Tag Archives: onions

Five Onion Confit

I grew up expecting to have to eat the onions on my plate whether I wanted them or not. That’s just how it went at our house, and I didn’t question it.  Good thing I’ve always liked them.   Although I remember my mother telling me my grandfather liked a good onion sandwich, we had them sliced and in salads — mostly yellow onions because they were a staple — but scallions were included once in a while, along with red onions.  Now that I think of it, red onions made their appearance when we lived in Spain because they were served in the cafes, often included with cucumbers and tomatoes in a very light water and red wine vinegar marinade.  No lettuce, just a sprinkle of salt.  It was wonderful.

Onions were chopped and fried in bacon fat for the liver my mother enjoyed so much, and as much as I didn’t want a taste of the liver, I could sit all day and inhale the aroma of those onions.  Chopped onions went into simple spaghetti sauce to flavor it, or in goulash along with other vegetables and pasta, because it didn’t seem right to not have them in the mix.  My mother’s meatloaf wouldn’t be meatloaf without chopped onions.  They were quartered and added to our Sunday pot roast with carrots and celery as well, but I didn’t appreciate their flavor in the braise.  Perhaps it was the sweetness — something I expected in the more predictable foods kids enjoy — not an onion.  I still had to eat them. I liked them best raw on burgers, or a salami sandwich, the crunch and sharp spike of flavor something that was definitely missed if it wasn’t included.

Maybe it was the onion soup my father made one year before a holiday dinner.  I’m surprised I don’t remember the details of his making it, but the flavor of those long cooked onions nestled in a rich broth gave me a different perspective on just how unique the sweetness of caramelized onions could be.  I’d never had onion confit, though, and wondered just how different it might be.  Would the sweetness that it took me years to appreciate be more intense and if it was, would I enjoy it?  Based on many of the recipes I’ve come across where onion confit or jam is included, I’m thinking yes.

But would one type of onion suffice?

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3-Onion Leek Tart

3-Onion and Leek Tart Time has just flown by lately and with it, my opportunities to not only write as much as I have, but cook the way I’ve always enjoyed cooking — experimenting with new recipes.  Since coming back from Mexico, I’ve been mulling over an opportunity that has taken on a life of its own and me with it.  For the next year or so, I’ll be out of the house again for most of the day so will have to learn to adjust to writing here in the time I have left.  I know there are many of you who do this successfully, so I’ll look to you for inspiration and perhaps a schedule!  By all means, share your secrets with me so I can find a good balance.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a tart I made recently inspired by yet another tart made with some lovely vegetables from Specialty Produce. Although the brief and somewhat elusive season for ramps is close to ending (April – May) , I was able to sample them for the first time.  Ramps are wild leeks harvested by foraging in wooded, mountainous areas, and from what I’m learning, quite the reason to celebrate since they’re a sign of spring.  Ramps are a member of the allium family, so I decided to sample them with green garlic and shallot shoots knowing that whatever I ended up making would be delicious.  Unfortunately, the first tart was prepared for a dinner party, and since I’m challenged to find a way to shoot great photos while entertaining, I decided to recreate the tart using a different collection of vegetables from the onion family.

Because I was home alone that evening, I was thrilled not to have to share this amazing tart with anyone.

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Spring Salad with Dandelion Greens, Asparagus and Fresh Peas

If there was ever a salad season, Spring would be it. Baby veggies and greens are everywhere and the simple act of opening a food magazine has me craving salad more than I normally do. I’ve never lived above the 36th parallel north in my life, so I could argue that it’s salad season all year long, but I’ve concluded others may not necessarily feel that way.

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Gourmet’s Rye Walnut Rolls

Walnutbuns
I don't know that I've had walnuts in anything that I didn't like.  I just like walnuts.  I like the bite on the side of my tongue that doesn't come when I chew into a pecan which is much more sweet.

Walnuts in cookies, salad, and pasta get my full, undivided attention, so it seems reasonable that I'd like them in bread, too.  And what a surprise that the bread isn't sweet, or filled with raisins and flavored with cinnamon.  But I wouldn't complain if that's what was put in front of me.  How could I?

No, it's a savory bread, and one filled with onions, too.  As I worked my way through this recipe, I wondered about how thyme, or a bit of cheese might taste.

And bacon.  Life is too short to not include a bit of pork fat when one can.

But I resisted, so it looks like I just may have to revisit this recipe, the third of four I've chosen to bake this month and featured in Gourmet.  I've enjoyed making bread once a week so far this month and am considering keeping up with it since the possibilities are endless and I have so much to learn.

I love possibilities.  They're just hovering out there, waiting for someone to take notice.

Unfortunately, it takes some motivation, doesn't it?  And my motivation failed me after I purchased the rye flour I was happy to have in my pantry for these lovely rolls.  It was to have been used in a starter that I promised to make and never did.

I'll get around to that one of these days, but in the meantime, it was nice to have the rye flour just waiting.

This recipe for Rye Walnut Rolls is the third of four for
the month of February as part of "Let Us Eat Bread," featuring recipes
from Gourmet's "Roll With It."  Our bread baking group includes:  Judy of No Fear Entertaining, Courtney of Coco Cooks, Andrea of Andrea's Recipes, Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, and our fearless leader, Sandy of At the Baker's Bench. 

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Sliders and Bratwurst are Quick Game Day Food

It’s Friday, and much of the food world seems to be focused on one thing:  Super Bowl food. Okay, so maybe not, but I had to start this somewhere, right? Maybe it would be more accurate to say 50% of us use it as an excuse to have a party. What would game day be like without food?  We have to have something to munch on while watching those commercials!

This year, we have no plans to attend or host anything *yes*, but the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals just might make it a good game for a change. Too often, it’s not entertaining in my opinion, so food helps make it an occasion — and not a fancy one with a lot of prep.  We go easy on the appetizers — chips, salsa and guacamole — have a meal at half-time.

It’s casual meal usually of chili or ribs.  But it could be this instead: a spin on traditional stadium food, and which can be put out allowing people to graze at their leisure.

Southwest Sliders in honor of the Cardinals…

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…and Bratwurst Dogs with Peppers & Onions in honor of the Steelers.

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I’m not sure who I’m pulling for, but I am a Zonie by birth.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

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