French onion steak skillet

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes
French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, folks. This is a holiday that I don’t particularly enjoy. If you’re not in a relationship or in one that’s complicated, it can feel like a giant middle finger. If you are in a relationship, it can be stressful and/or tedious to have a mandated celebration of your love. AND EXPENSIVE, AMIRIGHT? There’s definitely surge pricing for restaurants and babysitters. Bleh. I hate it.

So instead, we’ll put the kiddo to bed early, open a bottle of wine, and make this easy French Onion Steak Skillet that requires VERY little work and even less cleanup.

But even on non-holiday nights, if your kids like French Onion Soup or steak, they’ll dig in. No need to save this for a special, adults-only meal.

Also, I think I’ve finally cracked the code for getting GENUINELY caramelized onions (not fried, frizzled, or straight-up burned) in about 20 minutes. I know, I know. Most recipes claim that it takes 20 minutes when it actually takes an hour or more to get that deep uniform jammy brownness. Behold this before and after:

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes
French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

After a deep dive through Youtube videos and Cook’s Illustrated articles, I’ve achieved great results much faster than usual. Here are a few secrets to speeding up this otherwise slow process:

  1. Use a large pan with a tight fitting lid. You’ll melt butter and olive oil together and then cook the onions for 3 minutes at a time with the pan covered.

  2. Use medium high heat the whole time. You want the onions to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan just a little bit. If they stick too much and/or blacken rather than brown, turn the heat down slightly. If the onions aren’t sticking to the bottom, turn the heat up.

  3. Add water or stock every 3 minutes and scrape the browned bits off of the bottom and mix them into the onions while they’re cooking.

  4. Repeat the process: Cook 3 minutes over high heat/ add liquid/ scrape the browned bits/ cover and cook for 3 more minutes. After about 15-20 minutes, the onions will be done!

  5. Add 1/8 tsp baking powder at the very end to make the onions sweeter. You can’t add it at the beginning or the onions will break down too much, but adding it at the end lends just the right amount of jamminess.

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

French onion steak skillet

4 large onions, sliced in ¼ inch slices  
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter, divided
5 large sprigs of thyme
2½ cups beef stock
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 lb skirt steak, strip steak, flank steak, or tri-tip steak (basically any moderately thin steak) Salt and pepper to taste
½ large baguette, sliced
1 clove garlic, halved
3 oz gruyere cheese, thinly sliced or grated
Flaky sea salt

For the onions:
In a large, ovenproof skillet or pot with a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter over a medium high flame. Add the onions and thyme, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. If the onions start to burn, turn the heat down slightly (but try to maintain a high heat). After 3 minutes, remove the cover, add ¼ cup of stock, and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and mix the onions around. Re-cover and cook for another 3 minutes, and then repeat the stock/scrape/mix process. Repeat this 3-minute process until the onions are uniformly soft and brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and mix in ¼ tsp kosher salt and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. Remove the onions to a separate plate and wipe out the pot.

For the skillet:
Whole the onions are cooking, slice the bread and toast lightly in the toaster. Rub the raw garlic over one side of the bread. Shred the gruyere. Set aside.

When the onions are done and removed to another container, heat the broiler to high.

Melt the other 2 Tbsp of butter in your wiped-out skillet over high heat. Sear the steak for about 3-4 minutes per side. While the steak is seering on one side, season with salt and pepper. Repeat when you flip to the other side.

Turn off the heat and add the cooked onions back to the pan.

Pour 3-4 Tbsp of stock over the onions in the pan. Nestle the slices of bread in the onions around the steak and top with cheese.

Place the entire pan under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Slice the steak to test doneness. Sprinkle with more flaky sea salt and fresh thyme sprigs.

 

Yield: 2 grown up and 2 kid servings

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

Green bean galette

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Thanksgiving is almost here folks, hard as that might be to believe.

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I feel very lucky to have like-minded family with whom to share the holidays. But if you're facing a tense gathering next week, just make this galette and shove it into anyone's mouth who steers the conversation down a treacherous path. Or, take your own giant bite, close your eyes, and pretend to be somewhere else. That's what I would do.

We've eaten this galette quite a few times since the calendar struck September and I decided it was time to eat "cozy food." I suppose it's more work than your average green bean casserole made with prefab ingredients, but if you have any inkling to make your own fried onions or mushroom soup, then this galette will require similar skill, time, and brain power, if not less. 

Making a quick bechamel instead of using grated cheese would certainly take this guy up a notch and be even closer to a real green bean casserole, but in the spirit of making things quickly and easily, I went for the more straightforward approach. No need to pre-cook the green beans, but definitely caramelize the onions and toast the breadcrumbs before baking.

This galette is also delicious with some ham (or leftover turkey) and an egg on top.

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Green bean galette

1 sheet puff pastry
3 oz gruyere, grated
6-8 oz green beans, trimmed
½ large onion or 3-4 large shallots
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup whole wheat panko
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425. Roll out a sheet of puff pastry dough into a large rectangle on a piece of parchment. Grate gruyere and spread over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch boarder.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat and add the onions, cooking until they begin to brown and caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and salt and sauté until fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes.

Place the raw green beans on the puff pastry and cheese, leaving the 1-inch border. Spread the breadcrumb mixture over the green beans and fold the border over the edges of the green beans and breadcrumbs.

Bake for 18-23 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Yield: 6 portions

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Delicata squash boats!

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It's Whole 30 time again, folks. Between the move and my health, I've been feeling unmoored and eating with an abandon that has left me sluggish, foggy, and out of control.

So, I'll be posting some non-Whole 30 recipes that are already in my queue and that we make for Max, but will also be focusing on Whole-30 compliant recipes, especially over on Instagram.

In the mean time, these squash boats are so so good. I made a 1/2 batch for this post and have been eating the plain roasted delicata squash with everything. As I write this, I'm feasting on 1/4 of a squash filled with homemade turkey sausage and topped with a runny egg.

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Delicata is the sort-of-lazy man's squash. It's not totally without prep as you have to cut it in half and clean out the seeds in the middle. But there's no peeling, because the peel is edible, which erases the most aggravating thing about squash for me.

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Anyway, the non-Whole 30 version of these are a huge hit with the toddler. While, obviously, the cheese, milk, and bread play a big role, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. The bread and nutty cheese are a nice salty, crunchy counterpoint to the sweet, soft squash while the eggs and milk add richness and the kale adds a little green as well. 

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Delicata squash boats

2 large delicata squash, washed, ends trimmed, and cut in half with seeds scooped out
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup grated parmesan
4 large sage leaves, minced (or ½ tsp of dried sage)
4 oz stale bread cubes
1 cup finely chopped kale
4 oz cooked sausage
2 oz gruyere

Preheat the oven to 400. While the oven is heating, clean the squash by cutting each log in half, scooping out the seeds and pulp in the center, and placing cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk lightly to combine. Add the bread cubes and stir to dampen all of the bread. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined and nothing is dry. Set aside.

Roast the squash for 15 minutes, or until a fork can just pierce the outside of the squash (the squash will continue to cook, so don’t look for full fork tenderness and you don’t want overdone squash because it could fall apart). 

Remove from the oven and carefully flip over being mindful of the steam. Scoop equal amounts of filling into the centers. Top with grated gruyere and place back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is brown and melted.

Yield: 4 dinner-sized servings for adults (M usually eats about ½ of a squash)  

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