Now that Smitten Kitchen has a cookbook…I’m going to be posting a lot more of her recipes.  Everything Deb Perelman has come up with is absolutely amazing!  These made a great appetizer for us, but they would also be a very tasty side to just about any bowl of soup – enjoy!

French Onion Toasts

2 T. butter AND 1 T. olive oilFrench Onion Toasts

2 lbs. (4-5 large, or about 5 c.) yellow onions, diced

1/2 t. EACH salt AND sugar

1 T. cognac (or brandy, or vermouth)

1 c. good beef broth

freshly ground pepper

1 long baguette cut into (at least) 32 slices (1/2 inch/1 cm thick)

2 c. Gruyere, grated

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet, add the onions and cook and stir for a couple of minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, then remove the lid, add in the salt and sugar and cook for another 15+ minutes until the onions have caramelized and are a lovely golden brown color.

Pour in the cognac and the broth, then turn the heat to high and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan, reduce the heat again and simmer until almost all of the liquid disappears – this will take another 5 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  Spread about 1 tablespoon of onion mixture onto each slice of bread and place on the baking sheet, sprinkle all of the coated slices with freshly ground pepper and then sprinkle at least a tablespoon of cheese onto each bread, mounded a bit so the cheese stays put.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the toasts are melted and golden then serve straight away.

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