Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Else Do You Put On Dosa?

Better question: What DON'T you put on dosa?

Well, if you followed last year's Christmas party, you know I enjoy layers. So in a twisted kind of canapé style I'm a big fan of dosa + gloopy thing + cheese-like thing + meat-like thing + sauce-like thing. That doesn't sounds delicious at all, does it? I'll try to be more explicit with my descriptions:

1. Dosa + caramelized onion + Quebec Oka Cheese + smoked herring + fig jam (encircling the caramelized onions above, inside the circle of smoked herring)


2. Dosa + saag  + "raw" (vegan) macademia nut ricotta + crab meat (NOT imitation pollock...) + raspberry/blueberry compote

You could also do these combinations on other carb-y things such as baguette or even the dry gluten-free bread I put out for my mother's sake (though I will admit the tapioca bread is growing on me, but only when warm).
 So lets start with caramelized onions:

Tons of onions (4 is what the original recipe calls for, but I feel like I was chopping onions forever since I did a triple recipe. The other measurements below are for 4 onions)
a little balsamic vinegar (about a tbsp, but I like 2 since the balsamic I used was pretty subdued)
the same amount of sugar (again, a tbsp, but I like 2)
oil to slow-cook the onions (about 2 tsp. Extra is fine but unnecessary)
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
a little salt
a little fresh parley or basil, finely chopped (optional)

What you do:
Slice the onions into very thin strips then add them to a pan of heated olive oil (medium-high heat). Reduce the heat immediately to medium and let them cook, unstirred, for about 4 minutes, or until they brown a little on the bottom. Now you're allowed to stir and keep cooking for another 5 minutes, spreading the light caramel colour throughout the onions and letting them wilt.

Now sprinkle the onions with the balsamic and the sugar and stir and cook for 10 more minutes. They should be very brown and very tender. You don't want to crunch caramelized onions, so test them now. If they're soft enough, sweet enough, and acidic enough, add a little sprinkle of salt and stir in the parsley. Test again. With so few ingredients you can't hide in this recipe and if it needs more salt, it needs more salt. If it's undercooked, cook it longer.

That's all. 

For the herring, I didn't trust how salty they were so I soaked them a little, basically depriving the already bland fish of any taste whatsoever. I should have gone with the pickled stuff, or pickled some herring myself, but, well, this way was easier and nobody was going to care. I cared. The soaked and dried stuff was junk, and the texture was nothing. In the future I will accept the salt or make fresh herring instead of wimping out.

Next post: Macadamia Nut Ricotta