Friday, February 24, 2012

Pickled Red Onions

Perfect Pairing:  Non-reactive pan
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Do you ever feel like your salads need a boost?  That sounds like the start of an infomercial.  I admit to having a weird fascination with infomercials.  I am not inclined to buy anything, but I enjoy watching people get excited over cleaning products and sandwich griddles.  Call it a guilty pleasure.
Back to the boring salads...  I always like to add some sort of onion (sweet, red, green, etc.) to my salads but I don’t love the pungency of raw onion.  Pickled red onions are a great alternative because they still have the onion flavor but it is tempered by the vinegar and sugar.
I have no experience with pickling anything, so when I went searching for a pickled onion recipe I was pleased to see that not all pickle recipes require sterilizing jars and resting time.  This recipe is done in minutes and lasts for weeks in the refrigerator.  They are not only great on salads, but also sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.
The base of the recipe is red onions, white vinegar, sugar, and salt.  You can add other seasonings based on your tastes.   I use a combination of allspice berries, bay leaves, cloves, and hot peppers.  The pickling juice is also great mixed with olive oil for a quick dressing.
The Perfect Pairing for pickled red onions is a non-reactive pan.  A non-reactive pan would be stainless steel rather than aluminum or copper.  I am not going to claim to understand the science behind it; I just know you don’t want your pickled onions to taste like a pickled tin can when you are done.  If you want to know more, this article is informative.


Pickled Red Onions
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing

Ingredients:
·         1 ½ cup white vinegar
·         6 Tb. granulated sugar
·         Pinch of salt
·         2 large red onions, peeled and sliced
Optional Seasonings:
·         Bay leaves
·         Cinnamon stick
·         Cloves
·         Allspice berries
·         Dried hot peppers
·         Pepper flakes
·         Fresh knobs of ginger
·         Garlic
Directions:
In a non-reactive pot heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, and seasonings to a boil.  Add the onion slices and reduce heat.  Allow to simmer for 1 minute to 90 seconds.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.   Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
*I like to use 10 cloves, 10 allspice berries, 2 dried peppers, and 2 bay leaves

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