12.20.13 Suzanne's Soubise (& Yet Another Giveaway!)

Gift 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Hello, gentle readers, here I am a day late but arriving with more surprises for you! The penultimate giveaway in the Glutton for Life Grand Holiday Gift Extravaganza is the above selection of homemade treats, including gooseberry chutney, apricot preserves and a jar of that pickled cauliflower I was telling you about the other day. Tempting? To be a contender for these 3 jars, all you have to do is leave a comment below by midnight on Monday 12/23. I'll post the winner on 12/24, along with the final giveaway, something truly special and unique. As for the cookbooks, those are headed all the way to Alberta, Canada, to the waiting hands of Celina!

In the meantime, I want to tell you about a fantastic, easy side dish that is the perfect thing to accompany your roast beast, or whatever you're making for your upcoming feasts. It's from the fabulous Suzanne Goin, by way of the possibly even more fabulous Julia Child and if that's not enough to pique your interest, just know it involves onions, rice, cheese and cream but is still rather light and relatively healthy.
Soubise 790 xxx
side gig
It's called a soubise, a slow braise of lots of onions and a little rice that's finished with small amounts of cream and nutty Gruyère cheese. It makes a great alternative to mashed potatoes which, as delicious as they are, really aren't the most healthful choice. This soubise is rather adaptable, and could be made with another grain (millet? brown rice? buckwheat?) and different cheese (pecorino? Taleggio? creamy goat?) to different but pleasing effect.
Onions 790 xxx
the onion
The onions—something sweet like yellow or Vidalia—must be sliced quite thin. Use a very sharp knife, a mandoline or the slicing blade on your food processor.
Thyme 790 xxx
it's thyme
Thyme is the herb here and the secret to picking the leaves from the stem is...you tell me. I find this to be among the most odious of kitchen tasks. A good job for an elf or small child.
Cooking 790 xxx
stir the pot
The ribbons of onion melt into the rice and the whole thing has a wonderfully rich creaminess, like a very loose risotto. Suzanne adds some white pepper and stirs in fresh parsley at the end, two steps I leave out. For some reason white pepper smells like horse manure to me, and the parsley just seems a bit overpoweringly green. I don't want anything to interfere with this white winter wonderland of a dish.

Onion & Rice Soubise

adapted from Suzanne Goin
serves 8
  • — 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • — 14 cups yellow onions - 2 cups diced and 12 cups thinly sliced - about 3 lbs total
  • — 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • — 1/2 cup short-grained risotto rice, like Arborio
  • — 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • — 2/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat and, when it foams, add the onions, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook slowly for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often and turning the heat down if it threatens to scorch the butter, until the onions are soft and translucent.

As the onions cook, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the rice to the pot. Cook the rice for 5 or 6 minutes, then drain it. Add the rice to the onions and stir to combine.

Cover the Dutch oven tightly and place it in the oven. Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 30 more.

Before serving, remove the top of the Dutch oven, stir the rice, and place over a medium-low flame to reheat. Stir in the cheese and the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until the dish is hot.

Download recipe  Download Recipe


uhhh.....yes please! this is the best giveaway I've seen in a while. Tell ya what, when you send it to me, I'll return the package with some tomato jam, tomato chutney, and cantaloupe jelly!
Walker Hamilton on December 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm —
The winner is chosen at random, Walker, but bribes are very, very interesting...
laura on December 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm —
I am a HUGE Suzanne Goin fan. I have eaten several times at both Lucques and A.O.C. and when I dropped in late one night at A.O.C., I had the privilege of finding an almost empty restaurant and both Goin and her business partner Carolyn Styne in house. I had an opportunity to chat with them while I waited for my arroz negro to be cooked. I told them that the house I grew up in was directly around the corner from the restaurant (which has since moved), and that I had parked my car in front of my old house that night. And I had an opportunity to tell Goin that "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" was perhaps my favorite of the hundreds of cookbooks I own, and that I appreciated that she had not dumbed down the recipes to make them "less intimidating" to home cooks.
zora on December 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm —
It's definitely on my top ten list of favorite cookbooks!
laura on December 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm —
Merry Christmas, Laura and Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your talents will all of us. I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for 2014 (no pressure!). Enjoy it all. xxoo
nikki on December 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm —
Thanks for being such a loyal reader, Nikki! xo
laura on December 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm —
aaahhh yum?! I will be making this for our Christmas eve feast. Thanks for another amazing recipe. I realize I am late to the game....but remember as far as bribes are concerned, I've only got one thing to say. Clothing store.... haha, Merry Christmas and an artful, peaceful New Year. xo
pamela on December 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm —
you have to make this for MM, he would love it
stephanie on December 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm —
Looks fantastic! We do a lot of cooking with rice here, so this will be just right for our East meets West Christmas meal!
Prairie on December 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm —
...just wanted to wish you a great holiday time, and say how much I enjoy gluttonforlife, even though I rarely cook. I do eat, however, and so read and pass on your recipes to Michael, the cook in the house. He's doing posole for New Year's.
judy on December 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm —
Oh dear, I got hungry just reading this recipe! Wishing you and G all things Merry and Bright and filled with Delight! xo
Suzinn on December 21, 2013 at 12:19 am —
This recipe is also the same as Mark Bittman's, published in the NY Times in 2012.
Katya on December 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm —
You are in fine form. Have a lovely Christmas and Un Feliz Ano Nuevo. Just assure us that George is not the secret gift the winner receives. You need him at home.
Peggy on December 23, 2013 at 10:57 am —
Bittman ran a slightly different variation on Suzanne Goin's recipe, which is just a slight variation on Julia Child's, and she undoubtedly got it from some classic French source. So hard to give credit, where credit is due!
laura on December 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm —
Finally visited AOC in the old ORSO location. God bless Joe Allen and Taylor Lumia, wherever you are. That Arroz Negro was something else but this Soubise looks delectable!
Jennifer Sudarsky MD on December 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm —
I am new to the website; maybe I'll win-I feel lucky this week. Merry Christmas! Patti
Patti Mayer on December 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm —
Yummy can't wait to whip this one up. Looking forward to the sensation of pleasure in my pallet. Warm creamy comfort is my anticipation. Thank you for your commitment to sharing all of these wonders! Cheers!
Denise Wolford on December 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm —
Wow!!!! I'm on my way to the store to buy Gruyere cheese because I must make this now!
Robin on December 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm —
Does it give me an special points that my Aunt (Jannis Swerman) is Suzanne Goins PR company? Check out her site, http://www.jannisswerman.com. She reps some amazing chefs. I never win anything, so maybe this will be my lucky day!
Heidi on December 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm —
Intriguing coincidence...
laura on December 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm —
yum!!!!'yum!!!!! like everything you make! xx
michaelleva on December 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm —
seems like such a delicious way to end this whirlwind of a year…i wish you and yours the sweetest of holiday festivities…!
denise carbonell on December 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm —
Likewise to you and yours, Denise! xo
laura on December 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm —