Caramelized Onions

june-1I remember the first time I attempted caramelized onions. It was only¬†about two years ago. I had been afraid. It seemed like something reserved for obsessive cooks that have hours to tend to a stove. It also seemed out of my abilities. Like most things in the kitchen, caramelized onions couldn’t be easier to make, and add a flavour that no sauteeting with herbs will ever get you. Below is the ‘quickie’ recipe that home cooks can enjoy. The onions are just as delicious as the all-day method. ūüôā

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It’s best to do this in large batches and refrigerate them because of the amount of time it takes. I have yet to make enough to have any leftovers but I always want to.¬†The more onion the more its juices flow out to help flavour and consistency. The onions also shrink significantly as you can see in the photos.

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The basic formula

  • several¬†onions (I prefer organic sweet yellow but any white/yellow will do because they will sweeten up)
  • balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • a smidgen of sea salt
  • water

Slice the onions thin but not for-salad thin. I like to cut across the whole onion horizontally. The longer the strands the better. Throw this into the widest¬†stainless steel (ideal for health) pan you have that’s heated up over medium heat. Sprinkle a smidgen of salt.

Do not put any oil. You might be tempted but don’t. The first time I did this I did because I just couldn’t understand that all¬†you need is water (hello, healthy!) With the oil, it¬†didn’t have that taste we’re after, despite what some recipes online say.

With a silicone or wooden spatula move the onions around for a couple of minutes until they start sticking. Then add water and scrape the onions. Once the water has evaporated and the onions are starting to stick again, add more water. Keep doing this for about 45-90 minutes. This will depend on how impatient you are. Note that for the first 20-30 minutes it may look like they are never going to brown. They will. ūüôā

About 30 minutes in,¬†I like to lower the heat to medium-low and take more time cooking the onions out. You don’t have to keep a meticulous eye on the onions but try to be in the kitchen to listen for progress. ūüôā Once they start looking medium brown/brown and sweet to taste they are ready. It’s up to you how done you want them.

After about 30 minutes, you can also add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I like to do this when I want a stronger punch to my onions.

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My favorite way to eat them is food truck style with a hot dog, mizeria (polish cucumber salad) and fries. The¬†Les Farms Valens sausage ideal for my dietary restrictions. The sausage¬†uses pork and beef¬†raised without hormones and antibiotics. There are no nitrates or phosphates added and it’s gluten and lactose free. I also like that it’s pre-cooked so I don’t have to handle raw meat. ¬†The gluten free hot dog buns were procured by my loving boyfriend in Toronto. They are crispy on the outside and soft inside. Best I’ve ever tasted.

Polish Spelt Pierogies

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Working on my PhD means I work from home most of my days. When I have an impending deadline & really need to procrastinate the kitchen turns into elaborate-meal time. This week it was pierogies. I have helped make pierogies as a child in Poland, watching the multistep day-long process. I have been craving pierogies for a long time and I assumed without regular flour they were inaccessible to me forever. I was SO WRONG! Luckily with my wheat allergy I am able to indulge in spelt on a rare basis without too much symptoms.

Spelt pierogies are delicious and unlike the other blogs out there complain, spelt isn’t as strong of a flavor as you think, especially with savory pierogies. It may seem like there is a lot of steps but they are truly easy to make. They’re¬†also cheap. Your invited guests don’t need to know that. ūüôā

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Makes about 16 pierogies

Continue reading Polish Spelt Pierogies

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

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Because it is going to be tomato season soon and because these are the best tomatoes you are ever going to have and the recipe is so easy it almost shouldn’t be a recipe at all. I tried this for the first time last summer¬†‚ÄĒyes,¬†it was about 30C and yes I did leave my oven on for nearly four hours. The reward is succulent ¬†salty sweet tomatoes. Notice how there is no salt or pepper in the recipe below. Trust me on that.¬†You will want to put some salt because salt potentiates flavour. Yes. Yes. ¬†I was so tempted that on my first batch I did. They were too salty. Bad Magda. Leave it alone. This is not a sundried tomato, this is not an oven roasted tomato, this is a¬†slow roasted tomato.¬†food-1-25

The possibilities of usage are endless. I ate most of them out of a bowl soaked in olive oil. Above, they are served as a garnish to a candida-friendly fish and spinach lunch. I also added a bunch to my homemade tomato sauce I make every year to freeze for the winter. Continue reading Slow Roasted Tomatoes

The Grilled Cheese

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Hello. Welcome. It is audacious of me to start a food blog¬†with something so simple, something so un-recipe-y, but I’m doing it because it changed my life. Even though I am mostly gluten free (I am able to eat a bit of spelt without too much symptoms) and the days of making paninis have been gone since 2011, I have found several delicious Montreal-area bakeries that provide me with a proper system to deliver grilled cheese. My favorite is the gluten-free vegan flax bread from Mi & Stu. You can find their breads at fine retailers or at their location in Mile End. They make many different breads, like challah (!) & before long holidays they have nice sales.

Grilled Cheese
Mayo grilled cheese with some homemade veg chickpea soup.

OK ‚ÄĒ back to the best grilled cheese of your life¬†Fill it how you want. I prefer the classic with¬†organic gouda & cheddar mix and sometimes add¬†harissa, thinly sliced apple, fresh basil, spinach or sundried tomatoes. But what goes on top isn’t butter or some dark Greek olive oil but mayonnaise. I use natural whole egg mayo. The mayonnaise melts like an oil for a perfect crisp. My friend Brad was visiting recently & he didn’t believe me until we tried it and now he is desperate to buy a panini press to make these at home.

You can also make this in a frying pan. Have you already been doing this? Have you tried it?