Tonight, the dining halls aren’t going to cut it and you want to have a fancy dinner with friends, or even with that special someone. Ah, I see your hand reaching for the smart phone — don’t you dare go to Yelp. You’re eating at home tonight and if it’s for that special someone, here’s a recipe guaranteed to swoon your date. For the most beautiful stress-free dinner party ever, do some prep-work a day in advance. This French onion soup stuffed mushrooms with beet-basalmic gastrique sauce come with 2 checkpoints where you can stop, store and resume cooking right before serving. Perfect for study breaks.
Prep Time: 1-2 hours
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
2 large onions
1 teaspoon mustard
½ cup stock
24 cremini mushrooms
½ cup gruyere sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 ounces sweet dark beer or red wine (Under 21? Substitute a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce)
Parsley or cilantro (garnish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ stick butter
Salt and pepper
This recipe uses a fancy word: “gastrique.” It’s French for “sweet and sour sauce” and it’s super simple to make.
1. Peel and cube your beet.
2. Puree with balsamic vinegar.
3. Strain out the beet-guts.
4. Reduce in a pot until it covers the back of a spoon.
1. Slice onions as thin as you can. The thinner the onions the fancier your final product will look.
2. Caramelize in a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 15 minutes or until soft and light brown.
3. Pour in stock, alcohol, mustard, salt and pepper. Reduce until most of the liquid is gone. The onions should taste sweet from the alcohol, well salted, and a little spicy from the mustard and pepper. Add more of each ingredient to taste until your satisfied.
1. Rinse mushrooms gently in a bowl of water.
2. Remove stems from caps.
3. Sauté mushrooms in a frying pan until light brown and soft. I do mine in batches of 8 so I can give each mushroom attention.
Checkpoint 1: Cooked and Stored
At this point you can store the onion and mushrooms for later preparation at serving time. They will store well for up to 10 days.
1. Fill mushrooms with onions.
2. Top with gruyere.
Checkpoint 2: Ready to Bake
You can leave the mushrooms as they are on the tray and bake them right before serving. You can also bake them partially for an even faster service.
3. Bake until cheese starts to color. This should take about 10 minutes depending on your oven.
1. Place your mushrooms on top of the gastrique. Here are tips to really impress your guests.
Tip: A squeeze bottle is particularly helpful to get that really fancy squiggle of gastrique. It’s all in the details.
2. Garnish with your favorite herbs and serve.
End this dinner party with an equally impressive dessert. Check out these recipes: