Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Evening with Thomas Keller and Ad Hoc

I love cookbooks. Last week I ordered Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller and Johnny's Iuzzini's Dessert Fourplay. I was pretty excited when they arrived today in the mail. I had actually looked at both of these books a couple of weekends before and thought they were certainly worth buying.

Quite honestly, I'm not a chef. I don't pretend to be, which would explain why I had chose not to get the French Laundry cookbook. It's not that I don't think I could do the recipes. I can. The problem is that it takes a lot more time for me to do it, than it would for someone with better skills and equipment. Ad Hoc at home is the antithesis of The French Laundry. The majority of the recipes have minimal ingredients with way fewer processes than TFL.

Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions

With a bowl of cipollini onions from Snake Hill Farm sitting on the counter, I figured there was no time like the present to test drive one of Keller's recipes. An easy to follow recipe with just six ingredients, the Honey Glazed Cipollinis were delicious.

If you haven't seen this book, you've got to take a look. Not only are the recipes relatively easy, but there's a lot of "how to" info also included.

Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions
by Thomas Keller from Ad Hoc at Home

  • 1-1/4# Cipollini Onions (about 14 ), about 2 inches in diameter
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed, skin left on
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 C Chicken Stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground block pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel the onions. Cut off the top of each onion to create a flat surface for browning. Trim the root ends. If any of the onions are noticeably larger than the rest, peel off an outer layer so that they are closer to in size.
  3. Heat an oven proof frying pan large enough to hold the onions in a single layer over medium heat. Add the canola oil and heat until warm.
  4. Add the onions cut-side down and cook until browned, swirling the pan from time to time for even browning, about 6 minutes. Turn and cook to lightly brown the second side, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and honey to the pan. The honey will bubble up; once it stops, add the chicken stock and swirl the pan to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil.
  5. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick glaze. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer the onions to a serving dish and spoon the glaze over the top.


  1. thanks for posting this. Now to find the onions!
    I am thoroughly enjoying cooking from this book. Like Julia child, the instructions and detailing are instructive and fun because they are so successful.
    I look forward to reading your blog.

  2. This is an absolutely wonderful book. I can't say enough great things about it. The tips are priceless. I just wish the baking recipes were in weight and not volume.

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