Onions are the backbone to most dishes around the world and are very often the starting point, the flavour builder.
They can sing in their own right rather than blended in with other ingredients. Workers who built the Egyptian pyramids are thought to have been fed onions, it has been cultivated since the bronze age.
Other allium varieties include garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives. Chive flowers are a beautiful addition to salads in the summer months.
Red onion pickle brightens up salads and sandwiches. In The Cake Café we simple squeeze a generous amount of lime juice over very thinly-sliced red onion.
It is left until the onions starts to break down and turns a wonderful pink colour, three hours should do it or overnight preferably.
I just love the bun recipe included here, I feel that you are getting lots of fibre and goodness from the granola, bran, and dates, but all disguised in a tasty treat.
It is a handy recipe to prepare the evening before and then pop into the oven first thing so they are warm at the weekend breakfast table. You can top them with some cream cheese icing or a little orange glacé, but for breakfast I prefer them plain with a cup of coffee.
Caramelised onion tagliatelle
A dash of olive oil
60g of onions, sliced
1/2 tbs of honey
1/2 tbs of sugar
1/4 cup of madeira
tagliatelle for four
100g of parmesan, grated
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Fry over a low heat then but a tight fitting lid on and leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the honey and the sugar and some seasoning and allow to caramelise. Add the madeira and allow to bubble away until it is reduced.
In the meantime put the tagliatelle on to boil. I use an egg-based pasta for this dish as it is richer than a more typical flour pasta.
Toss the pasta in the onions, coating it all over and serve with the cheese sprinkled on top.
French Onion Soup
A dash of olive oil
1kg of onions, sliced
1 tbs of light brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs of plain flour
150mls of white wine
50 mls of brandy
1.2 mls of beef or duck stock
4 slices of crunchy bread
140g of sharp cheddar cheese, grated, I use Hegarty’s Cheddar
Parsley, finely chopped.
Heat a dash of oil and sauté the onions with the lid on until they are completely soft. Stir in the brown sugar and continue cooking on a low heat until caramelised. Make sure to stir it every now and then.
Add the garlic and stir through for a minute. Stir in the flour then the white wine, stock and brandy. Allow to bubble away for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, toast the bread on one side, turn it over and top with the cheese melt this under the grill.
Taste and season. Ladle the soup into four bowls and sit the melted cheese toasts on top, sprinkle with parsley.
350g of plain flour
60g of cornstarch
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp of smoked paprika
350 mls of beer
2 tsp honey
2 large Spanish onions, cut into rings about a centimetre thick
The paprika in these adds a nice twist, they are certainly not the healthiest of foods but nice as a treat on the side a roast or a steak every now and then.
Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and paprika add some seasoning then whisk in the beer and honey until it forms a smooth paste. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Heat enough oil to cover the rings, until it is hot or use a deep-fat fryer.
Dip the slices of onions into the batter, give them a little shake then place them in the oil. Remove when golden.
Place them on sheets of paper towel as they are done, then sprinkle with a little salt and cracked black pepper.
Overnight Granola Buns
185g of spelt flour
160g of granola
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of ground cardamom
zest of 2 oranges
1 tsp of bread soda
100g of brown sugar
30g of bran
120g of dates, de-stoned and chopped
370ml of buttermilk
120ml of olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.
Heat your oven to 180 degrees and grease a cupcake tin.
Divide the mixture between the holes in the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until baked through.
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