Turkey Confidential

What to do with leftover turkey???

If you’re like me, the day after Thanksgiving, you are faced with a mound of leftover turkey.  Some of you might then think, “Yeah! Turkey sandwiches for days!”

Now, I love a good sandwich, but the day after Thanksgiving I have another issue.  After days of cooking, thinking, and talking turkey, I’m at the point where I never want to see turkey again.  So, to get around the issue, over the years I”ve developed a series of recipes that use leftover turkey…but don’t look like (or taste like) leftover turkey.  As a matter of fact, they are as far from turkey and dressing as one can get, in terms of taste and style.  So, if you ever find yourself with mounds of turkey, I invite you to try one of these recipes out!

This first recipe, “Coconut Curry de Dinde”  showcases Asian flavors and would pair perfectly with a dry Riesling.  “Dinde”, by the way, is French for “turkey”.  See, it’s all incognito.  Enjoy! 

Bubbly Prof’s Coconut Curry de Dinde

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper,  seeded and minced
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 T. curry powder
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 lb. new potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups green peas (frozen is fine)
  • 1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

 Procedure:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the sweet onion and saute for 5 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, jalapeño pepper, and spices. Saute for two minutes more, stirring continuously. 
  3. Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, salt and potatoes.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the shredded turkey and green peas, simmer for a few minutes just until heated through.
  5. Add the cilantro, adjust for seasoning, and serve as-is or with steamed rice.

The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas

 

Can She Pair a Pumpkin Pie?

After the Thanksgiving meal is served…and served, and served, and served…you swear you’ll never eat again.  But, after an hour or so of watching football, washing dishes, or snoozing on the couch, you’re ready for some pumpkin pie.

The typical accompaniment for T-day dessert in my experience has been the dregs of whatever wine was served with the meal.  Nothing wrong with that, but Thanksgiving is a special day, so why not offer up a specially chosen Pumpkin Pie Pairing to cap off the day?

If you’ve read The Bubbly Professor’s “Real Rules of Food and Wine Pairing” you know that the most important factor in most food-and-wine meetups is to “pair to taste, not to flavor.”  This makes a pumpkin pie pairing really simple:  you need a sweet wine, lest the food dull out the wine.  Now, it doesn’t have to be uber-sweet, just a hint of sweetness will do, but this is also one of those pairings where super-sweet wine works. 

Here are a few of my favorites –  enjoy!

Sauternes:  Sauternes, with its luscious sweetness is a match made in heaven for pumpkin pie.  The wine is a good “big and rich meets big and rich and they live happily ever after” type of match in terms of texture, and the subtle dried apricot-vanilla-nutmeg-dried leaves kind of aromas and flavors of Sauternes make this a Fall Fest in a glass.  Sauternes can be expensive…my personal favorite, Chateau Guiraud, is a cool one hundred bucks, however, there are many inexpensive (around $20.00 a bottle) versions on the market these days, and they are worth a try as well.  

Tawny Port: For years now, I’ve spent my Thanksgiving in the best possible way…surrounded by an awesome group of friends and family at the lovely home of (hi Janelle and Kyle!!) Janelle and Kyle. My contribution to the feast has often been a selection of dessert wines…with all of my suggestions listed here of course…and every year, the first bottle to be emptied is the Tawny Port.  So there.  First emptied = great match.  Not a scientific experiment, but a darn good one.  My go-to Tawny Port is Taylor-Fladgate 10-Year-Old Age Indicated Tawny Porto, which runs about $20.00 a bottle. 

Moscato d’Asti:  Moscato d’Asti, besides being just plain hands-down delicious, is a great match for pumpkin pie. It’s light, fizzy and sweet, but not too sweet, and with the pumpkin pie pairing, the wine will transform and taste just slightly off dry.  It’s a cool trick to play with people who claim to be too sophisticated for sweet wine.  Moscato’s popularity of late has spawned a host of cheap imitations, but you can’t go wrong with a true Italian; Saracco makes one of my favorites, and it’s a winner at around $14.00

Vin Santo:  Tuscany’s famous  “Wine of the Saints” is another great match for pumpkin pie.  The wine’s just-barely-there sweetness will allow it to pair with the pumpkin pie well; after a bite of pie, you won’t taste the wine’s sweet side anymore, but it will still taste rich, woodsy, spicy, and delightful.  If you try, if might even find a scent of pumpkin pie spice lingering in your glass.  Just about any Vin Santo will delight you, but my personal favorite is from Borgo Scopeto.

Brandy:  If you enjoy a long evening of conversation, Brandy is a great choice to serve with your pumpkin pie.  I personally don’t buy into the “spirits dull the palate” argument and think that Brandy with its warmth and calm makes a perfect pie pairing partner.  The anh (adorable new husband) and I fell in love with Torres Brandy on our honeymoon in Spain, but I am equally enamoured with Christian Brothers Brandy from the San Joaquin Valley in California.  The Christian Brothers Wineries and Distillery played an impressive role in the history of California Wine, as any visitor to Napa knows…perhaps that’s a story for a future blog post!

Coffee:  If you are in need of a wake-up (or sober-up) session before continuing on to the rest of your day, nothing beats a good cup of coffee with your pumpkin pie.  Coffee and pumpkin pie also makes a great day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast…just don’t tell  your fitness trainer.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Perfect Pairings: Wines for Thanksgiving

When pairing wines with a big turkey dinner, it’s time to take sides. 

By “taking sides” I mean that you need to choose your wines with a mind to the varied tastes and flavors of your side dishes.  Turkey – the main event –  is actually quite neutral in flavor and can pair nicely with a variety of wines.  Side dishes for turkey, however, include the sweet (think yams topped with mini marshmallows), the spicy (sausage stuffing),  the salty (gravy), and the tangy (pickles, olives, and cranberry sauce). 

It takes a fruity, acidic wine with no chance of clashing flavors to match that schizo of a meal.   

I know this subject has been talked to death, that opinions on the matter run hot, and what the world needs now is hardly one more blog post on what wines to serve on Thanksgiving.  So, it is with humility and a bit of trepidation that I offer the following “Bubbly Professor Rules” on wines for Thanksgiving.

Rule #1 – Choose a Wine with Lots of Crisp, Lively Acidity:  Tangy foods, such as cranberry sauce, citrus, or anything from the relish tray, need to be paired with wines that can stand up to the challenge.  To be safe, serve a wine that has lively acidity to begin with and your wine will maintain its balanced flavor even in the presence of acidic foods.

Rule #2 – Choose a Wine with Lots of Fruity Flavors:  Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potatoes, Creamed Corn and Yams…due to the fact that they have a degree of sweetness, these foods require a wine that has a very fruit-forward style. A wine with a hint of sweetness is ideal, as any sweetness in a food will diminish the fruitiness or sweetness of a wine.  It’s best to start with a wine with a good deal of fruit flavors, and maybe even sweetness, in order to preserve the wine’s balance with these types of foods.

Rule #3 – Choose a Wine that is Low to Moderate in Tannin:  Tannin is an integral part of the taste, flavor, and structure of most red wines, and the component that gives many wines their “grip” and a “velvety” feel in others.  So, even though we love it, we must be careful with tannin in the wines we serve on Thanksgiving, as too much tannin can clash with salty tastes or spicy flavors.  To avoid a clash of the titans that might end up with a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth, keep those red wines low in tannins and smooth!

Rule #4 – Choose a Wine with Very Little, if Any, Oak:  Oak is a beloved flavor enhancer of many wine styles.  However, highly oaked wines can clash with some food flavors.  Flavors that are slightly sweet, a bit fruity, or a tad spicy can all spell trouble when combined with oak!

Rule #5 – Choose a Wine that is Moderate in Alcohol:  Alcohol, while part of what makes wine so delightful, has a tendency to clash with certain tastes and flavors, and with all the flavor mingling going on at Thanksgiving, a clash is likely.  If at all possible, keep your wine choices in the moderate alcohol range.  Let’s face it…turkey already has enough drowsiness-inducing tryptophan to put you to sleep.  We don’t need any help from excessive amounts of alcohol!

Bubbly Professor’s Wine Suggestions For Your Turkey Dinner: 

  • Riesling from Alsace, Germany, or Washington State
  • Viognier from Texas, California, or The Rhône Valley of France
  • Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Bubbly – Any dry or semi-dry Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine
  • Prosecco
  • For the adventurous…Sparkling Shiraz
  • For the less-than-adventurous…Moscato d’Asti
  • Dry Rosé – an all-around great choice!
  • Zinfandel from Lodi or Sonoma
  • Pinot Noir from Burgundy, California’s Central Coast or Oregon
  • Malbec from Argentina
  • Shiraz from Australia
  • Beaujolais
  • Or, of course, you can use this philosophy:  Serve anything you like…it’s just one day out of life!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!! No matter what you serve, enjoy the day and give thanks for all the good things in your life! 

Perfect Pairings: Amazeballs and Tempranillo

In honor of International Tempranillo Day 2012, I offer up my “Most Amazing Meatballs” Recipe!  These meatballs remind me of the tapas-style Albondigas the anh (adorable new husband) and I feasted on in Madrid just a few short months ago.

These meatballs can be served up however you like…with spaghetti, on a sandwich, as a tapa, or you can do like I do and “pretend” to eat healthy by serving them up with a nice green vegetable.  Just don’t forget the Tempranillo!

For more information on Tempranillo and suggested food pairings, see my Tempranillo Cheat Sheet.

The Bubbly Professor’s Amazing Meatballs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Pork Sausage (bulk)
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 T. finely chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 t. Kosher Salt
  • 1 t. freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup water

For the Sauce:

  • 2 cups chopped Sweet Onion
  • 1 T. minced Garlic
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 cup Tempranillo (or other dry red wine)
  • 2 – 28 oz. cans of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 T. chopped Parsley
  • 1 T. Kosher Salt
  • 1 t. freshly ground Black Peper
  • 1 t. ground Cinnamon

For the Amazeballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat well with 1 cup water.  Set aside.
  3. Place the ground beef, pork sausage, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl and mix well to combine.  You have to get your hands in there.
  4. Pour the egg and water mixture over the top and mix well again to combine.
  5. Divide the meatball mixture roughly in half and form each “half” into eight meatballs.  You should have a total of 16 meatballs, about 2-inches in diameter each.
  6. Place the amazeballs on an oiled cookie sheet and bake 350º for 20 minutes.

For the Sauce:

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 T. olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Watch the pan so the onions and garlic do not brown, you just want them to soften.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice, the wine, salt, pepper, and cinnamon and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.
  3. Add the seasoning, adjust the seasoning, and add the finished meatballs.
  4. Simmer the meatballs for five minutes and eat immediately, that evening, or the next day.  This is one of those dishes that gets better after a few days.  The meatballs also freeze beautifully in the sauce.  If you eat all the meatballs and have sauce leftover, use it to make a pasta dish or whatever strikes your fancy. 

The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas…

Perfect Pairings: Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic and Viognier

Chicken with Forty (yes, forty) Cloves of Garlic is one of my favorite cold weather dishes.  A flavorful chicken braise like this is not a quick dish to put together, but it is a great kitchen project for a cold weather Sunday.  This dish is also something of a miracle in the way it transforms ordinary, inexpensive ingredients into a meal with delicious, elegant flavors. 

Don’t let the forty cloves of garlic, which is quite literal, frighten you away.  The slow-roasting and simmering process takes away the bitter bite of the garlic and leaves earthy richness in its place.

I’ve chosen this dish as a “perfect pairing partner” for Viognier, but it could be a perfect partner for a number of wines.  I know a lot of people would choose a rich, butter Chardonnay to pair with this dish, and I agree with that whole-heartedly.  I also agree that it could pair equally well with unoaked Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, or Fumé Blanc.  It could fare well with Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Champagne or Rosé.  It’s a wine-loving dish if ever there was one.

Why Viognier?

This recipe for Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic gets it delicious flavor from slow simmering,   caramelization, and sauce reduction.  While all this slow cooking is going on, the umami-rich chicken flavors blend with the earthiness and complexity of the herbs and garlic. It all adds up to a delicious dish! 

However, the reason I chose Viognier as the perfect pairing for this dish lies more in what the recipe does NOT include rather than what it does. While many recipes use a squeeze of lemon, a dice of tomatoes or a splash of vinegar to add flavor complexity, this recipe does not have any acidity added at the end.  We humans love the turbocharged flavor a dash of acidity brings to a dish, but it also diminishes our ability to taste the acidity in a wine. That’s one of the reasons why highly acidic white wines pair so well with seafood, salads, and Italian food!

However, acidity in food can kill a wine like Viognier.  A typical Viognier is a relatively low acid wine, so it’s generally not a good match for high acid food.  When paired with a high acid dish like Salmon with fresh Lemon, Viognier can transform from a rich, round, and delightful wine into something that tastes rather flat and bitter.  A dish like this with little or no acidity is Viognier’s chance to shine! 

For more ideas about food pairing partners for Viognier, check out my “Cheat Sheet for Viognier”.

The Bubbly Professor’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

This dish takes a good deal of time and effort, so I like to make a big batch.  This recipe will feed 6 hungry people, or you can feed four people and have some wonderful leftovers. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, complete with bones and skin
  • 4 chicken leg quarters, complete with bones and skin
  • 3 whole heads garlic
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2  cups chicken stock
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 T. Heavy Cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Procedures:

  1. Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them, unpeeled, into a pot of simmering water.  Let simmer for 60 seconds, then cool them quickly by shocking them in ice water.  Drain the garlic, pat dry and peel.  The garlic skins should slip easily off.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels.  Liberally season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or dutch oven.  If you don’t have such fancy implements, a small stock pot will do.  Add the chicken pieces, in a single layer, skin side down, and saute until golden brown, at least 3 – 5 minutes on each side.  You will need to do this in several batches, moving the browned chicken off to the side untill all the chicken has had its turn. Don’t worry that the chicken is not cooked through; it will cook to tenderness during the braise.
  4. When all the chicken is browned and removed, lower the heat.  Add the peeled garlic to the pot and sauté the garlic, stirring continuously, for five minutes until the garlic is just golden.  Don’t let the garlic burn or get too brown, as this can lead to bitterness.
  5. When the garlic is golden, keep it in the pot and add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock.  Raise the heat and allow the mixture to come to a simmer while continuously scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the remaining stock, the wine, and the dried thyme, and return the chicken to the pot.
  6. Allow the mixture to return to a boil, then turn the heat down low, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  7. When ready to serve, remove the chicken to a platter.  Cover it with aluminium foil to keep the chicken warm while you finish the sauce.
  8. In a small bowl, which together the 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons cool water.  While whisking continuously, add 1/2 cup of the still-hot braising liquid to the bowl, then quickly whisk the mixture back into the pot.  Whisk for 2 – 3 minutes while simmering, until the sauce begins to thicken.  Finish the sauce by adding the cream and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  9. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken, and enjoy.  This makes a great dinner with either a simple vegetable dish or a salad.
  10. Don’t forget the Viognier!  

Perfect Pairings: Paella and Rioja

My last Cheat Sheet on Tempranillo  had me thinking about the last time I made Paella. My anh (adorable new husband) and I had just returned from Spain and I was all-inspired to continue drinking the delicious (and inexpensive, and accessible) wines we had tasted while touring Rioja, and of course I wanted to re-create the amazing food we had experienced all throughout our trip.

I revised this paella recipe quite a bit to make it a more-perfect pairing partner to Tempranillo by leaving out most of the seafood and going heavy on the braised chicken and sausage.  This recipe is originally based on one I hand-copied from a “Foods of the World” book about 30 years ago.  This series of books, from what I recall, was published in the 70’s by National Geographic or maybe Life Magazine.  I’ve carried my hand-written copy around and revised it for almost 30 years.  I am confident that this version is far-far removed from the original recipe, but if anyone knows what book series I am talking about, I’d love to be reminded of just what book that original recipe came from.  

Bubbly Professor’s Paella, Perfect for Rioja

Serves 6 as an entrée, and makes for great leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil (plus more if necessary for sautéing)
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and with the tail left on
  • 6 chicken thighs (skin on)
  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage (in the casings)
  • 1 medium Spanish Onion, medium dice
  • 1 large tomato, small dice (1/2 cup diced tomato)
  • 1 t. salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron threads (this is the only real expensive part)
  • 1 T. Smoked Paprika (substitute regular Paprika if preferred)
  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups Bomba or other short-grain rice
  • 1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper, julienne
  • 1 cup Green Peas (fresh or frozen)

A note on equipment:  The ideal pan for this dish is a 14-inch paella pan.  However, I don’t have a paella pan, so have always just used my 14-inch slope-sided sauté pan.  Use whatever you have; a sauté pan, a dutch oven, or even a stock pot.  It’s more about the technique than the pan.

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in your chosen cooking vessel.  Salt and pepper the chicken thighs, and place them, skin side down, in the pan.  Cook about 6 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  If you are making this recipe is steps, which is easy to do, cover them and refrigerate them as soon as they have cooled.
  2. Using the same pan, sauté the sausage links.  Remove to the side and left cool slightly, then slice into rounds.  Leave off to the side or refrigerate as needed.
  3. Add more olive oil if necessary, and using the same pan, saute the shrimp over medium-high heat for about five minutes.  Set aside and refrigerate and necessary.
  4. Add more olive oil in necessary, and add the chopped onion to the pan.  Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes.  The onions should be soft but not golden brown.
  5. Immediately add the diced tomatoes, raise the heat, and stir continuously for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the salt, saffron, paprika and stir.  Add 1 cup of stock and deglaze the pan thoroughly – you want all the browned-bit-flavor-rich goodness from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the rest of the stock, bring to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes.
  8. Add the rice and stir well, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.  From this point on, you must resist the temptation to stir the pot!
  9. Simmer – without stirring!! – for 10 minutes.
  10. Add the sausage and chicken.  Place them strategically around the pot so that the dish will look nice when you serve it because you will NOT be stirring the pot!
  11. Cook again for 10 minutes, then add the shrimp to the pot.  I like to kind of push them down into the now-thickening mixture.
  12. Cook again, without stirring for 10 – 15 minutes.  Scatter the red bell peppers and peas over the top.  The “trick” to paella is to cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed and then….
  13. Listen for the “crackle”. This “crackle” sound means the most-delicious, crunchy-crusty part of the rice (called “Soccarat” and considered the “best part of the dish”) is forming.  That’s right…put your ear to the pan and wait for the crackle.  Once you hear it, you’ll never forget it!
  14. Remove from the heat, let it rest for a few minutes, and then serve.  It’s traditional to just eat the paella right from the pot.

The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas…missjane@proidgy.net

Perfect Pairing: French Onion Soup and Gewürztraminer

My last post – The Gewürztraminer Cheat Sheet – had me thinking about food pairings with Gewürz, which always leads me straight to French Onion Soup.  I rarely make soup at home  as my anh (adorable new husband) has a sort of primordial dislike of soup as a meal or even a starter course, as if it somehow pre-empts genuine sustenance.  French Onion Soup is one of the few he can abide, and certainly a dish we can agree on.  

Obviously, with all this talk of French Onion Soup (and the accompanying Gewürztraminer), I just have to make it for dinner tonight, so thought I’d share my recipe with you.

There’s one rather odd caveat about this version of the soup.  When we first got married and were still trying to figure out how to care for and feed each other, the anh mentioned he loved French Onion Soup but hated how hard it was to eat.  I had to agreed that I had been put off by stringy versions myself, so this recipe is custom-designed to avoid crouton-cracking splashes and stringy cheese arm-stretches.  I used to think such accommodations were silly, but as a Chef Instructor one of the things I have learned to teach my students is that a fanciful presentation or even delicious flavor cannot make a customer enjoy a dish that is awkward to eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound White Onions, large dice
  • 1 pound Sweet Onions, large dice
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 2 T. Olive Oil (plus more Olive Oil or Olive Oil spray for croutons)
  • 1 t. Sugar
  • 1 – 2 t. Salt, or to taste
  • 1 T. Flour
  • 1 t. Dried Thyme (or Oregano)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine (By all means, you should use Gewürztraminer if possible)
  • 4 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 t. Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
  • 1/2 Loaf of Italian Bread or Baguette
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Gruyère Cheese
  • 4 T. Grated Parmesan Cheese

Makes four appetizer, or two main course, servings.

1.  First of all, make the croutons without too much drama.  I like to cut the bread into one-inch cubes – that’s part of the “easy to eat” platform.  Simply spray (or toss) them with olive oil, place on a flat cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Give them a quick toss, and continue baking until they are golden brown.  After they cool, wrap them in several layers of aluminum foil.  They will keep indefinitely.

2.  For the non-string-inducing cheese topping:  Mix the finely grated Gruyère with the finely grated Parmesan, set aside.

3.  In a large stock pot, melt the butter and add the olive oil.  Add the onions and season with 1 – 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then stir.  Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes at low heat.  Add the garlic.  Continue to cook the onion/garlic mixture for 40 minutes or longer, stopping to stir the mixture and check for browning every 10 minutes. Cook until they onions are very soft and a deep golden brown.

4.  Add the flour, thyme or oregano, bay leaves, and pepper.  Stir over medium-high heat for two minutes.

5.  Add the wine, stock, and water.  Stir until the mixture simmers, then allow to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Check back and stir the mixture every 10 minutes.

6.  Remove the Bay leaves, and give the soup its final “zing” by adding a generous Tablespoon of Sherry Vinegar.

7. When ready to serve, heat the soup to a simmer and divide among two or four bowls.  Spread a pile of croutons out over each bowl, and top with your finely grated cheese mixture.  Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and serve your “easy to eat, non-string-inducing” delicious French Onion Soup with a chilled glass of Gewürztraminer.  Enjoy!

The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas