Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Golden Creamed Onions (Page 552)


  • Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 -- 11pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I have put off making this recipe for a long time now, not because creamed onions don't sound delicious, but rather because I hate dealing with those hateful pearl onions! Any reasonable person, if required to use pearl onions, would use those frozen, already peeled ones. But for some reason The Book always calls for fresh pearl onions (in their peels) and I am such a stickler for my own personal rules that I always do what The Book tells me to. To start this recipe I blanched about a bazillion pearl onions in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drained them. Once they cooled enough that I wouldn't burn my fingers, I peeled the onions, which took a long time. Then I combined the onions, butter, sugar, salt and water in a pot and boiled almost an hour until the liquid had evaporated and the onions were golden. I added cream and boiled for a minute, then seasoned with salt and pepper and stirred in some chopped parsley. Despite my hatred for pearl onions, this recipe was pretty good. How could it not be? Caramelized onions plus cream equals deliciousness! However, it seems to me that this recipe would have been equally good, if not better, had it been made with slices of full-sized onions. As it was, only the exterior layers of the pearl onions got a nice golden caramelization on them. With sliced regular onions, more onion surface area would have been in contact with the pan, hence more caramelized goodness. And that would have been much, much less of a pain to prepare. So, while I wouldn't make this recipe again as written, I might make it again with the pearl onions replaced by slices of regular-sized onions.

This recipe isn't online.

This week I am at a conference/workshop in North Carolina. This conference is quite unusual in its set-up. The conference occurs annually, but each year on a different topic. In recent years, the location has also moved around. This year the topic is Fukaya Categories and the location is Nags Head, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks. The organizers rented two huge vacation homes right on the ocean, and the 35 participants (mostly graduate students and post-docs) are living together for the week in these houses. All the lectures occur in the family room of one of the houses, with many sofas and chairs pulled up in front of a huge whiteboard. The whiteboard is flanked by two enormous windows that look out to the ocean. Definitely not the typical math conference set-up! Right now we are having our daily mid-afternoon break. People are surfing, playing frisbee, talking about math, preparing their talks, etc... I can hear the hot tub running in the background so apparently someone is realxing in there and enjoying the view of the ocean! I would be outside enjoying the beach breeze this afternoon but I am forcing myself to stay in and make some progress on grading the take-home midterms from my graduate class. I think take-home exams rather than in-class exams are appropriate for graduate courses, but man do they take a long time to grade! Speaking of, I should get back to it!

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