Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cooking this week...

This week I took advantage of fall fruits and sales. I also caramalized 10 big white onions in my crockpot, following the directions provided by Frugal Scholar. Worked like a charm, although yes, the apartment did kind of stink for a few hours. But now I've got about 8 cups of onions frozen for onion soup or whatever I want this coming winter.

I cooked Poached Pears in Red Wine, one of my favorite easy French dishes. I used a new recipe, out of a cookbook someone gave me, Four Seasons Cooking in France by Sylvie Tardrew: never used it before. But the recipe was simple, and I halved it for 3 pears.

1. Peel 6 (or 3) pears, sprinkling with lemon as you peel.
2. Stand the pears in a pan, not touching. Cover them with 2/3 c. superfine sugar (I used 1 envelope of vanilla sugar, which seemed a lot for all three, honestly). Add 1 pinch salt and 1 bottle red Provincale wine (I used 1/2 bottle). Add the peel of 1 orange, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 peppercorn (just used all this as is).
3. Bring pears to a boil, uncovered. As soon as wine starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.
4. Gently lift out the pears and set aside.
5. Boil the remaining juice to reduce by half. Cool. Pour over pears. Chill all in fridge until time to serve.

Simple.

I also cooked chicken breasts with caramalized onions and apples, in a recipe from Cooks.com. Again, I was only cooking two chicken breasts but I added a second apple, and so kept the rest of the proportions the same as the original recipe (a little less vinegar, probably only 2 tsps total). What turned out was a really tasty dish with lots more apples; since I used large breasts, I actually got 4 meals out of it. Oh, and I used Gala apples, which are tart, so the combination with the onions was perfect.

I did not use the cheese. Ugh.

The great thing about each recipe was that I already had most of the ingredients, and simply added the fruit (both on sale last week) and the caramalized onions. Even the red wine I already had on hand. Made for a "more fruit/less effort" week of eating, too.

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