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Author Topic: cooking with onions
Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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ey up,

I'm about to go away for christmas but stupidly bought a massive bag of onions. am going to leave some for anyone else in my house who wants to cook with them, but want to use at least a few first.

I'm only used to using onions as a supplementary part of a meal so, help me - what decent recipes are there which make use of onions in large quantities?

only ideas I've had so far included potato and onion burger things, onion-based curry, and onion preserve things.

anyone?

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Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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Oo, I've got a fabulous recipe for Tuscan Onion Soup - that'll use a few. This serves four:

Dry fry 50g diced pancetta for 2-4 minutes, then remove from the pan and leave on one side.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and cook onions (recipe specifies 4 large white onions sliced into rings, so depending on what onions you have it might be a bit of a judgement call for you here) and three chopped garlic cloves over a high heat for 4 minutes.

Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. (And if you're me, resist temptation to eat onions at this stage - I love cooked onions.)

Add 1 1/2 pints hot chicken or ham stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Toast both sides of 4 slices of ciabatta, spread with butter and top with 75g gruyere or cheddar cheese. Cut bread into bite-sized pieces.

Add pancetta to soup. Season to taste.

Pour into bowls and top with toasted bread.

For a simpler version you can cut out the pancetta and the bread of course.

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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Jonny, I googled 'freezing onions.' This link says onions can be frozen after just slicing or dicing--raw. So, if you don't get enough recipes here, you can cut 'em up and freeze them without blanching.

http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/hesguide/foodnut/gh1503.htm

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going slightly mad
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A German recipe called Zwiebelfleisch (onion beef) uses quite a few onions. Here is the only english recipe I could find for it which calls for six onions, serve with rice or mashed potatos.

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Sara at home
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Pan-fried onion dip?
Give it as a gift? Use it yourself before you leave?

Menolly is quite right, you can chop/slice and freeze onions for use in cooking down the road. We can buy bags of frozen chopped onions.

How long are you planning to be gone? Onions keep a long time in a cool dry place (assuming there is no room in your fridge).

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by going slightly mad:
A German recipe called Zwiebelfleisch (onion beef) uses quite a few onions. Here is the only english recipe I could find for it which calls for six onions, serve with rice or mashed potatos.

Hmmm, I think that says "dinner" to me. Thank you.

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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shouldn't be gone too long, just wanting to use some of them up beforehand.

and, ehm, many thanks for the recipe suggestions, all....but would this be a bad time to mention I'm vegetarian?

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Sara at home
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I knew but I'm glad going slightly mad didn't.

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Peccavimus
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Perogies!!!


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Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Jonny T:
shouldn't be gone too long, just wanting to use some of them up beforehand.

and, ehm, many thanks for the recipe suggestions, all....but would this be a bad time to mention I'm vegetarian?

Okay, so make the soup with vegetable stock and leave out the pancetta. Should still work...

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going slightly mad
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Jonny T:

and, ehm, many thanks for the recipe suggestions, all....but would this be a bad time to mention I'm vegetarian?

Well, I'm sorry to say that Zwiebelfleisch probably won't turn out so good without the meat, I will give it another try. If you eat cheese I have another good and very easy recipe that uses onions. Slice onions into very thin rings, fry in oil until they are brown and crisp, serve on top of pasta hot enough to melt the grated cheese you mix into it (it's best if the cheese isn't too bland but rather aromatic). Easy and very tasty.

quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Hmmm, I think that says "dinner" to me. Thank you.

Glad you want to try it,I hope it turns out well, tell me how you liked it [Smile] . I was visiting my grandparents just the other day and my grandmother had leftover Zwiebelfleisch which is why I thought of it. The meat was a bit though because of the reheating but otherwise it was heavenly (no one cooks as good as my grandmother [Big Grin] ).

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Lonely Mountain
Jingle All the Layaway


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Indian food uses lots of onions. Whenever I cook Indian I usually will go through about 3 pounds of onions but then I always make lots whenever I cook. Here's a couple I do.

Paneer Do Piaza
The name means "Cheese Twice Onioned". Paneer is an Indian cheese made from milk and yogurt. You can make it yourself but I would just buy it at any Indian grocer.

Cauliflower and Peas Curry
Quick Baigan Bharta (Eggplant and tomato dish)
These are probably my two favorite veggie Indian dishes. They both use onions so they are something else you could try.

Saffron Rice
This goes with anything. I even make it with non-Indian food. I do make two changes from the recipe. I only use 4 Tbsp of butter or ghee and I double the spices. It makes it a little less rich and more fragant but feel free to try it however you like.

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UrbanReindeer
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If you eat fish, I have a recipe for a wheat-free salmon souffle that uses a couple onions.

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Signora Del Drago
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I like to wrap large onions in foil and bake them like potatoes. Yummy with butter, salt and pepper. 350o about an hour.

ETA: You can also top the onions with about a tablespoon of tomato paste and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning or whatever sounds good to you before baking.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Signora Del Drago, G.R.I.T.S.:
ETA: You can also top the onions with about a tablespoon of tomato paste and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning or whatever sounds good to you before baking. [/QB]

Curry. Jonny T is all about curry. At least he use to be. Curry pizza? [Roll Eyes]

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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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Beef stifado (Greek beef and onion stew). There are a number of variants, so you can google around to find one you like.

French Onion Soup.

Nick

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Rhea
We Three Blings


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Onion cake.

I don't know if it's the same recipe as the one my Mum uses, but if so, it's divine.

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DarkDan
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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When my mom makes homemade pizza and has dough left over, she makes onion bread by putting the onions in the middle of the dough and rolling it. She bakes it until it looks done. It's awesome!

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Prelude in G Minor
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Caramelized onions are good on salads, sandwiches, or in a quiche or tart. I usually slice up the onions and throw them in a cast-iron skillet or saucepan with some sugar, a bit of salt, and a splash of a good dry red wine.

They take at least a half hour to cook, but they reduce to a fraction of their size (so they don't take up as much space!)

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Sadly, I am not the first person to think of French Onion Soup. WAH! [Big Grin]

Here is a great one. Hubby uses French bread for the crusties (I say they're too big to be called croutons!), and also uses a cave-aged Gruyere, which is totally yummers. I always have two bowls. I don't care how much it makes me fart--it's worth it!

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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I immediately think of onion bhajias. I don't have a handy recipe, but a ton of recipes come up on a google search.

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Avril
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Why has nobody mentioned onion rings? Or variations--at most grocery stores you can get batter mix and a slicer to make your own "bloomin' onion" knockoff. There's also pakoras, which are an Indian vegetable dish I adore, which can easily be made with onions. You can get mixes for pakora batter as well, but a google search returns many recipes.

Avril

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Clarity
Toys to the World


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I'm vegetarian too, and love onions. Top uses for onions:
1. Chili. I use tons of onion, like a whole large onion, a green pepper or two, and two cans each of tomatoes and kidney beans. Also cayenne pepper and cumin, or prepared chili spice mix. Basically you fry the onion and pepper, dump in the cans and a bunch of spices, and then let simmer for an hour.
2. Fry with mushrooms in butter, until soft, and then use as a filling for omelette (with cheese) on veggie burgers, or on pasta with parmesan.
3. Hashbrowns for breakfast. Fry onions and potatoes chopped or shredded pretty small until soft with lots of olive oil, and when it's done break an egg on top and put the lid on to cook it. So delicious if the egg yolk is runny!
As you can tell, most of my culinary skill revolves around frying things. Give me a skillet and spatula and I'm happy. I've also had a whole onion grilled in its skin until completely soft inside and served with bread. It was tasty, but I've never made it myself.

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LeaflessMapleTree
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Puree 2 onions. Mash 4 potatoes. Add a splash of milk and some garlic. Mix. Mmmmmmmmmm...

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Wolf333
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Might I suggest just grilling or broiling them? Just slice, brush with olive oil and toss them on a grill (even a George Foreman type grill) or broiling rack until tender (and black on the edges). Great on sandwiches or salads and by themselves, if you're me.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Onions are also good for marinating gamy foods like lamb to take the gaminess out of them. Also acts as a tenderizer. But you have to practically process them down to a pulp to do that, so put on your swim goggles to keep the nasty burning stuff out of your eyes! [Smile]

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RangerDog
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Take the whole onion (skin off) slice it from the top down but not through the root in 6 or 8 segments. Place on foil big enough to wrap up the onion. Into the onion, between the sliced segments, put a cube of vegetable bullion a tablespoon of butter and some salt. Drizzle onion with either red wine or balsamic vinegar. Tightly seal the onion in the foil and bake at 350 degrees f/175 degrees c for 45 min to 1 hour or grill for the same time.

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jw
The First USA Noel


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We use this humble vegetable almost daily, a bag containing about fifteen only lasts about one week. Generally panfried to soften and then included in some shape or fashion with most of our lunches and dinners.

quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
so put on your swim goggles to keep the nasty burning stuff out of your eyes! [Smile]

Actually, I'm never affected when cutting up onions. Does anyone know why some people are affected and others are not?

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by jw:
Actually, I'm never affected when cutting up onions. Does anyone know why some people are affected and others are not?

Do you wear glasses or contacts?

ETA: Wear glasses, not were glasses!

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nurple
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quote:
Originally posted by Peccavimus:
Perogies!!!

I second that! Cheese and potato pierogi, pan-fried in butter with a lot of chopped onion.

*drool*

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jw
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by The Pikey Snow Queen:
quote:
Originally posted by jw:
Actually, I'm never affected when cutting up onions. Does anyone know why some people are affected and others are not?

Do you wear glasses or contacts?

Yes quite a lot. It's an obvious reason, seen as though here suggests goggles.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Onions are interesting. I don't wear contacts or glasses and go through phases of cooking. When I cook, I use onions and garlic a lot, and when I return to the kitchen after a break the onions practically blind me, then it gets better to the point where I don't notice them at all - the eye must build it's defences up somehow - perhaps producing a more viscous tear when the onion bag is produced, and being lulled into a false sense of security when I stray from the stove?

It also depends on the onion - juicy spanish onions, spring onions and shallots never bother me, but I favour the cheap, sweet and flavoursome wee brown onions and they can be potent, but never so much that i'd take to wearing goggles - a bit of teary stinging is much more preferable to looking like a complete scallion [lol]

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Jay Tea:
It also depends on the onion - juicy spanish onions, spring onions and shallots never bother me, but I favour the cheap, sweet and flavoursome wee brown onions and they can be potent, but never so much that i'd take to wearing goggles - a bit of teary stinging is much more preferable to looking like a complete scallion [lol]

I think smaller onions (such as the brown ones) tend to have a stronger flavour whereas large ones are milder. Try sucking on a spoon, you'll look bloody stupid but it works!

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by The Pikey Snow Queen:
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Tea:
It also depends on the onion - juicy spanish onions, spring onions and shallots never bother me, but I favour the cheap, sweet and flavoursome wee brown onions and they can be potent, but never so much that i'd take to wearing goggles - a bit of teary stinging is much more preferable to looking like a complete scallion [lol]

I think smaller onions (such as the brown ones) tend to have a stronger flavour whereas large ones are milder. Try sucking on a spoon, you'll look bloody stupid but it works!
To be honest, i'm so rapid when it comes to onions that the sting is nothing more than a brief irritant - and I spend half the time with a spoon in my gob when i'm cooking anyway [Wink]

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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It all has to do with the sulfur content of the soil the onion was grown in. Vidalia onions (actual Vidalia onions, not just any old sweet onion that calls itself Vidalia) have some of the lowest sulfur content of any onion.

According to Good Eats, onions make your eyes sting as a defensive action, since they can't bite, claw, or run away. Due to the sulfur in the soil that they're grown in, they release a gas into the air when the cell walls are compromised. That gas mixes with the water in your eye and forms a kind of sulfuric acid. Fun stuff.

To minimize the burning, you can wear swim goggles, as they form a complete seal to keep the gas out of your eyes. Or you can also just minimize the number of cuts to your onion. Fewer cuts means less cell wall damage which means less gas released. Also, sharp knives will do you better than dull ones as they make a cleaner cut. I like to chop up onions in my Cuisinart, as that helps keep the gas at bay... at least, until you take the lid off--hoo boy!

For me, the smaller and the darker the onion, the stronger it is. But I don't know if that's true of all onions or if I'm just more susceptible to them. Shallots get me the worst of any, and they're only a kind of onion half breed.

The good news is, I can always rinse out my eyes with cold water, and I guess that dilutes the nasty stingingness or even washes it entirely away so that it doesn't hurt anymore.

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If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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