Content sponsored by #denigris1889
Something was off.
I made this dish and it didn’t work. Dennis took a bite and gave me that look that spoke volumes. It was a kind look yet one that showed sensory discomfort after that first bite.
Something was off.
Two weeks ago I browsed my cookbooks and Pinterest for inspiration. I was determined to make a pan of simple roasted cipollini onions with balsamic and sugar. What could go wrong?
The balance was off and I couldn’t figure it out. It looked gorgeous but the taste wasn’t quite right.
Fast-forward a week. I planned a half-day of vacation to attend a vinegar 101 school here in Bentonville that was hosted by two of the De Nigris family members. We are talking generations of grape growers that produce some of the finest vinegars in the world. I was excited to learn all about their complete line of De Nigris balsamic vinegars that spanned the classification spectrum of white eagle, bronze eagle, silver eagle, gold eagle, platinum eagle, and aged.
“Why would we need so many different types of balsamic?”
It was a question begging to be answered.
In a nutshell, good quality balsamic is measured by its concentration of grape must and whether or not it is intended for cold foods, hot foods, or gourmet foods. It is all about how the balsamic reacts with the temperature of the foods.
I figured out what was wrong with my cipollini’s! I used the De Nigris white eagle balsamic that was intended for cold foods. I messed with nature. So, out came the sauté pan again, only this time reached for the De Nigris gold eagle balsamic, which is perfect for hot foods. Even though I no longer had the cipollini onions, my always-available sweet Vidalia onions and shallots were ready for the test.
Ladies and Gents, the mystery is solved!
The onions and shallots all but applauded and thanked me for taking care of them properly. The taste was astounding and all I changed was the balsamic intensity!
Consider me now educated.
Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic
1 medium size sweet Vidalia onion
4 medium size shallots
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup De Nigris gold eagle balsamic vinegar
1 minced garlic clove
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Peel onion and shallot skins and slice in half. Place in cold water and let sit for 15 minutes. This will even out the “bite” of the onions.
Melt butter on high heat and then lower to medium heat.
Add sugar and stir until melted.
Add vinegar and garlic and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add drained onions.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Flip over onions and shallots and spoon juices over them until saturated.
Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and cook for 5 minutes or until juices reduce to desired level.
Remove from heat and serve as a side accompaniment to meat or poultry. It is also an excellent addition to cubed steak if you allow the juices to cook down with the meat.
I am curious to know if you knew about the different grades of balsamic that work best with cold and hot dishes. Did you?
Oh, I can’t wait to tell you about the aged vinegar that we tasted on ice cream.
Eat well, my friends.