Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Cipollini Onions

These small, flat onions can be expensive and hard to find, but they are definitely worth the extra effort. Served as both an appetizer or vegetable, the cipollini onion is slightly yellowish in color with a delicate, thin outer skin. Thanks to its incredibly sweet taste, the cipollini works extremely well caramelized.

For such a seemingly simple ingredient, the taste of the cipollini is incredibly delicate. I’ve found that the best way to use this fabulous onion is to braise it. For braising, it’s nice to experiment with vinegars, wines and stock. These liquids will seep through the skin and into the onion, adding tons of flavor.

When working with cipollini onions, you may find that during the peeling process, you may loose some of its delicious flesh. To avoid this situation, braise the onion with the peel on. After cooking it, the peel should fall off easily, leaving the inside intact, beautiful and golden. Braised cipollini are also wonderful when blended into a sauce for chicken, fish, lamb or pork.

Happy Cooking! Mary

Send your questions about food, cooking and life in the kitchen to: hailmarys.inc@gmail.com

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