Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Kid's Cooking Class--French Onion Potato Cheese Soup and Homemade Wheat Thins

When was the last time you made homemade crackers?!
Every other week, I do some cooking classes with my sweet Bakeroose. Chef Tess Bakeroose Kids Cooking Blog is starting to grow. Any kids who cook at home are welcome to join the fun. A group of Home school kids and their moms along with my two sons (Little Man and Face) are in on the group for Friday classes. I don't know about you, but it seems a cryin' shame to me that Home Economics was ripped out of school curriculum. Far too many are growing up with absolutely no idea how to cook even basic meals. That will not be the case with these little dolls. No way. Meet my girls...(If I could adopt them all, I totally would!) Notice the sweetie on my left doing the exact same thing I am with my arm on the table. Seriously...I almost cried seeing how much she wanted to be like me. It's a great responsibility and honor to have someone try to emulate you isn't it?

We started with the Homemade Wheat Thins from here on my blog.The real trick was not making the crackers so much as getting enough rollers to do the job right.

Mix in a large bowl:
3 1/4 cup whole wheat cake flour (50% barley 50% hard wheat if grinding your own flour).
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt.

whisked well :
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
2T honey

Add liquid to dry ingredients, mixing well, but as little as possible.

Divide into 2 balls. Totally non-rocket-science, right?

Roll them out really thin. This is enough dough to make two pans of crackers. If you roll them thick they will be more like a teething biscuit, but I don't have any babies who would appreciate that anymore.

Oh my gosh! She could not be any cuter if she tried! Look at that...

Cut and bake. 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. That's perfect time to make the soup.

Now for the French Onion Potato Cheese Soup of glory. Pause for effect. Kids will eat onions. Mind you...they can't be toxic overpowering onion. So we had a lesson on how to make them edible-happy. Caramelizing them makes them sweet and amazing. Believe it or not, the kids actually really liked the soup.

Chef Tess' French Onion Potato Cheese Soup

2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced thin
2T butter or olive oil
3/4 cup flour
9 cups good beef broth or stock
1 tsp each: thyme, dill
1/2 tsp each: celery seed, fresh ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon, micro grated
8 oz. cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat)... soft and chunked
4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
2 oz parmesan or asiago cheese, shredded

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Okay...I have to say...this sweetheart is one of my favorite people. This was her first time using a micro-plane zester. I know it won't be her last. She measured, cut, chopped...and well, was an excellent right arm. I'm keeping her.

Now kids...this is how to cut an onion.

Cry it out. She was laughing so hard that her eyes were watering...and tearing up because of the onions. It was so funny to watch.

Oh the vision of love.

In a 2 gallon heavy pot melt butter over medium heat and add the onion and shallots. Slowly cook until very dark brown but not burned.

Add a little broth and scrape the pan clean. Simmer until broth is evaporated and onion begins again to stick to the pan and get dark. Add a little more broth and scrape pan again. Add the potatoes.

This little doll worked very hard to cut all the potatoes.

In a separate container, whisk the flour into the remaining beef broth. Pour the beef broth into pot with the onion and potato. Your onions should be very dark colored.

Stir in the seasoning: thyme, dill, celery seed, pepper and zest. Simmer this 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens and no starchiness is detected when tasted.

TURN OFF HEAT. This ensures your soup will not get a "grainy" texture. Add cream cheese, cheddar, parmesan and parsley and stir until cheese is melted and Incorporated.

Enjoy this with someone you love. There you go.


Bergamot said...

Fun time for the kids. God recipe

Heather Hunt said...

That looks killer! Kids nothing... I am making that at the Hunt house tomorrow. It is MINUS 12 degrees outside right now with the windchill!

mlebagley said...

Mmmm. I can almost smell it from here and it smells delicious!

mlebagley said...

My son and I made this together for dinner on Saturday. It was insanely satisfying and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

LoriD said...

Hi Tess, I love your blog so far! I was wondering if you might have a recipe for homemade clubhouse-type crackers? Thanks!

Chef Tess said...

I'm working on a club cracker right now. How funny!'s on it's way! Thanks for the encouragement and wonderful comments!