Flashback Fridays: Pickled onions

Photo: Aina Hole

I have been in the blog business for nearly one month. I have received good help in getting started and I have learned a lot by studying other people´s blogs. Some are very good while others are not my particular cup of tea.

There are also some confusing elements in the world of blogs. One is the rosablogger (roughly translated “pink blogger”). These are “relatively young, usually female bloggers who tell their readers all about themselves”. There is a lot of focus on fashion, but subjects ranging from life at school to makeup, food and altered body parts, are also to be found.

The confusing part of this is the “usually female” bit. I would have thought there would be a separate boy version (possibly “blåblogger”), but apparently not. If there was we could read about model airplane building, the pros and cons of shirttails-hanging-out, frozen pizza and gaming. For all I know that is exactly what the male pink bloggers are blogging about.

I could most likely beef up my readership by adding some fashion tips, though I am afraid “pretty much all black” might not do the trick. At the Norwegian blogging championship competition last week (by the way called the Vixen Awards; go figure), the blogger of the year whipped out one of her braless boobs during her acceptance speech.

I feel like I´m getting the gist of things: more fashion, maybe a discussion of hair pomade; and if at some point that award comes (I hope I hope I hope), it´s free the man boob time!

For the moment food is still my thing, and today´s blog is about some dynamite onions you are gonna love.

I am very allergic to cucumbers, something which makes pickles somewhat of a challenge. But, pickle pretty much anything else and I am right there with the best of you.

My two favorite pickled vegetables are chiles (Where would the world be without pickled jalapeños?) and of course onions. I love those delicious thinly-sliced pickled red onions that are a taco´s best friend, and I love the sweet and sour Italian small onions called cipolle agrodolce. There is no finer prelude to a night of Italian delicacies than these slightly crunchy but still soft delights. I have made these onions gazillions of times and I included the recipe in my book “al dente” (Gyldendal, 2004).

These onions are easy to prepare. Just make sure you are done texting and ironing during the last critical minutes when the sauce turns from thin and smelling great to rich, syrupy and still smelling great. Since the sauce contains sugar it can burn if you let it cook completely in. The consistency should be pourable but thick enough that it coats the onions.

Cipolle agrodolce

2 lbs. small shallots or other small onions (”boiling onions”), peeled, without removing the root end

1 1/4 c red wine

3/4 c water

1/2 c red wine vinegar

2 bay leaves

grated peel from 1 lemon

3 Tbs sugar

1/2 ts salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce becomes thick and syrupy (1-1 1/2 hours). Keep an eye on the sauce as it nears the syrupy stage. If it cooks too long the sweet sauce can burn – meaning you have to peel a whole new batch of onions, a job none of us wants.

Excellent served with meat or fish or as antipasti together with some cured ham, olives and maybe a bit of cheese.

Tips: These onions can be stored in the fridge. I like to keep the onions and sauce in separate containers during storage. Mix back together when the ingredients have reached room temperature.


And in Norwegian:

Cipolle Agrodolce

1 kg småløk, alternativt små sjalottløk

3 dl rødvin

2 dl vann

1 1/2 dl rødvinseddik

2 laurbærblader

revet skall av 1 sitron (kun ”det gule”)

3 ss sukker

1/2 ts salt

  1. Skrell løkene. De skal være hele (bare ikke skjær vekk rotenden).
  2. Ha rødvin, vann, eddik, laurbærblader, sitronskall, sukker og salt i en stor gryte.
  3. Kok opp og tilsett løkene. De skal småkoke i ca. 60 minutter (til sausen er tykk og sirupaktig). Ta gryten vekk fra kokeplaten. Server varm eller ved romtemperatur.

Cipolle agrodolce fungerer veldig bra ved siden av stekt kjøtt, men kan også brukes som antipasti.

Tips: Retten kan gjerne oppbevares en stund i kjøleskap. Ta da løkene ut av væsken og oppbevar løkene og væsken hver for seg. Ved servering heller du væsken over i en bolle, tilsetter løkene og serverer ved romtemperatur.

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