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Thursday, December 10, 2009

balsamic-braised cipolline onions

like many of us, there was a time when i HATED onions. my poor parents had to sit across the dinner table and watch me pull every last tiny sliver of onion out of my bowl of chili for at least 10 years. "you can't even taste them!" they would say. but i was convinced they tasted like moths. (i don't know-- there's no explanation for it.)

now, not only does every dish i make begin with an onion saute, i seek, buy, braise, photograph, eat, swoon over, and blog about, whole onions.

these red lovelies are organic cipollines, a mild, sweet variety that has its origins in italy. it took me several weeks to finally decide on a menu where they could shine, and shine they did. a medium rare grass-fed top sirloin from skagit river ranch (one of the best pieces of beef i've had in a long time! such flavor...), brussels sprouts with cream and mustard (recipe from edible seattle), and a simple roasted delicata squash made up the plate.

balsamic cipolline onions
adapted from bon appetit, nov 1999

4 cipolline onions
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup beef stock
2 Tbps butter
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh cracked pepper

blanch onions in boiling water 3 minutes. trim ends and peel.

whisk other ingredients together in skillet over medium heat. add onions and bring to a simmer. cover and cook 30-40 minutes, turning them over occasionally, until cooked through to desired tenderness. taste sauce and season with salt and pepper.

this is a relatively savory sauce as is-- add more sugar and balsamic for a sweeter, tangier sauce. last time i made them i left out the worcestershire, added more sugar and stewed everything with golden raisins-- totally delicious!

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