A week after revisiting The Best French Onion Soup On This Continent, I decided to try my hand at an onion soup of my own. I used Rachael Ray's recipe -- and yeah she's a skank ho and there are much more creative recipes I could have followed (Alton Brown's calls for unfiltered apple cider), but I just wanted a rough sketch of what and how much to use, and as I do with nearly all recipes, I shitcanned the rules pretty early on and followed my instincts.
My soup came YAY close to matching the majesty of the Croton Colonial's -- I would have browned the cheese longer but the kitchen started to fill up with smoke (leftover fat in the broiler tray), and I could have given the crouton some hind legs (garlic? thyme?) instead of just using plain toasted baguette slices. Maybe a real beef stock instead of dodgy bouillion. But the broth came out fabulously, thanks in part to HEAPS (hic) of dry sherry and beaujolais, and red onions sauteed in really good Trader Joe's olive oil. The gruyere I bought had BIG attitude and kept getting all up in my face and saying "eat me" while I was grating it up, and you know, peer pressure. But the broth! Really splashy and perfumey, smooth and simmery but just a little tawdry -- onions and wine coupling happily under a warm top sheet of cheese, cheerfully ignoring the winter doldrums of the outside world. I'm quite satisfied.