Monday, April 6, 2015

Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic.

#denigris1889 Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic - full shot (c)nwafoodie

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?

A lot.

The balance was off and I couldn’t figure it out. It looked gorgeous but the taste wasn’t quite right.

#denigris1889 Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic - in pan (c)nwafoodie

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?”

#denigris1889 Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic - vinegar tasting (c)nwafoodie

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 goldeagle 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.

#denigris1889 Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic - angled shot (c)nwafoodie

#denigris1889 Pan roasted sweet onions with balsamic - gold eagle (c)nwafoodie

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.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Five Foodie Finds for Mother’s Day.

uncommon goods Five Foodie Finds for Mother's Day (c)nwafoodie

This post contains sponsored content. 

Mother’s Day is five weeks from now so I thought it needed it’s own “five foodie finds” edition.  You know, to give us time to find the perfect gift that mom would truly want. 

Whenever I post “five foodie finds,” I like to highlight the unusual. Why have ordinary when you can have extraordinary? That is my philosophy, at least. One website that I often highlight is uncommongoods, based out of Brooklyn, New York. I like them because half of what they sell is made by hand and they really support and provide a platform for artists and designers. That’s cool. They run their operations out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal, including their warehouse where the lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50% above the minimum wage. And, I like that with every purchase you make; they donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice. Everybody wins!

If you need some ideas for Mother’s Day, the folks at uncommongoods have already curated a plethora of suggestions here and here.

Here are a few of my favorites. What are yours?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A refreshing citrus salad that crosses over from winter to spring.

Winter Citrus salad with warmed honey vinaigrette TasteArkansas (c)nwafoodie

Winter is holding tight and not letting go.  So tightly that right now a raging fire is dancing in the fireplace and there is a heater blowing at my feat underneath my desk as I type these words. It’s hard to believe that spring is just short of two days away.

Do you have a “go to” dish?  You know, the one or ones that you know by memory and you simply cannot get enough of it?  I have a couple of them and every once in a while we will have a meal and think, “will this one be the one?”

Do you think it is possible to add a salad to your “go to” list?  Would you be interested in a salad with winter citrus medley of thinly sliced oranges and grapefruit with creamy Danish blue cheese crumbles and walnuts topped off with a warmed honey vinaigrette on soft buttery butter lettuce?

Friday, March 13, 2015

What do you do with leftover white wine?

what to do with leftover white wine other than drink it (c)nwafoodie

Was your first thought, “What leftover white wine?”

Ha! I knew you were going to say that!

While we are not big white wine drinkers, we always keep a bottle or two on hand for family and friends who are looking for something refreshingly light or sweet. During particularly busy entertaining seasons, we find ourselves with several half-used bottles of white wine in the fridge. Last weekend we had a total of three, count ‘em three, half used bottles of white wine. Chardonnay, muscato, and a super sweet peach flavored Arbor Mist. My sister-in-law finished off the Arbor Mist, thankfully. That left me with the chardonnay and the muscato. 

What to do.
What to do.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chicken and beef teriyaki sushi rolls.

#denigris1889 Chicken and beef teriyaki sushi rolls - up close (c)nwafoodie

Content sponsored by #denigris1889

“This was awesome! This has to be your next BLOG,” the post-it note on my desk declared when I returned back to my office. I had the crazy idea the other day to make sushi, only sans the fish.  Sure, I could make our usual avocado and cucumber rolls, yet I had another idea.

I knocked on my co-worker’s door.  “Knock, Knock. You got a second?”

I asked him what he thought about the idea of making a chicken teriyaki or beef teriyaki sushi roll. “Is that a crazy idea?” 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hummus is on-trend right now.

Hummus on trend - Winter fancy foods show (c)nwafoodie

In January, the Specialty Foods Association held their Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.  Wouldn’t you want to be a fly on the wall for that?  Or, better yet, attending in person, discovering, and sampling over 80,000 on-trend coffees, snacks, organic, cheeses, and the list goes on and on. 

You would seriously have to pace yourself.

One of my favorite go-to-source for food research is the Hartman Group.  They keep me in-the-know of what’s hot on the food scene and with the consumer mindset.  The folks at Hartman Group attended the Winter Fancy Food Show and afterwards shared the top five food trends they observed from  the event.  Are you curious to know what is considered on-trend and hot on the food scene right now?   

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Don’t you just hate it when vegetables go to waste?

TasteArkansas Don't Let Your Veggies Go To Waste (c)nwafoodie

I get so mad at myself when I waste food.  It is completely frustrating when vegetables go past their prime or when food in the freezer is stored too long or improperly.  Thankfully, I have gotten much better at both of those scenarios so that neither one is a common occurrence any more.

What changed?

We made the decision to stop letting it happen. 
We shop our refrigerator more often.
We restock less often.
We consciously make sure that our dinner plates have more vegetable space.
We take a NutriBullet of pureed veggies and fruit to work every day.
We just keep working at it and when something goes bad, we shake it off, compost, and move on.

How about you?

Do you get just as frustrated when your let your veggies go to waste? 

Earlier this month I wrote an article for TasteArkansas (sponsored) and shared my secrets on what to do to make sure those veggies won’t go to waste when you have an extra five, fifteen, thirty, or sixty minutes to spare.

And, if you are curious on how to tame that freezer, DiningWithDeb’s tells us exactly how.

Now we don’t have any excuses.

Keep trying!

Eat well, my friend. Eat well.

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