Fine Cooking (April/May 2013)
When's the last time you put down your fork and said, "Gosh, those are good onions"?
Have you ever said that?
Onions tend to get relegated to "ingredient" rather than "side dish." Nearly every recipe we make, it seems, starts with a diced onion. But we almost never see onions as a featured star.
If you're looking to change that, start with these Spicy Glazed Onions.
Anywho, these onions.
They're easy as can be, and we made one substitute that actually made the prep even easier: We used a bag of frozen pearl onions. That not only saved us time in peeling and trimming, it allowed us to skip the entire first step of the directions (the boiling to remove the skins) and go right to the skillet.
Using frozen pearl onions here turns a simple recipe into an almost mindless one. It's great!
The flavor? Awesome. It's got a great kick -- we went slightly overboard with the cayenne, but we loved the spiciness we ended up with. It's a great complement to the onions' natural sweetness (which is augmented by the honey).
We took one bite, put down our forks and said, "Now, that's a good onion!"
Spicy Glazed Onions
Fine Cooking (April/May 2013), recipe by Michael Ruhlman
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Nutritional information available at FineCooking.com
- Note from The Bitten Word: If you substitute frozen pearl onions, you can skip the boiling-and-peeling step. You may find you need to cook the onions in the saucepan slightly longer than the recommended 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on your water level so the onions don't burn.
1 lb. cipollini or pearl onions, ends trimmed, with some root end left intact
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1 Tbs. honey
Pinch to tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. white wine vinegar; more to taste
Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Bring a 4- to 5-quart pot of
water to a rolling boil and add the onions. Cook for 1 minute, drain,
and transfer to the bowl of ice water. Swish the onions around until
they’re chilled. Remove them from the water and peel; the skins should
come off easily when you rub them with your fingers, though some may
need a paring knife.
Put the onions in an 8-inch-wide, 3- to 4-quart saucepan and arrange snugly. Add the butter, honey, cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt, and enough water to just cover the onions (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat.
Cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze and the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. (If the glaze is done before the onions, add about 1/2 cup water and continue to cook. If the onions are done first, remove them and continue to boil the liquid until syrupy.)
Lower the heat to medium low, add the white wine vinegar and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve. (The glazed onions can be kept warm, covered, for about 20 minutes.)