Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #89

The year certainly is moving quickly as we head into the 89th edition of Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Kalyn herself. This week I turn to a staple in the kitchen, the onion.

Red onions

I'm sure there's some inaccuracy in the naming of these particular onions - here they are sold as either Spanish Onions or Red Onions, regardless of their true identity they are a milder and somewhat sweeter variety compared to the regular brown onion.

Nutritionally onions are quite a valuable part of our diet as they contain anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol and antioxidant properties. You'll find Vitamins B6, C, E, and K, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin and Thiamine along with Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

This weeks recipe is a means to an end. There's a dish I've been meaning to make from Jane Lawson's Cocina Nueva but before I can, I need to make this component of Caramelised Spanish Onions.

caramelised onions

Caramelised Spanish Onions

125mls/½ cup olive oil
4 large red onions, finely sliced
125mls/½ cup Manzanilla Sherry
2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
3 teaspoons sugar

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a medium low heat - add the onions, along with a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook for about 40 minutes. It's important that this is done slowly - by the end of the cooking time the onions will have softened and only just started to colour. They would have also started releasing their juices.

Add the Manzanilla Sherry (this is a dry sherry - you could substitute Fino Sherry), Sherry Vinegar and sugar - stir to dissolve the sugar and continue cooking for at least another 1½ hours. Stir occasionally to ensure the mixture doesn't stick or cook too quickly.

By the end of the cooking time, most of the liquid should have evaporated and the onions should be deeply coloured. Let it cool before using.

onions

The taste of these caramelised onions are quite different to those I've had in the past. The onions have absorbed the flavour of the sherry and the sherry vinegar gives it an added piquancy that cuts through the natural sweetness. Now, there will be quite a bit of oil left behind but don't throw it out - you can use this to add an extra dimension to say, salad dressings.

If you look here you'll find how I used these onions but it looks a little like this

coca

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6 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderful! I've made carmelized onions for French Onion Soup and the whole house smells just fantastic while you're cooking them.

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  2. Thanks Kalyn - they should invent the caramelised onion house perfume but you'd probably feel hungry all the time ;) I really loved the effect the sherry and vinegar had on the aroma and taste.

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  3. Caramelised onions are wonderful (I've made caramelised onion marmalade, great with cheese), though I haven't tried the sherry-infused version. About time, I guess :)

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  4. Hi Pille - slow cook onions without anything added are excellent but it was interesting to try another way.

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  5. What amazing photos congratulation. And what an yummy sounding recipe!! :)

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