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I always wanted to be a gastronomer

Jan. 15, 2013 11:26 am 
Updated: Jan. 22, 2013 4:15 am
This happens so infrequently that I never remember to write about it. The other day I found myself with some time. I should note that I am working 800 miles from my home so I do not have my regular distractions to fill up any free time I have. Thusly blessed with real free time, I decided to do some basics. A quick scan of my somewhat meager kitchen led me to deciding that I would poach an onion.

I peeled an onion and sliced out 3 thick cut slices. My next step was to heat a small fry pan to about 40%, I added a little olive oil and some butter and slow fried the onion until it was nicely browned on both sides, turning it once. When the browning was complete, I added a 1/4 cup of pinot blanc and covered the pan as that rendered down and my slice of onion poached away (sorta). S&P

The result was less than spectacular. It was ok but if you broke the onion up and layered it on say a hamburger, it would just be lost so all that effort would be moot.

Ok, act 2. The second time I needed to enhance the caramelization of the onion, figuring this was what was missing. So I decided to just use butter and a little bit of sugar on each side. I went with a wee bit less heat, a longer poaching time and.... more better but still well below the culinary holy cats line. It didn't really have anything that would make your tongue sit up and say wooo.

So act 3. This time I thought ok, the damned onion all by itself is just not enough. I love long fried intensely caramelized onions but I just couldn't get that and keep my onion slice intact. So I thought to heck with it, I repeated act 2 and when the onion was suitably poached (and caramelized) I cut it up in the pan and added 2 tbsp of cream and 1/2 tsp of curry powder, letting that thicken up together.

Omg, this led to one more big slice in which I repeated act three and in addition to the cream and curry, I added a 1/4 cup of Clamato juice. The end. I mean yum. Its not really enough of a complete dish to be a side but as a plate with the tapas, get outa dodge. A nice little appy. I didn't have any crackers but I just know this would rock with it.

Have you ever just grabbed a thing in your kitchen and said, I wonder what I can do with this?

Jan. 15, 2013 12:20 pm
Yes, I have, Randy. It was a cookbook! Glad to see you on the board. Thanks for sharing your valuable time off with us!
Jan. 15, 2013 7:59 pm
What Mike said. Seriously, Dude! You have WAAY too much free time. Get a hobby! Oh, I almost forgot! Happy New Year, brother mine. I just popped in and what do I see? Your blog! Thanks for sharing? LOL
Jan. 15, 2013 9:11 pm
Thanks Mike, for the giggle. I'm glad I had a little time to come and pollute the funny papers.
Jan. 15, 2013 9:14 pm
Hey Sis, how ever so loverly to see your smiling (its how I see you) countenance again! Happy new year back Ironwoman!
Jan. 16, 2013 5:18 am
So now you have mastered the onion what is next? May I suggest mushrooms? They are so versatile. Chef John has a mushroom video. I am sure with a little practice you would be able to create little edible works of art.
Jan. 16, 2013 5:35 am
Jan. 16, 2013 9:55 am
Hmm, I think I do that all the time. Right now I am working on re-creating a pizza crust that one of our favorite pizza places has. Not there yet so back to the drawing board for me.
Jan. 16, 2013 11:09 am
I caramelize/fry vidalia onions all the time for burgers & hot dogs and grilled chicken but your cream & curry with the poaching of the onion definitely caught my attention.
Jan. 16, 2013 3:26 pm
I love creamed pearl onions so your concoction sounds very good to me. Maybe over a steak, or even pork chops. Nice to see you again!
Jan. 16, 2013 7:31 pm
Just recently I had some B/S chicken breast & no onions. But, I had a beautiful large shallot & mushrooms. I pan seared the chicken breast, nicely seasoned, removed it. Sauteed the shallots & mushrooms with some butter, EVOO, & white wine, & let it reduce. Made long grain & wild rice & sauteed green beans with white asparagus, & voila, dinner was a happening! I love sauteed, caramelized, or roasted onions, garlic & mushrooms so much.
Jan. 16, 2013 7:42 pm
I've had some medical problems the past couple of months, & a sick dog, but the second Wed. of Feb. I will be able to afford to join & have a blog of my own. I have a $10K cake recipe that I learned to make from my Grandmother. It is, however, her Grandmother's recipe, brought here from France. She submitted it to Pillsbury's 1st ever Cake Bake Off & won the Grand Prize in 1958. $10K. She paid off her house, bought a new car, & we had one heck of a Christmas.
Jan. 16, 2013 7:43 pm
Can't wait to share it, as I have no children & I'm sure she would be proud to have it passed on to someone. Who more than great home chefs would appreciate it?
Jan. 18, 2013 4:58 am
Great blog, Raedwulf, I love to hear about the creative process! Sounds like you are on to something. Thanks for sharing!
Jan. 18, 2013 6:39 am
~~Baking Nana, I watched that video and I love mushrooms but I cannot imagine ever carving a mushroom. I like pretty food but I'm not given over to actually working to get it lol. ~~Cat Hill, hmm that seems to me to be a much higher ambition than cooking an onion Good luck to you and let us know how you make out. ~~Doug, happy to be of service. Can you guys (Americans) get Clamato juice now? I know you couldn't some years back. ~~ Big Shots, hiya!! I don't know if I'd want it over steak, the curry sort of defines whatever it's on so maybe/maybe not. I'm thinking I could ramp it up and add some chicken breast and bell pepper to round it out a bit into a meal. ~~Topaz, your chicken breast sounds loverly and I can't wait to see your grammas 10K cake recipe. Exciting!! ~~Bibi, why thank you darlin, like they say, idle hands do the devils work!
Jan. 18, 2013 7:32 pm
Nice blog, thanks for sharing a little of your infrequent spare time with us. Next culinary adventure?
Jan. 21, 2013 10:40 am
Randy You are a hoot. I think you may want to dispense with the poaching, drink the pinot blanc, oven roast the onion in olive oil with some parmesan, and maybe use the rest of the time to browse some other people's blogs. :))
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About Me
Let's see, in keeping it to a subject, at age 22 I had a filet doused in Bernaise sauce aboard a train. That was it, I was hooked on fine food. Living in a small town necessitates learning to cook well to maintain that stellar menu.
My favorite things to cook
Oh man, only a thousand characters? My favorite things to cook are items that make YOU happy. I'll try anything and thus far it would be far easier to list those things I don't like than those I do. So far, I hate Cilantro and I'm allergic to green chiles. It's a short list.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas. I like everything about that meal and every single year I aim to improve.
My cooking triumphs
Every smile, every gasp of delight, every accolade, such sweet victory!
My cooking tragedies
A Cioppino recipe I found here. I served it as part of one of those Christmas dinners and the cod was a poor choice. It was terrible, ghastly fishy taste. I've since learned a thing or two about freshness in fish. Prior to that, hmm perhaps when I was 10, I made a spice cake that called for whole cloves....hey, that's what it said on the outside of the bottle, whole cloves....
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