LOUISE PENNY’S

Categories
Recipe - Book 6: Bury Your Dead

BURY YOUR DEAD: FRENCH ONION SOUP

Just ahead, the Château Frontenac promised warmth, a glass of wine, a crusty bowl of French onion soup. . . .

Jean laughed and leaned away as the waiter placed a huge burger and frites in front of him. A bubbling French onion soup sat in front of Émile, and Gamache was given a hot bowl of pea soup.

“I met a fellow this morning who’s training for the race,” said Gamache.

“Bet he’s in good shape,” said Émile, lifting his spoon almost over his head, trying to get the stringy, melted cheese to break.

—Bury Your Dead

FRENCH ONION SOUP
Makes about 4 cups (1 liter)—2 main-course servings or 4 first-course servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz/57 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds (1 kg) yellow onions (about 5 medium onions), peeled and sliced ¼ inch/7 mm thick
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white wine or 3 tablespoons (45 ml) dry sherry
  • 3 cups (750 ml) beef or chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Half a French baguette, cut into ½-inch slices
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup (3 oz/90 g) grated Gruyère cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the butter in a medium (4-quart/4-liter) heavy-bottomed pot over low heat until bubbling. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until very well browned, about 45 minutes.

2. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the wine or sherry and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the soup is barely simmering. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook until the onions are very tender, about 15 minutes.

3. While the soup is simmering, make the toasts: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

4. Position the oven rack about 8 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into 2 ovenproof crocks. Cover the top of the soup with a layer of toasts, then spread a layer of the cheese over the toasts. Place the crocks on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Let the crocks sit for a few minutes before serving, handling them carefully.

5. Variation: If you don’t have ovenproof crocks, make the cheese toasts and float them on top of the soup: Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Make the toasts as described above and line them up on the sheet. Top with the grated Gruyère. Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the toasts are very crisp, about 12 minutes. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with the cheese toasts.

Print This Recipe

Categories
Recipe - Book 5: The Brutal Telling

THE BRUTAL TELLING: PAIN DORÉ

Gamache tried the door to the bistro and was surprised to find it open. Earlier that morning, over breakfast of pain doré, sliced strawberries and bananas, maple syrup and back bacon, Gabri had admitted he didn’t know when Olivier might reopen the bistro.
—The Brutal Telling

PAIN DORÉ
Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • Eight 1-inch (2.5-cm) slices challah, brioche, or other eggy, soft-textured dough (see Note)
  • 1 cup dry-textured muesli
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

To Serve (choose any or all)

  • Fresh blueberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:

1. Arrange the bread slices on a cooling rack (or a plate) and let them get slightly stale overnight. This will give the finished pain doré an almost custardy texture.

2. Grind the muesli in a food processor to the texture of very coarse sand. Spread out the ground muesli on a wide plate.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. Pour into a square 9 x 9-inch (22 x 22-cm) baking pan. Add the bread slices and soak for 4 minutes; turn and soak the second side for another 4 minutes. There should be very little egg mix left after soaking.

4. Heat the butter in a large (10-inch/25-cm or so) nonstick pan over medium-low heat until the butter is foaming. Carefully dredge both sides of the soaked bread slices in the ground muesli. Add the bread slices to the pan as you dredge them and cook, turning only once, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Serve warm with blueberries, powdered sugar, and/or additional maple syrup.

Note: If the challah or other bread you are using is large, say 4 inches (10 cm) high, you may only need 4 slices; one slice per serving. The rest of the ingredients will remain the same.

Print This Recipe

Categories
Recipe - Book 4: A Rule Against Murder

A RULE AGAINST MURDER: HOMEMADE LEMONADE

All year Gamache’s mouth watered for the homemade Manoir Bellechasse lemonade. It tasted fresh and clean, sweet and tart. It tasted of sunshine and summer.
—A Rule Against Murder

HOMEMADE LEMONADE

Makes 5 to 6 tall glasses lemonade

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup (101 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water
  • 6 ripe, juice lemons, or as needed
  • Still water, club soda or sparkling water as needed (about ½ cup/125 ml) per serving

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer, stirring, over low heat. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the simple syrup into a heatproof jar with a lid (a canning jar works well). Cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, squeeze the lemons; there should be about 1 cup juice. Squeeze 1 or 2 more if you think the juice isn’t tart enough or if you like lemonade with a little kick. When the simple syrup is cool, pour in the lemon juice and refrigerate until well chilled, for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

3. To serve: Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in about ⅓ cup of the lemon juice mix. Top up the glass with about ½ cup still or sparkling water. Serve very cold.

Print This Recipe

Skip to content