Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gourgeres Fun: Pickled Onions

Laughing and crying in the kitchen, within the space of one meal's preparations, is a good sign.  Crying courtesy of onion slicing on the mandolin for Carol's Pickled Onion's (pg. 271) and uncontrollable giggles while "piping" out New Year's Eve Gougeres (pg. 116) (imagine, little cubes of cheese not quite fitting through the tip ... well ... you will just have to try it).  We savored the (extravagant for us) Gruyere and had the (unusual for us) experience of eating an appetizer for dinner.  We agreed they make an excellent appetizer, but growing boy appetites prefer more hearty fare in the dinner category.

My favorite part was the easy, fast, tart and inexpensive addition of pickled onions; I am looking forward to trying them on sandwiches (BLT!) and salads. Recipe below adapted from Zuni Cafe Cookbook. 

Pickled Onions
Use a Mandolin with a great caution - my fingers get seasick just thinking of one - having danced too close to the edge one to many times...

Time:  20 minutes (with a Mandolin)
Cost: $3

3 medium yellow onions
1 1/4 cups Champagne Vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 T sugar
2 bay leaves
1 small dried chili (e.g. thai)
Pinch of black peppercorns
Salt to taste

Slice onions 1/8" thick, ideally falling into rings.  Combine remaining brine ingredients into saucepan large enough to accommodate addition of onions.  Bring mixture to a simmer over med-low heat, turn heat up to medium and add onions.  Gently stir brine and onions and return to a simmer for 1 minute.  Carefully pour onions and brine directly into a mason jar(s), cover and store refrigerated ... indefintetly.

New Year's Eve Gougeres with Arugula and Bacon
These were made with absolutely no idea what a Gougeres looked or tasted like  - or in fact how to pronounce .. a quick google search shows we weren't too much off the mark in looks.  Now how to say it ...  

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