Thursday, June 3, 2010
a cioppolini (chipoleany) onions is a small onion that is larger and flatter than pearl onions. they have a relatively mild taste with a bit of sweetness and present wonderfully. at the restaurant we look at things like this as "value vegetables". as customers expect the best, and we want them to have a meal they feel has ample value especially when regarding vegetables we have to look for things they haven't seen before, or things they have seen that are cooked differently, or things that have value in the amount of time they have taken to get prepped, cooked, or plated. these are a great option as most haven't seen them, and they take us forever to prep. pictured here is a three gallon bucket that is over half full of trimmed and peeled onions that aren't bigger than 2 inches in diameter and its only about 15#'s. it takes even my fastest prep cooks hours to clean them, so we usually try to tackle them as a team effort. we usually buy them in 25# pound bags, so i find myself dealing with them pretty often. these were grown in Gilroy California by Cristopher Ranch. Gilroy is the garlic capitol of the world, growing some amazingly large percent of the garlic consumed in this country. They are available in fall and spring, but like any sort of onion, storage is easy and when stored in the perfect conditions they can be held (on the manufacturers side of it) easily for 6 months or more. another basic discipline task that requires almost zero skill and is not very entertaining (when they come off of the produce truck everyone moans a bit), but still has to be done. these were headed for a quick saute with a fortified wine called sherry,and some salt, then finished in a 500 degree oven so they get brown and the wine reduces to a syrup consistency.