Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caramelized Onion Panna Cotta

After watching some CIA Top Cheffage, and Amanda's failure at re-imagining a French Onion Soup... Chef Colicchio had a great suggestion that stuck with me.

Panna Cotta.

Having never made one before, but assuming that it couldn't be all that hard as all you're really doing is cooking cream, I set out to make my own Top Chef inspired creation.

And so I present...

Caramelized Onion & Aged Cheddar Panna Cotta with a Caramelized Onion base, Reduced Sweet Onion Sauce and a Parmesan and Garlic Crostini.

Caramelized Onion Cheddar Panna Cotta
  • Olive oil, to grease
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) thin cream
  • 70g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 80g Caramelized onion cheddar cheese finely chopped
  • 2 tbs boiling water
  • 3 tsp powdered gelatin
Brush molds w/ olive oil. Combine milk, cream & sugar in saucepan over med heat. Cook for 10 mins or until sugar dissolves. Add cheese and stir until completely melted. Bloom gelatin in the hot water until dissolved. Slowly whisk into cream mixture, pour into molds and let set for at least 6 hours.

Caramelized Onion Base
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • Butter
  • Sugar
Caramelize onions, and then press into the molds on top of the panna cotta after it’s set. Run a knife around the edge of the mold to loosen & flip upside down onto plate to serve.

Playing with Fire & Water
Onion Syrup
taken from playing with fire and water...
  • 300g sugar
  • 100g Vidalia onion juice (about 1 large onion, put through a juicer)
  • 200g dry red wine
  • 150g red wine vinegar
  • 50g balsamic vinegar
  • 50g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5g fleur de sel
  • 1.5g sichuan pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges and separated into petals.
Place sugar and onion juice in a large saucepan. Stir until sugar is evenly wet. Cover pan and set over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove cover and turn heat up to medium high. Cook syrup to 360F/182C, or until medium golden and smells like toasted onions. Immediately remove pan from heat and carefully add the wine to the pan. The hot syrup will sputter and boil, add the wine slowly until it calms down. Return pan to stove and continue cooking on medium high heat. When the syrup has dissolved in the wine, add all of the remaining ingredients. Adjust the heat to maintain a full rolling boil and cook the syrup until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of maple syrup. This can take up to 10 minutes. Allow syrup to cool slightly and strain out the onion pieces. Store syrup in refrigerator for up to one month.

Parmesan & Garlic Crostini
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • Thinly sliced bread
Toast thinly sliced garlic bread with a heavy coating of freshly grated Parmesan.  Garnish & enjoy!

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