I discovered this cheese maker a couple of weeks back, and had a hunk of the Appalachian Tomme in my cheese drawer. It was gradually getting whittled down by late-night wine-snacking, so I figured I needed to get it in a dish, fast. And since fall's coming... and French Onion Soup is totally my "welcome, autumn!!" meal, and Nova's makes a great french loaf, well, the stars aligned, and we ate them all.
Yeah, I left the lightbox up since last I shot. Lazy, fo sho.
French Mushroom Soup with Sammich
For the stew:
1/2 pound wild mushrooms, or 1 large portabello cap, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into thin rings
1/4 small head red cabbage, sliced thin
3 tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon honey
2 springs fresh Tarragon
1/2 cup bourbon
3 cups good quality vegetable stock or water
Salt to taste
Melt your butter in a deep saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Turn heat to low and add onions and cabbage, and garlic. Toss to coat with butter, cover, and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are super soft and have tiny brown bits.
Add your mushrooms, toss to coat again, simmer another 10 minutes.
Turn heat to high, add your bourbon, toss veggies, and simmer until the alcohol has burned off. Add your stock, tarragon, honey, turn heat to low, simmer another 30 minutes.
Taste for salt and adjust. Set aside.
For ze Croque Madame:
1 thick slice french bread, smeared with butter or mayonaisse
2 slices homemade seitan, quick-seared in smoked paprika and oil, or a couple slabs of tempeh bacon, pan-fried
1 large farmstead egg
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup coarsely-grated Appalachian Tomme or Gruyere cheese
Fry your egg in the butter until set on the bottom and somewhat set on top. Put your bread on a pizza pan or baking pan. On top of the bread, place bacon, egg, then sprinkle the entire 1/2 cup of cheese over the top, letting some fall over the sides. Broil 5 minutes until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
With a ladle, spoon 3 spoonfuls of stew onto a plate, spreading the stew to the edges with the back of the ladle. With a spatula, carefully lift your sammich, including melty-cheese, and place it in the middle of the stew.
We munched this 50-miler with a simple salad: spicy salad greens, 1/2 peach thinly sliced, 1/2 cup toasted pecans, and some sliced cukes. A pal had passed along a small jar of his homemade honey mustard dressing. Perfect!
Hard cheeses are hard to find in our state because the milk laws are rather restrictive. This cheese was really complex, very earthy. Contrasted well with the smokiness of the bourbon and mushrooms. Ya!