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February 1, 2005

Small-Time Cooks 2-1-05

At the recent International Food Festival, the J-Club hosted its annual Iron Chef competition. The Iron Chef, Joshua Schwartz, and his challenger, Stella Huang, battled it out using the secret ingredient, onion. The Iron Chef prevailed, but both teams created outstanding dishes. The Small Time Cooks are happy to feature their recipes.

Josh Schwartz's recipes

Four onion salads

Salad 1—Arugula with crisped onion in vanilla vinaigrette

1/2 cup arugula

1/2 white onion, cut into very thin strips

1 cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/4 vanilla bean

salt to taste

Heat the vegetable oil on high in a small pan and deep fry the onion until golden. Remove and set aside on paper towels to dry. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients together and toss with the arugula.

Salad 2—Oak leaf lettuce with sweet onion and red wine vinaigrette

1/2 cup Oak leaf lettuce (or similar sweet lettuce)

1/4 cup sweet onion (i.e. vidalia, walla walla), cut into crescents

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the oil, juice, salt and pepper. Mix in the onion. Let sit for 20 minutes and toss in the lettuce.

Salad 3—Baby beet greens with caramelized onion and balsamic vinaigrette

1/2 cup baby beet greens

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat the onions in the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once they have cooled down slightly, cover and cook for 20 minutes, until brown, gooey, and sweet. Stir regularly. Set aside. Whisk the olive oil, salt, pepper, and vinegar together and toss in the beet greens.

Salad 4 - Blood orange, watercress, and red onion in red wine vinaigrette

1/2 cup Watercress

2 segments blood orange, broken into thirds

1/2 red onion, finely diced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the onions and watercress, and mix.

Serve each salad in one corner of a large plate, topped with its corresponding onion (and, for the last salad, with the blood orange).

Entrée—Roasted chantrelles, potatoes, and onion in red beet and yellow pepper reductions, with onion purée

1/2 pounds chantrelles, chopped

1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, chopped

2 white onions, chopped

juice of 4 beets

juice of 3 yellow bell peppers

1 Habanero pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 Tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Toss the vegetables together with the olive oil and roast at 425 degrees until soft. Meanwhile, reduce the beet juice, allspice, and red pepper over low heat until volume is depleted by half. Also, reduce the pepper juice with the Habanero until volume is depleted by half, removing the Habanero after 5 minutes. When the onion is soft, purée it. Put speckles of the beet reduction, pepper reduction, and onion purée on a large plate, and arrange the roasted vegetables across the plate.

Stella Huang's recipes

Onion Blossoms

2-4 onions

1 egg white

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the outer skin of the onions. Trim off the roots so the onions can stand. Starting at the top of the onion, cut the onion like you would cut a pie, but leave 1/2 inch intact at the bottom. Drizzle the onions with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the onions and microwave for 3-6 minutes. The onions should be slightly cooked. Brush the onion with egg white. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. If the onion does not look like it is blossoming, separate the layers by yourself. Serve as a garnish or with some kind of meat.

Onion Apple Dessert

1/2 stick butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 Granny Smith Apple, diced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup currants

1 mango, diced

blueberries (optional)

Melt butter and sauté onion until transparent. Add chopped apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in currants. Remove the mixture from heat. Serve with mangos and blueberries on the side with a tuile (see below) or wafer.

Tuiles

2 egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

1/3 cup flour, sifted

2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

almonds or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter the cookie sheet. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Add sifted sugar. Beat until stiff peaks. Carefully fold in the sifted flour without deflating the egg whites. Carefully fold in the butter. Take a spoonful of the batter and spread it thinly in the shape of a circle. Sprinkle each circle evenly with some nuts, if desired. Bake for 5-6 minutes, but keep an eye on it. When the edges are golden, take the sheet out of the oven. These cookies harden very quickly, so remove the cookies and mold them around a rolling pin. This versatile light cookie is a great accompaniment to any dessert because it looks and tastes fantastic!