November 25, 2012 1 Comment
We had a delightful crowd for Thanksgiving – some we knew, some we didn’t, and I think it was one of our best hosting experiences in a long time. Everything just clicked, significantly owing to Sarah’s awesome culinary and hostessing skills.
My contribution was The WSJ’s cipolline in agrodolce, which is a fancy way of saying “sweet & sour cipolline onions” (cipolline onions look like vidalias which were left in the dryer way too long). That was delicious, but was fantastically labor-intensive – we made the error of tripling the recipe, requiring making two batches. The right approach would be to double the recipe, which would still fit in one sauté pan. Additionally, this isn’t a good “only” recipe for a cook – it traps you in the kitchen, so it’s better to be making this along with something else, although be warned: peeling all those onions takes a LONG time (it took me ~50 minutes to do 3lbs, because you’re trying to leave them whole, but peeled). Budget more than 2 hours from start to finish.
Quoted here in case the link goes away: In a large sauté pan heat 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 2 ounces butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until butter is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add 1 bay leaf and 1 pound medium whole cipolline onions, peeled. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and caramelized on both sides, about 12 minutes. (12 minutes my tuchus – it takes longer). Add 2 tablespoons sugar and cook until all granules have dissolved. Add 1 cup red wine vinegar and simmer until reduced completely, about 20 minutes. (this too takes longer). Add 1 cup chicken stock, then turn heat down to low. Simmer until onions are tender and liquid is reduced by half. Remove pan from heat and finish with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I discovered two new wines: a 2010 Gabriele pinot noir, which was delicious (although light, so went well with the turkey), and a 2011 Binyamina Reserve Sauvignon Blanc which had a crisp mineral taste which offset the sweet richness of the onions particularly well.
The overwhelming consensus at the table was the people were most grateful for their families and friends. An amusing bit of the meal was when I referred to the proper name of Sarah’s sugar-free cranberry sauce as “abstinent,” and folks decided that the other one, with sugar, was clearly properly described as “promiscuous.” Heh. None of that for me, then – I don’t know where it’s been!
All in all, fabulous!