The biggest challenge was choosing dishes. Not because there is little choice, but rather way, way, way too many. So we let Mike, our fearless leader in this tasty project, make the final choices. First up -
Whenever I eat onion soup (and especially when I make it), I'm reminded of growing up in Montreal and eating the best onion soup anywhere. Every restaurant served a very thick, rich, dark and flavorful soup covered in a molten, stringy, salty topping of golden cheese. Sigh and drool!
Years ago I went on a tour of Europe, I was 21. In those days, there was no way my mother would let me travel alone and wander about with friends, so joining an organized tour was the only option. When we were in Paris, someone said that we HAD to go to Les Halles (the central market) at 4 a.m. when the workers were setting up and delivering foodstuff. It was the only time to eat REAL French onion soup. I was so excited, even though I could hardly keep my eyes open. Oh, if I was as interested in food then as I am now...but never mind...we ordered the soup...a very watery version of onion soup and ....SHOCK, SHOCK, SHOCK!!! no golden stringy cheese topping...no cheese or bread at all! In fact, it was more like an oniony broth, with very few onions. I'm still recovering! And naturally all I could do (over and over and over) was tell my tour mates that they all had to come to Montreal to taste the real thing.
So I'm very happy to say...Julia's version is much closer to my own...and oh, so much better! I can't believe I never tried her version before and her secrets... egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce and cognac added to the soup just before putting it in individual oven proof soup dishes, topping the oniony soup with toasted French bread and lots of grated Swiss and ...I had to add my Montreal roots...Gruyere.
I'll let you know when the roundup gets posted over at Mel's Diner. It should be sometime early next week. I just couldn't wait another day to share with you.