The humble onion goes gourmet in this deceptively simple preparation. The ingredients are few but the flavor is multi-layered. Use small, golf-ball sized yellow onions, not pearl onions--they can be found at late-season or winter farmers' markets.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop the onions (skin-on) into it and parboil them 4 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim off ends with a sharp knife, leaving a little of the root ends intact (so the onions won't fall apart with further cooking). Slip off skins.
Heat butter over medium-low flame in a skillet large enough to hold onions in a single layer. Add onions; sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook 12 -15 minutes, shaking pan frequently to prevent sticking. Pour in maple syrup and continue to cook, shaking pan, 2-3 minutes. Add apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Stir in pepper to taste. Raise heat and bring liquid to hard simmer. Cook until reduced to a syrupy glaze, again shaking pan often. The onions can be held off the heat at this point--or cooled and refrigerated--then gently reheated just before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.
Copyright by Terese Allen