October 28, 2012

ONIONS! Let's cook with them

  

Onions, when added to certain dishes, they come alive with flavor.  Here are a few of the dishes I simply love to add onions to.

• Sweet Onion Soup

Ingredients:  1/4 cup butter, 2 sweet onions (Sliced), 1 tbs. all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup red cooking wine, 2-10 oz. cans condensed beef broth, 1 loaf of French bread or garlic bread, and croutons.

In a 4-quart saucepan cook onions in the butter for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the flour and blend well with the juices from the onions in the pan.  Add water, wine and broth and beat till a rolling boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes with a cover on the pan. Lower heat to low and serve with bread and croutons.

Tip:  Bring sauces and soups to a boil when reheating.  Bring heat to at least 165 degrees before eating and always keep leftovers at a safe temperature, heat doesn't always kill bacteria by reheating when food isn't kept at proper degrees when stored.

•  Chicken with Onions

Ingredients:  1 tbsp  extra-virgin olive oil, 1 whole chicken (quartered), salt and pepper, 1 large red onion (cut into wedges), 1 lb. carrots (cut into 2-inch pieces), 3/4 cup white cooking wine, 1 tbsp  honey, and parsley for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large Dutch oven heat oil on high heat, season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot, skin side down.  Cook for about 8 minutes and place chicken on a plate and set aside.  Add onions and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring often.  Cook until onions are golden brown and add wine and honey and bring to a boil.  Scrape brown bits with a wooden spoon and then return chicken to the pot.  Add 1 cup of water and bring to a rolling boil.  Cook for about 35 minutes or until chicken is done.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.

Tip:  Separate raw meat and seafood from other foods in your shopping buggy and also in your refrigerator.  Meat and other liquid from animal products contain large amounts of bacteria.

• Onion Soup

Ingredients:  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp  unsalted butter, 6 yellow onions (sliced thin), 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper to taste, Thyme sprigs, 1 Bay leave for taste, 1 tsp. all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp  Brandy, 4 cups beef broth, stale-toasted bread, 1 garlic clove (peeled), Parsley

Using a Dutch oven, heat oil and 2-tbs. butter on high heat.  Add onions, sugar and 2 tsp. salt.  Add the thyme and bay leaf and reduce heat to medium-low.  Be sure and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon.  Once the onions reach a medium brown color (About 1 hour )  Reduce heat if needed while cooking and add water when needed if onions begin to stick.  Set 1/2 cup onions aside and leave the rest in the Dutch oven.  Stir in 1 tbs. butter, flour and Brandy and cook until butter is melted completely.  Add broth and simmer on high heat for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with garlic bread and soup on top of bread.  Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Tip:  Don't cross contaminate!  Never place food back on a plate that was use before with raw meat or seafood!

• Bean Burger with Pickled Onions

Ingredients:  1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 small red onion, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 tbs. red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, 2 1/2 cups cooked black beans, 1 red bell pepper, 1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro, 1/3 dry bread crumbs, 1 large egg (beaten), 3 tbsp. mayo, 1 thinly sliced avocado

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and add the red onion that's been thinly sliced and cook for 1 minute, add 1 tsp. sugar and cook together until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Place the mixture in a small bowl and wipe skillet off.  Mash 2 cups of the cooked beans in a bowl and then drain, stir in bell pepper that's been finely chopped.  Add in 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro and the bread crumbs, along with beaten egg and 1/2 cups cooked black beans (not mashed but, drained).  Season with salt and pepper and form mixture into patties.  Heat 1 tbs. oil and cook patties until crisp and flip once to make crisp on opposite side.  Serve on Kaiser rolls that have been spread with mayo and top with avocado and red onions. 

Onions are one of the foods that often get overlooked when it comes to certain dishes.  You can add an onion to just about anything you're cooking to get it just a hint of flavor, or a lot.  And the best part, onions come in a variety of different species.

Yellow 
Red
White
Shallots
Pearl
And many, many others.  

Enjoy!


Eco-Tip:  Try to eat less meat.  Reducing meat consumption will reduce pollution problems within our food-related land use and factories.  If cutting meat out completely isn't an option, try to opt for only 2 meals of meat-related dishes a week.  For this and other tips on going green visit, The Earth and Me Go Green.




    

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