Friday, September 20, 2013

RaceDay Recipes: French Onion Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time to the table: 15 minutes

I know. What am I thinking?  French Onion Soup is not fast and easy to make.  However, if you open a can, it's not complicated.  So, if you're heading out to the track in your RV, how can you have this light, warm, satisfying meal without sacrificing quality by eating something out of a can?

Think ahead.

My favorite recipe for making French Onion Soup is from AllRecipes. Sometime in the winter I find some free time for some great soup.  I make a double batch of the good stuff and freeze half of it. When we head out to the track, I just take the frozen treat with me.  While shopping for the week, I'm sure to add to the cart:

  • 8 oz. of Swiss Cheese (The recipe calls for Gruyere. I'm not that much of a cheese snob, and can't really tell the difference.  At $12.00/lb I'm willing to go for the cheaper swiss.)

  • 1 Baguette from the bakery.  The French bread is the right shape for making the big crouton.
At the track, leave the soup in the fridge until the day you want it, so you don't have to waste time defrosting.

Reheat the soup on the stove top.  Toast several 1" slices of the baquette in your oven. You don't need a toaster. Just toss it on the rack on your oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes until crispy and brown. If you don't toast the bread, it will soak up all the liquid in your soup AND collapse leaving an awkward presentation.

Turn the oven to Broil.

Fill individual oven-safe soup crocks with the warm soup. Leave about 1/2" at the top.
Top with toasted bread. Try to cover the entire top with the bread to provide a more even melting surface for the cheese.  Top crock with swiss cheese.  Let the cheese run over the rim--this will seal the soup into the crock.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Broil for 5 minutes--or until top is bubbly and a little brown.


Remember, you don't have to eat hamburgers and hot dogs non-stop when hanging out at the infield.

Happy Racing!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

At the Track: Things You May Not Have Known About NHMS

It often amazes me what you can learn about the inner workings of massive venues like NASCAR tracks when you arrive a few days early.  Like, did you know you can wander around the facility for free if you arrive on Monday or Tuesday?  Just stay out of the way of all the vendors getting the place ready for the 100,000 screaming fans!

See the little tether at the top of the number 1?  It's there because a few years ago the bolts on the numbers (which help the drivers count down to the entry of the corner) failed and the tin number became a piece of "debris" during the race. 

 JUST PAINTED!  The guys were finishing up as we walked up.  The start/finish line is all bright and shiny for Sunday's race!

Did you know? Every Styrofoam piece of the SAFER barrier has these numbers on them...what for? Date of manufacture. Some pieces are dated from 2010. Most of the new ones are in the corners.  Guess where we have all the wrecks at NHMS?

Unlike some other tracks (Martinsville!) the grass does not get painted green in New Hampshire. We only paint on the logos.