Celebrate the Onion Family

Celebrate the Onion Family

Part of Ep. 1504 Celebrate Fall

In the cooking kitchen of Carr Valley Cheese in Sauk City, we make a carmelized onion pizza with montena cheese, a roasted garlic cream sauce with salmon, and a sweet corn and leak soup.

Premiere date: Oct 31, 2007

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:
We're in the cooking kitchen of Carr Valley Cheese in Sauk City, and they have generously allowed us to use their teaching room for the day to celebrate the lowly onion. I'm with chef Wade Casperzak of the Dining Room at 209 Main in Monticello, and he has driven all the way here so that we can learn some wonderful recipes. You really like using onions, especially in fall dishes, Wade.

Wade Casperzak:
I do. They're really versatile, you can get a lot of different flavors from the different types of things from the onion family.

Shelley:
Well what are the different things we're going to do today?

Wade:
We're going to do a carmelized onion pizza with montena cheese from Carr Valley. We're also going to do a roasted garlic cream sauce with some salmon, and we're going to do a sweet corn and leak soup.

Shelley:
So onions in all their different forms. Well go ahead and get started and teach me as you go.

Wade:
We're going to work on carmelizing our onions first because that's going to take the longest.

Shelley:
Ok.

Wade:
So what you're going to take, depending on what size batch you do, it could take an hour or more.

Shelley:
Really, so this is a slow process. It's not something where you brown them to a crisp then.

Right, you want to do it over a kind of low to medium heat to bring out kind of the natural sugars.

Shelley:
Ok, and any particular kind of onion?

Wade:
The sweet onions work well. We've got vidalias here today which are pretty common style, but really any type of white or yellow onion will work.

Shelley:
Ok, but try for something a little bit more on the sweet side.

Wade:
And we're going to add a little bit of oil to the pan. We're going to start it on about medium to medium high heat just to get the process going. And these will cook down quite a bit. They're really going to.

Shelley:
So don't worry about using too many.

Wade:
Nope, don't worry about using too many, and I love using these on pizzas instead of like a traditional red sauce. Looking for our garlic, alright. We are going to start with some already peeled garlic I've got here.

Shelley:
Well that's a nice time saver.

Wade:
Yeah, absolutely. You can do the whole bulb if you want and we're actually going to cover this with quite a bit of olive oil.

Shelley:
So you're roasting them.

We are roasting it on the stovetop; you can also do it in the oven but I prefer the stovetop because you can keep an eye on it.

Shelley:
Oh, I never thought of that. Using the whole ones you might do it in the oven.

Wade:
Yeah, yes, yes. And this you're going to completely cover with oil. And this is nice because then you get the benefit of roasted garlic oil when you're done with it.

Shelley:
Oh, ok, great!

Wade:
Turn this on high--just to start until the oil starts getting hot and then we'll turn it down to low. You don't want to fry it.

Shelley:
And then how long is that going to cook on low?

Wade:
This will probably take 25-30 minutes. About that.

Shelley:
Ok, so an hour for that. (onions) and 25-30. Then you've also got some vegetables sauteeing. What's going to happen here?

Wade:
We've got some red peppers and sweet corn going back here.

Shelley:
And this is for the soup?

Wade:
For the leak soup.

Shelley:
Speaking of, here are the leaks. Now you have a technique that I really like to look at here.

Wade:
As you know when leaks grow, with all the different layers they trap dirt, so what I like to do is slice them, kind of separate the rings in some cold water, and the all the dirt will sink to the bottom.

Shelley:
Excellent.

Wade:
And then you can just pull the leaks out and they will be nice and clean. I'm just going to use water today. you can use chicken stock, vegetable stock, or another thing you could do is--set that over to the side. Another thing you can do with the corncobs if you're using fresh sweet corn is you can make a stock out of these. Simmer them in a little water, you can get some real nice corn flavor out of them.

Shelley:
Oh, ok. And then this is going to cook with the herbs in it for about how long?

Wade:
You know maybe 15 minutes just until everything starts getting soft. And then we'll add our water, some cream, a little salt and pepper, we'll let that simmer and then we're going to thicken it with roo once it's cooked through. And what we've got here Shelley is our carmelized onions. You can see how those cooked down.

Shelley:
They shrunk.

Wade:
Yeah they really shrunk down. We did pull some out and put them on our pizza crust. Drizzle with the Carr Valley Fontina cheese. Looks real nice.

Shelley:
Looks beautiful, I can't wait to taste that. So any crust would--you can use any kind of pizza crust.

Wade:
Homemade, store bought, whatever you want.

Shelley:
What a novel way to use onions too, smells great! And this, this is our finished soup. We've got what? Leaks, tomatoes, a cream sauce that just smells heavenly. Let's test it. Ok this is mine. That is gorgeous and again what a wonderful way to use leaks too. And you've got one last thing to show us.

Wade:
One last thing we're just going to finish up our cream sauce for our salmon. We've got our roasted garlic here. I'm just going to pull some of that out.

Shelley:
And now to tell it's done you see how it squishes. And then you save the oil for another use.

Wade:
Yeah, you can use it on salads, sautee with it. And then we're just going to add some half and half to that and puree it.

Shelley:
And you're using one of these wonderful commerical blenders and they just love these. Now the garlic is actually thickening it.

Wade:
The garlic is thickening it. And we'll grab the salmon.

Shelley:
Ok.

Wade:
And we're just going to spoon some of that over the top of the salmon like so.

Shelley:
That looks gorgeous. In a way I think I'm going to respect onions a lot more. Thank you so much.

Wade:
You bet. Thank you Shelley.

Shelley:
And we'll have these recipes on our website.

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