Balsamic & Onion Confit with Cranberries
- 3 cups red onion sliced very thin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 4 tablespoons sugar (I prefer raw sugar)
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 baguette sliced and toasted, mini phyllo shells, or puff pastry
- 4 ounces Stilton, goat cheese, cream cheese, or brie
In a saucepan with a cover, heat the olive oil gently over medium heat, tossing the onions to coat. Cover the saucepan and very gently cook the onions until they almost melt. Remove the lid, stirring in the cranberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Stir to mix and turn the heat down very low. Let the juices evaporate, creating a marmalade-type texture. Since onions vary in sweetness, taste for a nice balance of sweet and sour. Adjust to taste buds with a little more sugar or vinegar.
Baguettes: Slice baguette into 1/4 inch slices and place on cookie sheet. In a preheated 350-degree oven, toast baguettes for 8 - 10 minutes. Turn each slice over and toast for another 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. When ready to serve, place a slice of cheese or spread cheese (depending on what kind of cheese you use, I prefer gorgonzola for this style) on each baguette toast and spoon the confit on top.
Stuffed Phyllo Shells: It is easiest to buy the premade shells that you find in the freezer section of your grocery store, but you could certainly make them yourself, as well. Place approximately 1 tsp. of your cheese of choice into each shell. At this point, if you want a warm appetizer, you can place them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 mins. When done, pull out of the oven and place 1 teaspoon of confit on top of each cup of cheese. Garnish with thyme leaves or fresh rosemary, or leave ungarnished.
Self-serve Appetizer: This is my favorite way of serving the confit. It makes such a beautiful presentation and your guests can have as much or as little as they desire. I either use Brie or Cream cheese for this style. Place the cheese on an appropriate-sized serving plate and spoon the confit over the top of the cheese. Garnish with fresh Rosemary and a couple of fresh cranberries, if you desire. Place crackers or baguette slices around the cheese and watch it disappear!! Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.