or white as a Bearnaise. 

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhwcu2009 View Post
 

And with doing the steaks, do you know of a great sauce that could be used in place of steak sauce.  I see some restaurants doing like a white buttery sauce.   


I LOVE steak. I often have grand ideas of the sauce I'm going to make with the steaks then get more lazy as dinner approaches... here's an easy approach that works every time: 

 

Pan fry your steaks. Remove from pan and let rest. Add a few small pats of butter on top of the steak, the butter will melt and give the steak a nice shine and an excellent buttery flavor. Meanwhile add water to your pan and deglaze, reduce the water until it's a brown jus, taste for seasoning and drizzle over the steaks or serve on the side in a little bowl. 

 

I first learned complicated sauces and later learned that simple jus. The beauty of it is that you start with just deglazing the pan with water, seasoning with salt, but from there you can go anywhere. For example you could add thyme to the pan while you deglaze. Instead of water, you could use white wine. Or red wine, and add shallots. 

 

The jus will be thin, even after reduction, which has its pros and cons. It's runny and will not coat the steak, but it is also much lighter than a sauce and won't coat your mouth and palate!! Its flavor is normally much more concentrated than the flavor of a sauce. Done right, it should burst with flavor. For a simple sauce, you can finish the jus with a little cream or swirl in a pat of cold butter... but if you already butter your steak that might be enough butter IMO.

 

Have fun, enjoy and report back after the evening to let us know how it went! :) 

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

You could do a sauce but you don't have to, if you don't normally do much cooking id say skip it and just concentrate on cooking your steak perfectly. An easy sauce though would be mushroom sauce, I'll give you a recipe and method if you're interested.

A nice side dish to go with it is green beans, steamed until slightly tender and tossed with garlic herb butter. It is nice to serve it with starchy side as well although not entirely necessary if you're trying to keep it a light meal. Perhaps some baby new potatoes, halved and steamed and then tossed with olive oil and some herbs.

Yes if you could send me that recipe, that would be much helpful.  I do like the idea of the green beans and with it being so many courses I think that would actually work best and hopefully we will make it to dessert.

 

So far my idea is a 5 course meal(hopefully if I can time everything right).

 

Course 1 is obviously an appetizer:  Strawberry Won Ton Cups  I thought they looked cute and very light

Course 2:  Frisee, Poached Egg, and Bacon salad (I just hope I can find frisee in my local grocer and I hope I can do the egg)

Course 3:  French Onion Soup

Course 4:  Sirloin Steak with a mushroom sauce and steamed green beans

Course 5:  Mini French Silk Crescent Pies

 

I am so excited.  I just hope I can make this all come together and not look like a normal meal.

post #18 of 25

The more we talk about this menu the hungrier I get haha.

 

Ok, mushroom sauce.  It's pretty similar to what @French Fries does.  After you cook your steak you will make the mushrooms and sauce in the same pan.  Just be careful that you don't season your steak with garlic powder or onion powder, these burn and leave behind burnt powder that's bitter, not yummy.  Ok add a little oil to your pan and throw in some mushrooms (small or large portabellas work fine for this).  Don't add too many, if you want a lot then cook them in batches.  Cook them until tender but not falling apart, I would keep them sliced no thinner than a quarter of a inch.  Keep the heat high and cook them until golden.  Before you take them out of the pan stir in a small pat of butter and some fresh thyme.  Remove into a serving dish.  

 

Now make the sauce.  In that same pan add a roughly chopped shallot, a clove of garlic (optional), and cook until soft.  Add a little oil if necessary and a half teaspoon of flour and stir through --> this will make your jus slightly thickened but not turn it into gravy.  Now splash in a little booze - red wine or white wine is fine but you can use dry sherry as well.  I often just use vermouth because I always have some lying around.  Throw in some thyme if you have it. After you've cooked off the alcohol add about a cup and a half of broth, beef is best.  For a quick broth I dissolve a tsp of "better than bouillon" in a cup and a half of water and it's quick and flavorful.  Stir and reduce by a third and then stir in a couple of drops of worcestershire and a pat of butter.  Strain the sauce and serve with the steaks and the mushrooms.

 

Extra tips:

Make some croutons to go with that frisee salad.  If you can't find frisee then choose another bitter lettuce such as curly endive or raddichio.  The bitterness is refreshing and then sets up your palate for the sweet french onion soup perfectly.  

 

Steak and green beans is nice, but you could use a little added oomph with texture.  Sprinkle the green beans with a quick pangratta made from fresh breadcrumbs, butter and herbs that you quickly fry in a pan until golden.  It adds a nice crunch to the beans.  

 

Make sure you bring your steaks to room temp before cooking.  Alternately you can cook your steak right from frozen with a little know how! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLWsEg1LmaE

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Oh my goodness.  I really hope I can remember all of this.  I have been writing everything down on a note pad to keep recipes straight and I have like 5 or 6 scattered on the desk.  Like I said I just hope I can make this all come together.  I will let you in on the place that I am gonna try to set the stage.  We got married in a city historical museum type of place (they had a small room upstairs for a small ceremony).  Well I was in the other day chatting with the lady that had it all set up for the wedding and I was a little bummed they were now closed on Mondays for the winter season.  I just wanted to do a walk through and think of the memories.  Well she mentioned that she could have one of the volunteers unlock the door and let me in to have a nice romantic meal in the very spot we said our vows.  At first I was like, no, my husband won't go for that....too "movie romance" to it.  But as I thought about it, the more I thought the idea was perfect.  So I am gonna talk to the lady again and see if it is possible to do that idea.  If it isn't possible than I am gonna have to think up something different.  I am at a loss.  I do not want to do something at home.  I thought about doing it at a family members home but not sure if they would allow that.  Fingers crossed on the first idea.  They even have a stove, though I wouldn't need one.  I could cook stuff at my sisters house right next door.  :o

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by klhwcu2009 View Post

Hi Yall!  I am planning on surprising my husband for our anniversary with a delicious romantic meal.  I know one thing that I would love to make for the night is a french onion soup.  And for dessert I am thinking either a souffle or a cute crescent filled with a mousse (pinterest find that hopefully works out).  For the soup I am going to put a toasted slice of french bread in..at least I think toasted, maybe toasted is not what I want.  I am thinking of also doing a salad..I was thinking either Greek or Caesar salad, not sure which yet.  But I do know my husband and he is like most men that think that dinner isn't complete without a meat of some kind.  And let me just say that I am not made of money, so nothing extravagant.  And I am just a wife that tries to do her best in the kitchen (much better at baking the sweets than cooking the main foods). The dinner is set for Nov 16th, so hopefully I can figure something out by then. Any help would be very helpful!  Thanks in advance!  

Congrats on your upcoming anniversary.

What dishes do you both enjoy?

Beef is a good choice, and anything you can both share (eating with your hands) I.e. strawberries dipped in chocolate.

The menu doesn't need to be fancy. À couple of steaks, a potato, libations and chocolate :-)
Edited by Cerise - 11/6/15 at 3:46pm
post #21 of 25

After I pan sear the steaks and finish in the oven if thicker than 1" I add some fine chopped garlic to the pan and cook it down to a golden brown, then add a shot or Worcestershire sauce and reduce, then off the heat work in a couple pats f butter. The sauce will thicken a tiny bit. Herbs of choice can go in with the W sauce too. Key for this is everything is fresh and the butter gives it the needed body for a sauce. Pour over the steak when plating, garnish with just about anything... I did some sauteed morel mushrooms this spring.

post #22 of 25

Just IMO but a smaller 3 course meal might be in order.

You are cooking in someone else's kitchen and shuttling food to another location.

Keeping it simple allows you to enjoy the special occasion as well.

 

Soup starter...protein with sauce and a side on the same plate....decadent dessert (maybe splurge and order something from a bakery).

 

Maybe even con someone into serving you guys instead of you running back and forth to the kitchen.... now that's romantic!

 

mimi

post #23 of 25
Listen carefully to Mimi and remember that food is only part of a romantic dinner. It might be less romantic if half of the romance is slaving in the kitchen and ends up sweaty and tired.
post #24 of 25
Oh I didn't realize you'd be away from home. If I was planning a romantic dinner in a location without my kitchen it'd be more of a wine cheese, charcute and fresh bread type of affair.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
And the thought of it being at a different location. Where we will be eating, they do have a kitchen. So could get things done and then set them in a warm oven or in the fridge.
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