Monday, November 23, 2009

Onion Confit With Piment D'Espelette and Cherries

Just like some Thanksgiving Day relatives, this onion confit is sweet and savory with a little spice. It sits beside the Thanksgiving turkey or ham easily (back to those relatives again ;-)) It also adds zip to cheese, pork, lamb, and even scrambled eggs. It's versatility makes the effort worthwhile. I plan on bringing it to the holiday table and have extra jars to give away. I used piment d'espelette that I bought in the food market in Paris, but cayenne pepper can be substituted if you adjust for the heat. Many of my favorite ingredients were used when I devised this recipe. It was also another opportunity to use my Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice. I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!

Onion Confit with Piment D'Espelette and Cherries

2 pounds yellow onions
10 ounces white pearl onions, peeled*
10 ounces red pearl onions, peeled*
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 teaspoon piment d'espelette or 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Peel and cut yellow onions in half lengthwise. Put the flat side down on a cutting board and slice in 1/4 inch slices.
In a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the sliced onions. Slowly saute, while stirring, over medium low heat for about 30 minutes or until the onions are translucent and very soft. Make sure they do not burn. Turn the heat up to medium and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir constantly until all liquid is gone and onions are caramelized. Again, be careful they do not burn. This will only take a few minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet and set aside. Rinse skillet to remove any sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and return to medium low heat. Put in peeled white and red pearl onions and saute until fully cooked and translucent and soft, about 30 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon brown sugar and turn the heat up to medium. Stir constantly while the onions caramelize, being careful not to burn. Add the caramelized sliced onions and stir. Add balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice and dried cherries while stirring. Sprinkle the pepper over the mixture and stir. Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Pack into sterilized jars. Wipe the tops clean and seal.Makes enough for 8-9, four ounce jars, or 4 eight ounce jars. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

If you want to make the recipe and not can it, divide accordingly.

*To easily peel pearl onions, place whole unpeeled onions in boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes and drain. Quickly add them to a bowl of ice water to shock the skins and stop the cooking process. After a minute, drain the ice water. On a cutting board, slice off the root end of the onion and gently squeeze. The peeled onion easily slides out. If needed slice off any long pieces that remain.
Click here for video on peeling pearl onions.

Onion Confit with Piment D'Espelette and Cherries recipe (pdf)

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La Table De Nana said...

Thank you! Love our little label also..Onion Confit is a fave of mine and one son-in-law:)

Isn't it fun to use special ingredients also.. I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

Zurin said...

That bottle is so cute! I have several whimsical bottles waiting to be filled up.AND I love onions.ANd I love pickles...this recipe is perfect. I'm going to give it a go. TQ for the recipe :))

The Cooking Photographer said...

Happy Thanksgiving Diane! I wish I was eating at your table this year!


Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

That photo of the onions smokin' in the skillet is just out of this world! Beautiful, beautiful! That's all I can say :)

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Diane, It is gorgeous, what lucky recipients!

I have made a similar recipe but yours looks much more flavorful. I will definitely be making your version.

Piment d'espelette is such a wonderful seasoning. Somehow I just know it would be MUCH more pleasurable to purchase it from a Paris market than through the internet as I do. *grin* Lucky girl!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend! xo