A DELICIOUS MEATLESS DINNER
For those who have been reading my blog, I have mentioned before that my two wonderful children ages 17 years old and 11 years old are not super keen on my meatless dishes. I want to say that I am not trying to turn my children into vegetarians at all. That would be too regimented and strict and not done in a loving way. What I want most of all is for my children to grow up knowing the benefits of each food group or cuisine. I don’t want them to grow up living in a “shell or vacuum” so to speak. I want them to know the world of food and to explore all kinds of foods as much as possible and to not limit themselves to one or two particular kinds of food or cuisine.
“They must grow up wanting to learn new things and to explore, taste and feel the world around them.”
This dish was created with the input of my children. Trust me when I say, they were not super keen on my meatless dish at first but in the end they felt satisfied about the way the dish came out.
Their passing grade is about a 70% for my meatless dish. If it had any kind of meat incorporated into it, it would have scored a whopping 90%. Oh, how I love them so much!—They are as candid as their Mama In the end, they mean well. It helps me to work harder in trying to please them and get them to appreciate meatless dishes even more.
My 11 year old son loves helping out in the Kitchen and he his always curious about what I am doing. My daughter not so much—She is a work in progress She will help in the kitchen but I have to call her to come and help me out from time to time. It’s okay, many parents already knows this. You could have two, three, four, five or seven children and each one is always different. They are their own person with separate interests from yours or the other siblings in the family.
I was the only one as a small child growing up with my Grandmother in the Country in Jamaica who was keen on learning how to cook and was curious about everything she was doing in the kitchen. Whenever I asked my 11 year son Richard if he would like to be a chef one day he says,
“No mom I just want to eat all the yummy food!” He’s too funny
A great budget-friendly dish at about $2.00 per servings!
Monterey Jack Cheese, Fresh Leeks, and Cream of Celery Soup makes this dish really special and Unique.
1/2 Cup whip cream
1 1/2 Bulbs of Garlic
2 tsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Cup Fresh Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 Cup of Cream of Celery Soup
1/4 Cup of white wine
1 Stem of Fresh Leek (washed and chopped)
2 Large Onions (chopped and cubed)
3 Shallots (washed and chopped)
1/4 Cup of Olive Oil (For Toasting your Bread)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl whisked together your eggs, whip cream, 1/2 of your crushed garlic, 1/2 of your black pepper, salt and milk. Pour 1/2 of your egg mixture in a small bowl and set aside. Please Note: Place your remaining raw egg mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to use the rest of it in your pie dish. To save on my grocery bill I used 3 medium sized loaves of bread purchased from the Supermarket for $0.49 cents each. Most recipes suggests using French Bread or a Baguette Style Bread but I opted to use these small loaves instead. Now, get your saucepan heated on medium heat. Slice your bread and and dip them into your egg mixture. You will be toasting your bread in the pan as if you are doing French toast. Once again, most recipes suggests you dip the bread in the egg mixture then place in baking pan, add your topping and bake. I do not like that method because I don’t feel it adds enough flavour to the dish. Make sure to prepare your baking pan by coating with it little butter before adding your toasted bread slices.
Once you toast your bread slices on each side this will take a good 10-15 minutes. Then place them into a large baking dish or or baking pan.
You will need to now sauté your chopped onion, remaining garlic, chopped leek and shallots. Do this for about ( 7 minutes on medium heat, you don’t want to burn anything including your garlic) Add your remaining black pepper, your 1/2 cup of Cream of Celery Soup, and your 1/4 cup of white wine.
Please Note: I wanted to use the Cream of Celery Soup to give this French Onion Bake Pie extra flavour. If you wish you can use your favourite soup based mix for this dish.
Cook all this for additional three minutes or so and take it off the heat. Now, take your left over egg mixture out the refrigerator. Now, add your 1 cup of Ricotta Cheese and stir. Then pour this on top of your toasted French toast bread. Then sprinkle your 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese on top. Then add your 3 1/2 Cups of grated Monterey Jack Cheese and bake this in the oven for about 40-45 minutes at 375 degree F.
The top of your pie should be a nice golden brown.
OPTIONAL: You can add some warm vegetable stock to your pie dish to create a cross between a pie and a soup dish. Which version did I prefer? I liked the idea of adding just a touch of warm vegetable broth to finish off the dish. It makes it so elegant and offer that extra moisture to the dish.
My two children preferred just to eat the pie straight up like this. I think I prefer this option because it seems more grown up. While the kids just opted for the more straight-forward version.
Top this dish off with your favourite fresh herb, Enjoy!
So, what does a French Onion Soup Baked Pie taste like?
Light, Creamy and Guilt-Free.
It tasted similar to your French Onion soup but without that really intense salty flavour you get from French onion soups. It was perfect for the kids. They did not complain. Why? They love cheese! If they know I am adding any kind of cheese to the dish they are sold!
Otherwise I am in big trouble They would complain and tell me, “Mom I don’t want it!” or my daughter will ask in a suspicious way, “Okay mom, what are we having for dinner today?”
Alice Choo-Shee-Nam—Living In Durham Community Blog
Recipe Created October 14, 2016