April 29, 2006

One Simple - One Complicated

Last weekend's belated Easter feast featured, along with the ham recently described, a couple of our standards and a couple of new recipes being tried for the first time. Both of the new recipes were great successes, altho ordinarily they would be not be used in a single context together.

Pineapple Casserole

This one was chosen simply to complement the pineapple ham. It is exceptionally simple, and would be a good one to assign to a young cook as a first contribution to a major meal. As posted where we found it, the pineapple was to be ring slices, layered. The chunks make it easier to prepare, serve and eat, and I don't think the reduction in elegance is significant.

2 large cans pineapple chunks -- drained
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese -- shredded
1 sleeve Ritz crackers -- crushed
1 stick butter -- melted

Mix pineapple, sugar, flour and cheese. Place in casserole dish. Top with crushed crackers. Pour melted butter over casserole. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes.

French Carmalized Onions

This one, on the other hand, requires an experienced cook, both because it requires patience and attention and because it is liable to burn if you don't know what "about to burn" looks and smells like. I would strongly recommend using a gas stove rather than an electric one for this recipe. I always do, but this is one where it really makes a difference. Raising and lowering the heat during the cooking process helps release the natural sugars in the onions, and a gas stove gives much better response for temperature control. Note that the onions should be quartered before slicing, as otherwise you wind up with stringy rings.

3 lbs. onions -- sliced 1/8" thick
8 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the onions. Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes.

Remove cover, raise the heat, stirring to keep the onions from sticking. As soon as the onions begin to brown - in about 10 minutes - lower the heat.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove cover, raise the heat, stirring to keep the onions from sticking. Cook for 10 minutes.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high and stir with a wooden spoon until the vinegar is evaporated ~ about 5 minutes.

This dish can be made in advance. To reheat: cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Posted by triticale at April 29, 2006 07:46 AM | TrackBack

Yum. That's a definite one to try out!!

Posted by: Beth at May 4, 2006 08:12 PM

I made the pineapple casserole yesterday. Used about 1/2 the sugar called for and baked it in a pyrex pie pan. Wonderful. Thanks!

Posted by: Ted at May 7, 2006 09:59 AM
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