Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Bitter onions into a sweetish marmalade

Onions are sly. I tend to mark down all onion recipes and if a found a book of onion recipes at the store, I'd probably begin searching for money without further hesitations. No, crunching raw onions doesn't appeal to me, as it doesn't to most of the people, but baking them gives the onions a mild, sweetish and enjoyable taste. I'd never waste time on peeling one and crying over it, just to use half of it for cooking, even if I cook only for myself. Yes, I tend to make dishes oniony, but that might not even be a problem.

I have a bunch of recipes for onion jams and -marmalades, today I tried one of them. I only used one fifth of the quantity this recipe demands for and nimbly made the marmalade of only three small onions. It wouldn't even have needed checking for a half an hour and by lunch the marmalade had cooled and was ready for using. So simple and yet so delicious. Adding a little thyme to this recipe would be nice, as well as spicing it up a bit with chili.

Onion marmalade with balsamico

500 g onions (advisably red ones)
2 dl brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamico
50 g butter

1. Peel and slice the onions
2. Put all the ingredients into a pot and heat, constantly stirring, until sugar dissolves, then reduce heat to low and cook the mixture, covered for 30 minutes (I removed it from heat after about 20 minutes and pureed it a bit, but so that there were still tiny bits in the mixture, then cooked on).
3. Put the marmalade into jars, close them and cool.

I served the marmalade over a simple curd and cheese omelette with smoked venison sausage, a glass of cold milk alongside. I'm sure it would also match with meat or a cheese sandwich. Yes, onions are sly.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Spunky ham and feta rolls

Although candies and cookies may be at reach, everybody sometimes has the uncontrollable urge to have a salty snack. Well then feta rolls are the thing (I've received contrary opinions, some don't like them that salty). If you want to milden the taste a bit, you may substitute some of the feta cheese with cream cheese (i.e. garlic-flavoured). If you prefer to use diced feta in oil, smash it with a fork and add a little milk to make it spreadable. I have used a ready-made dried herb mixture (basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, coriander, paprika, pepper...), but I'm sure using only basil or oregano would be fine too. As for the ham, I like to use (and strongly recommend!) ultrathin slices . Ham can also be substituted with smoked sausage.

Spunky ham and feta rolls

500 g puff pastry
200 g feta cheese
2 tsp onion powder
1,5 tsp dried herbs
100 g thin ham slices
15 g raisins
sesame seeds

1. Roll the puff pastry on a floured surface until it's quite thin.
2. Spread feta cheese onto the pastry.
3. Sprinkle with herbs, raisins and onion powder, lay the ham slices onto the pastry.
4. Roll the pastry into a tight roll (you can even strech it out a little bit afterwards).
5. Cut the roll into slices (to make the process easier, dip your knife into hot water before cutting)that are not thicker than 1 cm and lay them onto a greased griddle, making sure they have a round shape.
6. Sprinkle the rolls with some sesame seeds and bake them at 175 C for 30-35 minutes.

This batch makes an enough amount of rolls to overflow my bowl:) And there's something to snack on or eat with puree soup.