Sunday, April 17, 2011

Creamy French Onion Dip

Many of my holidays growing up were spent at my grandparents house. Easter Sunday always included a ham spiked with cloves, and the very popular french onion dip appetizer. A package of Lipton french onion soup mixed with sour cream along side a plate of celery and carrot sticks. A vivid memory in my mind. I have tried making it from scratch before, mixing sour cream, mayonnaise and sometimes chevre with onions to create something vaguely similar to what my childhood mind remembers. I never was able to get it just right however, until now.
I decided to skip the sour cream and mayonnaise component and instead opted for creme fraiche. I wanted a slight sour taste that had a mostly creamy taste and texture. Mayonnaise has a flat flavor note that I thought would cover the subtle taste of shallots and onion. I was right. Creme fraiche turned out to be the perfect blank canvas for caramelized onions and onion powder. This dip was incredibly easy too. A perfect throwback to the old days of my Easter dinner traditions. Serve with carrot sticks, celery, sourdough toast points or plain potato chips.

7.5 ounces Creme Fraiche (213g)
1 heaping cup finely chopped onions (150g)
3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots (1.5 oz)
1/2 teaspoon salt (1.5g)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon onion powder (18g)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (.5 oz)
pinch salt

Saute onions and shallots with olive oil and small pinch of salt over medium heat until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cool in a bowl to room temperature after cooked.
In a bowl, gently mix onion powder and salt into creme fraiche. Add the room temperature onion mixture. Refrigerate overnight, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Super Natural Every Day Book Signing

When I think of Heidi Swanson, I think graciousness and style. Her book signing was no exception. It was a bit of a blustery but clear night in San Francisco at Omnivore books. The place was packed! Three tables were set up, all filled with Super Natural recipes people brought to share. I loved the metal tubs sitting on the front window ledge filled with chilled Sorelle Bronca Prosecco, which just happens to be my favorite prosecco! Super Natural Every Day is filled with recipes I would want to feed the world with. They are simple in their preparation, but interesting. I think pulling that off is a serious skill.

I especially liked Heidi's mustard recipe. I have been tinkering with mustard in my own kitchen in the last month, and could not figure out why my mustard kept turning out so hot and spicy until I read in her book that if you leave the mustard in the fridge for a couple of weeks the flavors mellow out. There is a lot of very useful information she provides in the book like that, along with online resources, cooking tips and stories about her cooking life. Reading her book, you really feel like you are getting a glimpse into her world.

Heidi's smile lit up the whole room. It was fun night. I just peeked on Amazon and it is currently 29th in the top 100 books!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Booksignings and Happiness

Just wanted to let you know how living right here in this moment is working out for me; really well. To celebrate, I am going to Heidi Swanson's book signing at Omnivore Books this thursday. She sort of put my Kale Pesto on the map and I am looking forward to supporting her newest book. Plus, you know it is going to be super cool because it is Heidi.
I will try to take photos for you.


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