Summer Cooking # 2

As promised, today I’m posting about my confiture d’oignons (carmelized onion spread). I made mine based on the recipe found here.

I first tried confiture d’oignons when I was studying abroad in France. Our program took a “field trip” to the Cognac region where they happened to be having some kind of food and wine festival/celebration. In honor of that, the restaurant we were scheduled to go to had a series of fun appetizer workshops to try before our actual dinner. Typical of France, there was alcohol aplenty and my study abroad classmates were quite happy with the copious amounts of wine and cognac that were to be had before we even started our meal.

We were greeted with a choice of white, rosé or red, and each appetizer station had an accompanying alcohol (full glasses, not tasting portions). With the oysters came a light white wine, and with the foie gras table came the cognac and the confiture d’oignons! (there was also an Asian wok workshop table but I don’t remember what the accompanying wine/drink was…this was 4 years ago) Since I don’t really drink, I was concentrated on carrying around my glass of white wine while stationing myself comfortably at the foie gras table, scarfing down lots of little pieces of bread with foie gras and large globs of the confiture d’oignons. I didn’t think I’d like an onion spread so much but it was so incredibly delicious! Of course, foie gras is kind of sad to eat, but paté less so and almost as delicious! You can use this spread with those kinds of meat spreads or even with prosciutto (or other kinds of charcuterie) or cheese (fromage in french, to continue my food language tidbits) and things like steak (like I did for dinner! although I much prefer it with bread and meat spreads).

What to Use:

  1. Red onions (I used two), sliced thinly (thinner than I did, ideally)
  2. Butter (like 2 tbsp, you could also use olive oil or something else equivalent)
  3. Sugar (I used 10 tsps approximately, which was much less than the recipe I was looking at called for, but it was still a little too sweet)
  4. Balsamic Vinegar (about 1/4 cup, I used less because I didn’t have that much)
  5. Soy Sauce (I used about 1tbsp, you can leave it out if you wish)
  6. Red Wine (about 3/4 cup, but I think I put a little less)
  7. Salt (a sprinkle)
  8. Pepper corns

What to Do:

  1. Put the butter in a pan, on relatively high heat, and sauté the onions until pretty see through (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add sugar and keep sautéing for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. I like to scoot the onions to the side and let the vinegar and soysauce bubble for a few seconds before incorporating it into the onions.
  4. Add some salt and the wine. Change heat to low. Let simmer for about an hour, until all liquid has evaporated. After about 40 minutes, I added the peppercorns. I used pink and black peppercorns because I think it looks pretty. It also reminds me of this honey peppercorn sauce that was served along this confit de canard (duck confit) that I dream about. Maybe I’ll get around to trying to recreate that dish.

I think I could have let the onions carmelize with the sugar longer than I did, so play around with it until you get a delicious carmelized onion spread! For the first try, I’m happy with the results but I’ll have to go back and retry again to perfect it.

 

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