We Love the Winter Weather
Photo Courtesy of Scott Suchman
Bring the soft white snow indoors with this ceiling installation filled with white fluffy clouds accented with shades of ice blue and lavender. Giving the snowy ceiling more pop, silver ornaments, and garland. And for an added fun, silver narwhals are jetting out behind the bar.
Sweet Soup Under Pressure
Photo Courtesy of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Winter weather calls for soul-warming soup. We love this recipe for French Onion Soup with sweet caramelized onions that is made faster by using a pressure cooker.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for toasts (3 ounces; about 90g)
3 pounds yellow or mixed onions, sliced 1/8 inch thick (1.4kg; about 4 to 5 large onions) (see note above)
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (120ml) dry sherry, such as Amontillado
2 quarts (about 2L) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon (5ml) Asian fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon (5ml) cider vinegar
8 bowl-size slices rustic bread, toasted until crisp
1 medium clove garlic
1 pound (450g) Gruyère cheese, grated
Freshly minced chives, for garnish
Melt butter in an electric or stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat. Add onions and baking soda and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions slightly soften and start to release liquid, about 3 minutes. Seal pressure cooker and heat to high pressure (12.5 to 15 psi). Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Release pressure by allowing steam to vent, then remove lid.
Continue cooking with lid off, stirring constantly, until liquid inside has completely reduced and the onions are deep brown and sticky, about 5 minutes.
Add sherry and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until alcohol smell is mostly gone, about 3 minutes. Add stock, thyme, and bay leaf, raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add fish sauce, if using, and cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper (if necessary). Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
To Serve: Preheat broiler and move oven rack to top position. Butter toasts and rub with garlic clove until fragrant. Spoon a small amount of broth into the bottoms of 4 ovenproof serving bowls, then top with half the toasts. Sprinkle some grated Gruyère on top of toasts, then spoon more soup and onions on top, nearly filling the bowls. Set the remaining 4 toasts in each bowl, pushing to nearly submerge them. Top with remaining grated cheese and set bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots. Garnish with chives and serve.
It’s Amaro Amore
Photo Courtesy of Elana Lepkowski
Hot cocoa and winter go hand in hand. This boozy bittersweet Italian Amaro Hot Chocolate is easy to customize.
For the Angostura Whipped Cream:
1 cup (237ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon (15ml) simple syrup (see note above)
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
6 dashes Angostura bitters
For the Hot Cocoa:
1/4 cup (58g) unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
1 tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3 cups (710ml) milk
8 ounces (227g) semisweet chocolate chips (or other type of chocolate, such as milk chocolate, depending on your taste)
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
5 ounces (148ml) Italian amaro, such as Averna
For the Angostura Whipped Cream: Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat heavy whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form, then add simple syrup, vanilla extract and Angostura bitters. Whip until medium peaks form, about 1 minute longer.
For the Hot Cocoa: In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk and chocolate. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely blend mixture.
Add vanilla and amaro and stir to combine. Pour into glasses and top with Angostura whipped cream.
Sleigh Bells Jingling
Photo Courtesy of Rachel Murray