Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Game of Thrones, Ostend.

Although I had read most of the books (although I don’t think I am Tyrion_Lannistercurrent with them) of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, I hadn’t watched any of the HBO series, Game of Thrones, on TV. Somehow it didn’t appeal. However, several of my friends said I should watch it and told me how good it was so I borrowed the first two episodes from the local library and watched them on Sunday night. I thoroughly enjoyed them, particularly the character of Tyrian Lannister played by Peter Dinklage who, I think, is brilliant. I have the next two episodes on the way later today. They only give me a week to watch them so I don’t want to order too many DVDs at once just in case. I think once Martin had bumped off most of the Stark family from Winterfell, Tyrion Tyreanwas my favourite character anyway. They stuck pretty well to the books but I did notice a few discrepancies which, considering how many years it is since I read the books, is quite surprising.  Also the events which occurred in different books have been aligned in the same episodes. I’m not quite sure what the timelines would have been originally. Still, all in all, it is very good and I would recommend the programme if you have never watched it.

Here’s a totally new take on French Onion Soup. It sounds delicious and something I just might have a go at for the winter. I’ve left the time in as this might require you to make it over a couple of days if you haven’t time to do it all in one hit. The thing with French Onion Soup, it takes me back to when I was in my late teens, early 20s and we would sail over to Ostend in Belgium where I had a large bunch of friends of my own age. We often ended up in the Kursaal which was both a casino and a night club where we used to dance the night away. Returning home we would often stop in at a late night restaurant for a bowl of delicious French Onion Soup.

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

Contributed by Hugue Dufour
  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN French Onion Soup2
  • SERVINGS: 10
Hugue Dufour makes a pork broth for his French onion soup using bacon for smokiness and a pig's foot for richness. Omit the pig's foot for a lighter broth.

  1. 2 pounds lean slab bacon, in one piece
  2. 1 whole pig's foot or two halves
  3. 8 large yellow onions—1 whole, 7 sliced 1/4 inch thick
  4. 2 gallons of water
  5. 1/4 cup rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
  6. Salt
  7. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  8. Two 12-ounce bottles brown ale
  9. 6 rosemary sprigs
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. 12 ounces rustic bread, cubed
  12. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  13. 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  14. 4 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1/2 pound)
  1. In a pot, cover the bacon, pig's foot and whole onion with the water and boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the foot is tender, 3 1/2 hours. Strain the broth and return to the pot, reserving the bacon and pig's foot.
  2. Boil the broth until reduced to 2 quarts, 25 minutes; skim off the fat or refrigerate overnight and then skim off the fat. Remove all the lean meat from the bacon and pig's foot, cut into bite-size pieces and reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the rendered fat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the onions are very soft, 30 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth.
  4. Return the pot to the burner. Add the strained broth, ale and 4 of the rosemary sprigs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the soup thickens. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, until no floury taste remains. Add the reserved meat and season the soup with salt and pepper. Discard the rosemary.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes, melted butter, garlic and the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until the croutons are crisp. Discard the rosemary and garlic.
  6. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls on a baking sheet and top with the croutons and cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until bubbling, and serve.
Have a great day,


  1. The series is excellent. I've never read the books but I'm enjoying the show.

    1. I wondered if you had seen them, I figured you would have. The books were/are good but stretched out too long, it's gotta be 20 years since I read the first one - yeah 1991 I just checked.

  2. Am bookmarking this recipe-- sounds awesome, with the rainy weather I've been having over here in Singapore.

  3. I've never read or seen Game of Thrones. It should be right up my alley but I haven't pursued them. I'm not sure if the show has violence and/or nudity b/c I refuse to watch shows w/ those themes. The only time I had French onion soup was in France. I remember eating the bread and cheese off the top. lol Russell likes it. Maybe I'll make it for him.

    1. Oh yes JoJo, lots of violence and nudity. Not a theme just the way things went. Not violence and nudity for the sake of it.

      Don't forget this is made with pork instead of beef broth.

  4. It took Pinky and I a few goes to get into it (I kept getting confused as to who was who!) We're addicted now though but I still occasionally ask Pinky, "Who's that bloke again?"

    1. I'm not surprised Scott, they don't seem to give you the names of some of the characters. I will have no-one to ask as Matt is not interested in stuff like that.