TO DRINK: Belgian beers made under the Rafael and Gabriel labels come in champagne bottles and have a pure beer flavour, no overdone fizz to mess with the food.
Sweet and sour baby onions served with fried focaccia
- SWEET AND SOUR ONIONS
- 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
- 15ml (1 tbsp) sugar
- 500g baby onions
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 30ml (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 240g (2 cups) cake flour
- 5ml (1 tsp) instant yeast
- 5ml (1 tsp) sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) salt
- 250ml – 300ml warm water
- 30ml (2 tbsp) sunflower oil
- oil, for deep frying
- salt, to taste
For the onions, heat the butter over a low heat in a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan for about 1 minute. Add the sugar and allow it to melt and caramelise by stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Place the onions in the pan in a single layer with the rosemary and gently fry until well browned, about 5 minutes on each side.
Add the vinegar, season and cover. Simmer on a low heat, stirring the onions from time to time, for about 25 minutes. Onions are done when they are tender on the outside but still firm on the inside. Set aside and keep warm until needed.
For the dough, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix the water and oil and stir into the dry ingredients to form a stiff dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, adding more flour only if necessary.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 35 minutes.
Punch the dough down and roll out thinly. Cut into squares or diamond shapes, place on a baking sheet dusted with flour and leave to rise for a further 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and deep-fry the focaccia in batches of four until golden brown on both sides. Drain and place on paper towels. Season and serve with the sweet and sour onions while warm.