Enjoy the taste of French onion

Published the week of July 4, 2016

Few things are as decadent as slow-cooked French onion soup served with large croutons and melted cheese. While the soup itself can take a long time to prepare, the flavor of it is much easier to get—and it works in a variety of dishes.

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French Onion Bake

1 loaf French bread or baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 3/4-ounce envelope onion soup mix, prepared according to package directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange bread slices on baking sheets and bake until dry and golden, about 5 minutes per side. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange half the bread slices in a single layer over bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and top with remaining bread slices. Pour prepared onion soup over bread and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake until bread has absorbed most of the soup and cheese is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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French Onion Brussels Sprouts

1 pound fresh Brussels sprout
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons French onion soup mix ( 1 packet)
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the root end off the sprouts; peel off the first layer of leaves and cut each one on half. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan until the butter just starts to brown. Add the sprouts while being careful not to get splattered with hot oil. Stir or toss frequently until the sprouts are nicely browned. Add the water and soup mix and simmer uncovered for about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

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French Onion Burgers

1 2-7/8 ounce cans French-fried onions
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 4ounce cans mushrooms, drained and diced
4 hamburger buns

In a bowl, combine the onions, Worcestershire sauce, salt and mushrooms if using. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 4 patties. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 6 to 9 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Serve on buns with any condiments and toppings of your choice. Makes 4 servings.

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Pantry Pointers

Sometimes the easiest way to enjoy the taste of French onion is in dip. Try serving with veggies, crackers, corn chips, or pretzels.

Try traditional favorites with ground turkey

Ground turkey is a tasty and healthy alternative to ground beef, and perfect for flavorful recipes like chili and meatloaf.

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Simple Turkey Chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cups water
1 28-ounce can canned crushed tomatoes
1 16-ounce can canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Place turkey in the pot; cook until evenly brown. Stir in onion; cook until tender. Pour water into the pot. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and garlic. Add chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

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Turkey Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1 teaspoon canola oil
6 to 8 slices turkey bacon
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/2 small onion, diced
1 slice French bread, crumbled, or 1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add turkey bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble when cool. Mix cooked bacon with ground turkey, Cheddar cheese, egg, onion, crumbled French bread, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper; turn the turkey meatloaf mixture into prepared baking dish and form into a loaf shape in the middle of the dish.
In a medium bowl, mix ketchup, yellow mustard, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Spread the mixture over the turkey loaf. Bake the turkey loaf in the preheated oven until the juices run clear, loaf is no longer pink in the middle, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loaf reads at least 160 degrees, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Makes 6 servings.

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Pantry Pointers

To make ground turkey crumbles, place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and separate into crumbles. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Published the week of February 25, 2013