|To match a Russian Feast...
This goes really well with, not in, the vodka
- I n g r e d i e n t s -
Pearl Onions - 2 bags of frozen pearl onions, also called Whole Petite Onions,
14 oz. each, look for the C&W brand, thawed and rinsed
Sweetener - 1 cup white sugar - OR - 1 cup Agave Syrup
Salt - 3 teaspoons
Cider Vinegar - 2 cups
Dill - preferably 4 Tbs snipped fresh Dill -or- 2 tsp dried Dill
Caraway Seed - 2 tsp
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - 2 tsp, the hot ones, not sweet
Black Peppercorns - 24 of them, whole
- T o o l s -
a Half Gallon or 2 One Quart Jars that can take the heat,
Large sauce pan with a lid, ladle, slotted spoon
A brightly colored Serving Bowl and slotted Serving Spoon
- T h e B i g P i c t u r e -
An appetizer table is an embarrassment of riches.
It all works together and this is one of the treasures.
Remember you have to get a two week jump on this recipe.
We have taken the liberty of suggesting using Agave Syrup, rather than White Sugar.
The reason for this is well documented, so we have messed with the traditional.
The Agave Syrup is available at a Whole Foods or at Trader Joes.
This will be enough appetizer for 20+ people.
- T h e M a r i n a t i n g -
Two weeks before the feast, get out your frozen onions. Put them in a colander
and rinse them with hot water. This tends to remove any traces of freezer taste.
In a large sauce pan with a lid, put in the 2 cups of Cider Vinegar and
1 cup of sweetener. Over high heat, stir and proceed to add the rest:
3 teaspoons of Salt, 2 teaspoons of Caraway Seed,
2 teaspoons of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, if they are old, add a little more,
and 24 whole Black Peppercorns, this is 1/2 level teaspoon.
Once all of this comes to a boil, add the onions, put on the lid, and as quickly
as possible, return to a full boil. Take off the lid add the 4 Tablespoons of
snipped Fresh Dill. If you can't find any, use the dry Dill.
Turn off the heat and ladle the onions into the jar/s. Put the liquid over them,
dividing the spices accordingly. If the liquid doesn't cover the onions, add
chlorine-free water until it does. Let cool to room temperature and
refrigerate for two weeks.
- T o T h e A p p e t i z e r T a b l e -
Transfer the onions to an attractive bowl, taking some of the juice with them.
The bowl should have some color so the white onions don't wash-out.
Reserve some of the marinating juice if all the onions don't get eaten.
These do not need garnishing, let the color of the bowl be the garnish.
There you have it, you are ready for the party.
We would like to thank Darra Goldstein
The author of At the Dacha, Russian Home Cooking
This book is out of print, and it must be loved because it's hard to find used ones,
but she has others. Go to Amazon.com and type in Darra Goldstein in the search box.
We have adapted her recipes here and there, but done under the watchful eye of Andy Zaharoff.