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david cooks dinner, gather food studio, personal chef, colorado springs

An Onion A Day...

FUN FACT:

People who say that Onions are the only food that make you cry, have never had a coconut hit them in the head.

Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Blue Cheese Tart

Elegant and photo friendly. Let everyone think that this tart was restaurant made. Don't worry, I won't tell 'em it wasn't... #chefsecrets

2 red onions

3 T. olive divided, 2 T. & 1 T.

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator

1 lb. figs

1 tsp. salt

1 T. balsamic reduction or glaze

1-2 T. honey

1/3 C. gorgonzola

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a saute pan, heat the 2 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the onions are a rich deep caramelized color. Set aside.

With a mortar and pestle, grind 3 sprigs of rosemary with the remaining 1T. olive oil. Set aside.

Using a bit of flour, roll out your dough until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Since it’s a free form tart, any shape is fine. Make a pretty little border by folding over a 1/2-inch on each side (the tart gets a little drippy so it’s nice to have an edge).

Stem, halve, and arrange the figs cut-side up on the dough in any pattern (just make sure they’re tightly nestled). Using a pastry brush, generously paint the cut-side of each fig half with the rosemary oil. Sprinkle each fig with salt. Drizzle balsamic and the honey all over, making sure each fig gets a little splash. Crumble cheese all over. Drape the bashed and oily rosemary stems anywhere you like on the tart.

Bake until crispy, brown, and bubbling, about 25 minutes.

Cipollini Onion and Raisin Confit

A sweet and sour way to spice up that everyday roasted chicken. Want to have a little extra fun? Try with your favorite game, like grilled elk steaks or roasted boar chops!

1/4 cup pine nuts

12 ounces cipollini onions

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup sherry

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup raisins

Put the olive oil in large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook gently (without browning) for about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until mostly reduced. Add 3/4 cup water, vinegar, sugar, raisins, pine nuts and a pinch of salt. Stir well. Simmer the mixture over the lowest heat possible for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so. You may need to add more water from time to time if the mixture gets too thick and gooey or starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. It is finished when everything has caramelized well, and the flavors have blended together. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

Nothing more perfectly compliments summer BBQ's than a light and crisp salad tied together with an onion vinaigrette. Also makes a great sauce for a leftover steak sandwich (with spinach, and tomatoes, Havarti.... and now i'm off to the store to buy all these ingredients so I can make my own..

1 C. vegetable oil

1 medium vidalia onion

1/2 C. sugar

1/3 C. white balsamic vinegar

3/4 tsp Coleman’s dry mustard

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1 fat clove garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 T. poppy seeds

Add all ingredients except poppy seeds to a blender and puree completely. This vinaigrette will self-emulsify after 30 seconds. Add the poppy seeds and blend another 1-2 seconds. Refrigerate until use, or overnight.


Why are Vidalia Onions so special?

Grown in 20 precisely-defined South Georgia counties, the designated growing region marks the only land in the world suitable for growing the famous sweet onion brand.

Georgia law and the United States Code of Federal Regulations mandate that area due to the uniquely low presence of sulfur in the soil and surface water of those specified areas. Growers must be licensed in an effort to ensure the authenticity of the product, one that means big bucks to the state with an annual farm gate value of over $120 million dollars.