Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year!

Whew! I feel like I just got off a rollercoaster after the holidays. Even though I planned to try to take it easy, it seems the hours were filled with making pizelles, potato pancakes with zucchini, and salad for a get-together with D's family, veggie lasagna for my mother and sister who visited during one of the craziest times to come to New York, and french onion soup and braised BBQ short ribs for a New Year's Eve dinner party.

And putting out pickles at every event.

The lesson I learned over the holidays was that I need to present my pickles in a better way so that people want to eat them. Because once they do, they generally love them (although I've gotten quite a few helpful suggestions on how to make them better, too).

I usually put them out on a nice plate, but people don't really know that they are my pickles. So I think maybe putting up a label on a little stand in front of the pickles is the way to go.

I'm excited about the New Year.....there are lots of new pickle recipes to try, and lots of friends on their way to visit with recipes of their own to share with me. If you've got a recipe for a special kind of pickle you can share, please send it to me, I'd love to try it and post the results here.


2 Spanish onions
2 cans of beef broth (or, for the vegetarians, veggie broth)
1/8 tsp thyme powder
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper (depending on your taste)
pinch of salt
12 thin slices of Swiss cheese (or Gruyere if you want to be fancy)
Sourdough bread (6 pieces, sliced thickly enough to come to the top of a ramekin, and toasted)
Romano or parmesan cheese to grate for the top
4 tbsp butter
6 ceramic ramekins (little soup bowls)

Pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. Slice the onions and saute in the butter for about 20 minutes on low heat so that the onions are tender and creamy, but not brown. Add broth, thyme, pepper, and salt, bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Toast the bread in the oven (which is at 550) and place the slices in the ramekins. Pour the broth and onion mixture over the bread just as your guests arrive, and layer with 2 slices of cheese each. Grate a bit of the Romano or parmesan on top, and pop in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese gets a little bit brown and bubbly.

Serve steaming hot, but warn your guests about how hot it will be. Enjoy!

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