June 20th, 2013
Onions. You either love’em or hate’em. As a member of the Allium family (alongside garlic and leeks), there are tons of varieties to choose from depending on your flavor preferences from local Walla Walla sweet onions to common white and yellow varieties; red onions, green onions, chives, and shallots. They’re great roasted, pickled, grilled and raw – ask any onion lover!
Walla Walla sweet onion!
(Photo from www.SweetOnions.org)
Maybe you don’t like onions because they invariably end up making you cry. Fair enough, but I have a secret for no-tears chopping – onion goggles! They look a little silly when wearing and chopping away, but they have always kept me tear-free while dicing onions for my next tasty dish!
Also, another easy tip is to chill the onions before cutting and breathe through your mouth while cutting – it kinda helps to avoid the waterworks.
Ready to chop away? Perfect! Try making my tasty 5-Onion Soup! It’s jam-packed with its namesake 5 onions or how about a batch of my Blushing Pickled Red Onions. They are as pretty as they are tasty, and make an excellent topping for burgers, sandwiches, or on an antipasto plate – yum!
So no more tears – pick up some versatile and delicious onions! –Kathy
This recipe is very decadent. It is a lovely starter for an elegant dinner party.
Makes about 10 servings.
2 large leeks
1 medium red onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, cut into large chunks
1 medium white onion, cut into large chunks
6 cloves fresh garlic
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (or substitute olive oil)
1 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Thinly sliced fresh chives for garnishing
Coarsely chop the leeks, discarding the tough green parts, and rinse them well to remove sand.
In two batches, process the leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped but not mushy. (Do not overprocess.)
Melt the butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Slowly sauté the onions for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until they just turn a bit golden. Stir in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, or until golden in color and rich in flavor. Add the cream and simmer the soup another 30 minutes.
Mix the brandy and cornstarch and whisk into the simmering soup. Add the white pepper, then season with salt to taste. (The amount of salt needed will vary, depending on whether you used homemade stock or canned broth.) Simmer for 3 to 4 more minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with chives.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
Blushing Pickled Red Onions
These are great on sandwiches, served with grilled meats or alongside an antipasto platter.
Makes about 1 quart.
2 large (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb.) red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch rings
1 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Place onions in a deep, heat-proof, non-aluminum container, such as a glass quart canning jar.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve all sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil 30 seconds to 1 minute, then immediately pour vinegar mixture over onions.
Gently press onions down into liquid. Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.
Store onions tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.