What’s for Dinner? (10.5.08)
It’s not very often that I have OMG! moments behind the stove. I mean, honest to god, OH-EM-GEE-where-has-this-been-all-my-life moments. I have lots and lots of “damn, that is good,” or “holy guacamole, I cannot wait to show this off at the next family gathering” (plus my fair share of “sheesh, when did that turn the corner at Horribly Wrong Road and Disaster Drive?”). But true, stunning, angelic voices singing “Ahhhhhhhh” in the background revelations … well, maybe I’m just picky about my moments.
But I had one on Sunday. Last weekend my original menu – steak with balsamic glazed cippoline onions – was postponed while I satisfied a need for soup. Of course, at the time, cippoline onions were everywhere. Stores were positively dripping with them – I had to push them aside to move, practically crushing mounds of them under the wheels of my cart – so I figured no harm in putting it off just one week (I had a recipe from SmittenKitchen.com that I really wanted to try, and I wanted to use cippoline onions, dammit, as I knew they’d be particularly good).
This weekend, however, when I put the steak and onions back on the menu, cippolines were nowhere to be found. I mean, nowhere. I thought it might’ve been some kind of conspiracy or cosmic joke. As it turned out, it probably was the Fates stepping in with the whole when-a-door-closes-a-window-opens-somewhere thing. (Yeah, I’m sure I’m just being a drama queen, but OH-EM-GEE!)
Anyway, luckily, I had seen another recipe on SmittenKitchen.com, this one for caramelized shallots, so, I thought, what the heck, I’ll try that. I have all the ingredients already. This was to be the first recipe I’ve tried from SmittenKitchen.com, even though it’s a blog I’ve enjoyed reading for sometime now. (Needless to say, thanks to the OMG moment, it won’t be the last.)
Now, I love the vegetable allium genus with a passion that’s probably not normal (given their stinky rep, and all), but, ya know, I’ve never claimed to be normal. Onions, yeeum. Leeks, mm mm good. Garlic, yeowza. And the mere thought of caramelized allium-anything makes me go all starry eyed. And this particular sweet-and-savory brew? OMG. It smells heavenly. It looks divine. And the taste…. Well. Say it with me, people: OH-EM-GEE. I bet even onion detractors would love this concoction.
And now, without further ado … because I’ve rambled on enough when I should just be cutting to the glorious OMG chase … Caramelized Shallots:
Somebody should figure out a way to bottle this stuff.
Oh, there was also steak, portobello mushrooms, and potato rosemary bread, but, the shallots were the star. (And, yeah, after dinner, I stood over the empty pan mopping up the remaining shallot sauce with the bread.)
I had already planned on growing shallots in the garden next year (why are they so expensive, anyhow?), but now I not only have an excuse, I have a goal. It’ll be a tortuous winter, though: shallots go in the ground now, but won’t be ready until next year, so I’ll be relegated to spending the next 4 months staring longingly at dirt. “Is that a green shallot top?” “No, it’s still just dirt.” Damn.