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Oh those onions…..

November 4th, 2009 | 8 Comments »

Caramelized onions have become pretty common and ubiquitous. They’re everywhere, gleaming from tart crusts and mixed with all sorts of extras and I should be really tired of them, shouldn’t I?

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But I still find myself slicing an enormous pile of onions, ridiculous in it’s volume and placing them in my 25-year old skillet with the high sides to contain the mass. There’s a nice shimmery pool of olive oil and butter awaiting those translucent slices, and even though my mind is telling me that it’s way too much- did I really need to slice all five of those huge things?- I have to calmly tell myself that with patience and time, some brown sugar, a little kosher salt and a hundred or so turns of the spoon,  it will reduce itself appropriately to fit into a two-cup container. And it does. I must feel I have precious little else to do with my time but keep watch over a pan on the stove for an hour or so.

As the mass cooks and pops, and I stir, stir, stir and stir some more to cook them as evenly as possible, I find myself poking through the fridge to see what I can do to kick my inner Iron Chef into action. Sure, I may think that making a big pan of these burnished beauties is a fine idea, in reality, I often jump into a process of cooking with nary a hint of what my final outcome of that ingredient will be. But I am creative. Something always happens. I pull out the half decimated container of fresh sage leaves and wonder ‘Hey! Haven’t I heard something about frying sage leaves?’ and then I think that fried sage leaves would be amazing with those onions so pretty soon my house is even more fragrant and I find myself glad that I am home by myself at this point. It’s unfair to subject anyone to amazing cooking smells when you have no idea how you plan to utilize it all.

So let’s back up, shall we? There’s the onions, the fried sage leaves crumbled to crispy bits and a container of gorgonzola. All this combination really needs is some sort of vehicle to get it to my mouth. Crostini? A spoon? Fingers?

Flatbread? With spinach pesto??

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Somebody pinch me. I’ve created heaven. If I disappear for a bit in a daze of an herb and onion induced food coma, honed to razor sharp perfection by gooey gorgonzola, this might be why.

For the flatbread recipe, go HERE.

For the spinach pesto recipe, go HERE.

And if you’re looking for something really simple but with incredible flavor, make these garlic and lemon infused white beans, and then stir some of the onions into them. Hmmm…..this could be heaven too. It’s a toss-up.

Oh and then as if that wasn’t enough, I added them to roasted garlic and sauteed shrimp and lots of fresh herbs that went over delightfully toothsome whole grain pasta, and it turns out that something celestial happened right there in that dish as well.

Sorry….have I just made you hungry???

Overload, and salvation

April 20th, 2009 | 9 Comments »

There’s a glut of food blogs on the ‘net, have you noticed? I’ve been trolling for some new inspiration, awesome lurk-worthy sites that are an instant source of excitement, chock full of recipes that I can’t wait to make.

I found myself gasping at what was in front of me; I was a bit taken aback, like thinking I fell into another era. The posts talked about mac and cheese, baked potatoes covered with canned soup, casseroles with frozen vegetables and potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches with perfect squares of fake cheese…..and please excuse me for sounding snobbish as I certainly know I do right about now…. but this is the food that Jamie and I joke and laugh about, the stuff we were forced to eat coming of age in the 1970′s from mothers who only knew about Betty Crocker and The Joy of Cooking.  This is not, in all our 2009 understanding about our food, our health, the way we can nurture and protect ourselves from the plate up; this is not food. I’m sorry. Forgive the mini-rant, it’s done now.

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It gets better….I promise-  read on…….

Come in to my kitchen…