Tag Archives: onion recipes

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Focaccia

A onion fennel focaccia 012

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Focaccia



  • 1 tablespoon fine sugar
  • 1 ½ cups very hot water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 cups flour plus flour for kneading ( ½- 1 cup)
  • Spray cooking oil



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fennel thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ cup grated gruyere cheese
  •  ½ teaspoon Grey sea salt to top bread


Directions to make dough:


In a bowl dissolve sugar in 1 ½ cup hot water, then add the yeast cover with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture should start to foam. Add 3 cups of flour mix and turn dough onto floured surface. Put some flour on top of the dough and on your hands and knead for about 5 minutes. As you work the dough add enough flour to make the dough less tacky. After kneading, spray a bowl with cooking oil. Place dough into bowl. Spray the top of dough with more cooking oil spray. Cover the bowl with a moist dishtowel and place to the side to rise for 1 1/2hr. The dough should be double in size. Punch the dough down. Take a non stick rimmed cooking sheet 9” x 13”, spray lightly with cooking oil and spread dough out to the size of the pan. Cover with damp dishtowel and let rise again for 30 minutes.


Directions to make topping:


Take a sauté pan to medium flame add butter. To melted butter add the sliced onions and fennel, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and cook until brown and caramelized stirring frequently not to burn, approximately 15 minutes. Add the fennel seed and let cool.


Directions to bake bread:


Preheat over to 425F , take the cooking sheet with dough and using finger tips press into the dough making dimples. Spread the onion fennel mixture over the top leaving 1 inch not covered around the perimeter of the pan. Next added the grated cheese and the grey sea salt. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.

Onions Celeste

Onions Celeste was a dish my mother made when I was growing up. It was a family favorite for years and then we eventually moved on. I’m not sure where the original recipe came from my mother was given this recipe from one of her friends. The original recipe called for canned cream of chicken soup. Not too long ago, I took out this recipe to surprise my mother but updated it and it is now once again a family holiday favorite. It satisfies my desire for creamed onions but with much less work. Mom was thrilled to enjoy an old favorite ! It’s a perfect side dish for holiday entertaining. Give this yummy retro classic a try!
From by the bay, wishing you celestial food memories!




blog onion celeste

Onions Celeste
Serves 6

4 oz chopped pancetta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large red onions, sliced thinly

8 oz grated gruyere cheese

1 recipe béchamel sauce ( approximately 1 ½ cups)

8 slices buttered toasted French bread


In a large heavy skillet over medium heat cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In the same pan heat the butter and sauté onion until soft and starts to caramelize which would be about 20 to 30 minutes. Spoon the onions into a butter baking dish 8” by 8” along with the pancetta. Pour the béchamel sauce over the onions , add the cheese and stir. Top with the buttered toast and bake in a 350F oven for approximately 25 minutes. You can also prepare this recipe up to a day in advance and refrigerate without the buttered toast. Bring to room temperature and top with toast and place into the oven.

Bechamel Sauce

Makes 1 ½ cups

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg


In a medium sauce pan add the milk and heat until it is about to boil. While the milk is heating, in another sauce pan , heat the butter until melted. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Cook the mixture for about 5-6 minutes until it becomes a golden color. Slowly add the hot milk to the flour mixture whisking continuously. Bring to a boil and then cook for another 10 -15 minutes continuing to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add the salt and nutmeg.


Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam

I have a bit of a competitive streak when it comes to cooking. Each year we have an outdoor grilling get together where we try to out do one another for the best burger recipe. This year I went for a burger made of ground short rib. Short rib has just the right fat ratio for a juicy burger. Next, I made some vidalia onion jam as a topping that along with melted smoked cheddar cheese, crisp cooked pancetta and a little arugula made for a real winning burger! Try it for your next cookout and get rave reviews!
From by the bay, wishing you winning food memories!

blog onion jam

Rosemary Onion Jam

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large vidalia onions, chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 springs rosemary, leaves chopped
In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil and add onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute onions until soft, about 15 minutes, stir so that onions to not burn. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to saute until onions are brown and the consistency is jam like. Remove from heat and cool. Place into a jam jar until ready to use. If not using within a few hours refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.
blog onion jam burger
Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam
Serves 6
2 pounds ground short rib
6 sesame seed buns
6 slices smoked cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons onion jam
12 slices pancetta cooked, crisp
4 ounces baby arugula leaves
Cook burgers , as preferred. Cut rolls through middle and toast. Add the cheddar cheese to top of burger and melt. To assemble place some arugula to the toasted bottom of the bun. Place burger with cheese on top of the arugula. Top with the onion jam and then the cooked pancetta. Finish with the toasted top of the bun and enjoy!

Weekend Goddess Making Pizza

I think of myself as a weekday warrior and weekend goddess. I spend the work week as a fashion warrior, working hard in a very competitive industry, living in Manhattan in a city of grey and black. The pace is fast.  My weekend’s are a complete shift . I move from the city to the country, living by the bay. The water is majestic and calming. The landscape is filled with color. I move from working at the desk to creating in the kitchen .  I travel to “by the bay” on fridays evenings by train. No matter what time I arrive, I’ll find the time to transition from weekday warrior to weekend goddess. The surest way to get there is getting into my kitchen and whip up a quick dinner after the commute to the house. One of my things to make is pizza. I have tried so many different pizza dough recipes and my favorite is the one from Jamie Oliver . I have adapted the technique to make the dough a little easier to prepare and  as well as the clean up. This version also works well when using your home oven. I, like most home cooks, do not have my own wood burning pizza oven in my backyard. This recipe works perfectly using your oven. You must try this pizza dough and I’m sharing two favorite pizza toppings – but pizza toppings is definitely one of times you can really get creative and experiment. So have fun with this and hope it inspires the weekend goddess in each of you!

From by the bay wishing you the most creative food memories!

Basic Pizza Dough – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe in “Jamie’s Italy”
Makes 2  – 17 inch pizzas

3 1/2 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo “00” flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4-ounce packets active dried yeast
1 teaspoon fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
extra semolina flour , for rolling

In a measuring cup combine water, sugar , oil and yeast. Let sit for about 10 minutes. In the meantime measure the flour and salt and combine in a large mixing bowl. Create a small well in the middle of the flour and add the ingredients from the measuring cup. Use a fork to swirl and combine incorporating as much of the liquid into the flour as you. Turn out the dough on to a clean work surface , with well floured hands start to knead the dough together. Knead until you have a smooth dough – about ten minutes. Place in a bowl tht has been wiped with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about an hour. Remove plastic wrap and punch the dough down. Divde dough into 2 portions. Roll dough on on to a work surface floured with the semolina and roll out into a  17 inch circle with a rolling pin, continuing to use semolina so the dough does not stick to the work surface of rolling pin. Place onto a 17 inch oiled pizza pan. Use the topping of your choice and bake in a 500 degree F oven for approximately 10 minutes until baked.

The remaining portion of dough can be used immediately or keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to use remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before rolling out. You may also place in a plastic freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost on counter before rolling out.


Pizza La Luna
Makes 8 slices

1 portion pizza dough

3 cooked chicken sausage broken in small pieces

6 slow slow roasted tomatoes

½ cup crumbled Soft Colombo Gorgonzola

½ cup shaved pecorino

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

¼ cup caramelized onions

1 tablespoon olive oil plus to prep pan


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Spray pizza pan with olive oil. Roll out pizza dough into a 17” round to fit pizza pan and transfer dough to pan. Layer pizza with sausage, caramelized onions, gorgonzola, pecorino and rosemary. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil. Let rest 20 minutes. Place pizza in oven and

ake pizza on center rack until the crust is crisp and brown on bottom and the cheese is melted on top, about 10 minutes. Cut pizza into 8 slices.


Tip: Cut slightly cooled pizza with scissor.

blog pizza broccoli rabe 

Bianco Broccoli Rabe Pizza

Makes 8 slices


1 portion pizza dough

1 cup broccoli rabe

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano

1/2 cup grated percorino (using large hole grater)

2 tablespoons olive oil



Clean broccoli rabe, cutting off stems. Bring to boil large pot of water. Add broccoli rabe and blanche for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse broccoli rabe with cold water and let drain. Pat broccoli rabe dry with paper towels. In a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add garlic and saute for one minute, add broccoli rabe and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender. Place to the side and cool. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. On a clean surface add some flour and roll out the pizza dough until it fits a 17″ pizza pan, presprayed with olive oil. Place dough on pan. Smooth layer of ricotta cheese across the pizza leaving 1/2 inch around the edges without the topping. Next add the broccoli rabe, scatter the parmesan cheese and the the grated percorino. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the pizza is brown. Slice and serve.