Make French onion soup
Peel and cut the onions into half rings. Do you find it a bit too much and unpleasant carving? You’re done in no time with a food processor.
Heat the butter in a high pan (preferably with a thicker bottom) and fry the onions briefly over high heat. Then the thyme sprigs and bay leaf can be added. As soon as the onions turn light brown, let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes on low heat.
Now you are going to do something you may not have done before: flambé. Basically nothing exciting if you just make the right preparations; turn off the hood and turn the heat to high. Add a splash of cognac to the pan and light it.
The fire will slowly extinguish by itself. Only do this if you feel comfortable with it, otherwise just skip this step. As soon as the fire has gone out, deglaze it with the stock (or beef stock) and let it simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.
French bread with Gruyère
Preheat the oven to 225 ° C. Slice the baguette, grate the Gruyere cheese and sprinkle some thyme leaves on top. Then you roast it for about 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven at 225 ° C.
Salad with kale and steak
As you are used to from Hugo, he starts making the dressing. Put the vinegar, honey and mustard in a bowl and beat it. Add the olive oil while beating. Taste if the dressing is to your liking. When testing you have to think ‘ooh that is sour’, then you are good according to Hugo.
Finely chop or pick the kale and add it to the dressing. Kale is the only type of lettuce that can already be mixed with the dressing. You want the kale to soften a bit. Then you can peel the onion and cut it into thin half rings.
Sprinkle the steaks with a pinch of salt and pepper (to taste). Heat a dash of oil with the butter in a frying pan and fry the steaks for about three minutes on each side until medium cooked. Or just what you and your table companions love. Are they satisfactory? Remove them from the pan, wrap them in aluminum foil and let the meat rest.
If you want a medium (rare) or rather well-done steak, Hugo has a handy tip for you. The structure of the flesh resembles the mouse of your hand. Hugo shows in the images below how to know when the steak is to your liking: (1) medium rare, (2) medium, (3) rare and (4) fully cooked. If you feel the meat and it remains ‘dented’, the meat is still raw.
Back to the salad. Cut the unpeeled apple into small cubes. The kale and onion are now nicely withdrawn. Mix in the arugula with your clean hands. The arugula adds a peppery flavor to the salad. Divide the salad including pieces of apple over the plates, cut the steak into nice thin slices and put them on top.
And finally, the soup. Season the French onion soup with salt and pepper. Make sure you remove the thyme and bay leaf before serving. Place a few pieces of au gratin baguette on top of each bowl of soup and serve on a breadboard.