Archived entries for onion

5 Tips For Tearless Onions

Those damned onions!  Love to eat them, hate to chop ‘em.  I always get so damned weepy.  After posting my family’s recipe for our Thanksgiving Onion Casserole last year, the comments have been flooded with great ideas on how to stem the tide (or flood) of ocular moisture.  Since this info is so great, I’ve compiled it in one post so this holiday season,  you can keep the tears out of the kitchen and save them for those awkward family table conversations.

1) Put onions in the freezer for 20 minutes before you cut ‘em. Not only has this worked time and time again for me, but friends who love to cook have tested the theory as well…it has yet to fail. Good luck!

2) DON’T cut off the root end of the onion or through it! I peal the onion, cut off a small slice from the side (so there’s a level sitting area). Then make a horizontal cut down the center toward the root end – set on flat side and cut away – tear free half circle onion slices! It’s all in the root!

3) I light a candle near my cutting board. I think I read that in a Martha Stewart column. It seems to work.

4) Swimming googles make working with onions a tear-free experience. It also entertains any witnesses.

5) Slice them underwater, but that’s a bit of a pain. I just cry and let it happen.

Thanks guys for the great ideas. Feel free to add any more you all might know of.

Brinner: Eggy Eyeball.

Its time for dinner, but you want breakfast. It happens. We can take care of this problem quick and easy.

Uova Di Pomodoro (Eggs Baked in Tomatoes)
From the Silver Spoon Cookbook

  • vine ripened tomatoes
  • same number of eggs
  • 1 tsp of olive oil for each tomato
  • dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds.

Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt and lay upside down on a paper towel to allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Put 1 tsp of olive oil in each tomato and sprinkle the insides with a pinch of oregano and pepper.

Bake tomatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add egg to the center of each tomato. The eggs will sizzle in the hot oil.

Place the tomatoes back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

I sprinkled the tops with Parmesan cheese and dried dill. Don’t they look like little eggy eyeballs? Is that unappetizing?

I sided the tomatoes with the left over potatoes and broccoli from our Easter Dinner. Boom, 30 minutes later and its brinner time.

A Favorite Thanksgiving Dish: Cheesy Onion Casserole

Since Thanksgiving is only a week away, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite family recipes. As you can maybe imagine, Thanksgiving is one of my family’s favorite holidays. My Mom always does it up big. Last year for a group of 11 people, my parents prepared a Turduckin and rotisseried a 14 lb Turkey. Thanksgiving is a day of total hedonism where we gorge ourselves silly and have enough left overs for an army!

Cheesy Onion Casserole, a family favorite, is so delicious the left overs are always fought over and my Mom has to evenly and judiciously distribute. No Thanksgiving is complete without a casserole and this one is literally as easy to make as it is to eat!

Cheesy Onion Casserole

  • 2-3 Tbs butter or margerine
  • 3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions
  • 2 c. shredded swiss cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 8 or so slices of French bread

Slice onions. Know any tricks not to cry while cutting onions? I whistle which works pretty well, but you need a lot of onions for this recipe. Any ideas??

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add onions. Saute onions until clear, a little brown is ok. In a shallow 2 qt. casserole pan, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese and pepper to taste.

In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk, and soy sauce, stirring to blend. Pour soup mixture in a casserole and stir gently to mix. Top with bread slices. Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, top of bread should be nice and toasted.

Push bread slices under the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 more minutes and you are done!

Sooo good!

**You can make this vegetarian by substituting cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken.

The Quickest Easiest Roast Chicken Dinner Ever!

Yesterday, I spent all day grocery shopping in the rain and when I got home I was just plain crabby. I know prioritizing time in a busy schedule to prepare quick home cooked meals is what this blog is about, but sometimes its not easy. I always try to have a big dinner on Monday night to create left overs for us to eat for our workday lunches and to have a nice relaxing meal for Ira when he gets home from work. So crabby or not, dinner needed to be made.

How can one get home at 5 and have a roasted chicken dinner on the table by 7? Here’s a quick and simple recipe which produces big flavors making any eaters think you spent hours laboring in the kitchen. That’s my favorite kitchen equation!

Zingerman’s Rustic Chicken aka Chicken Dinner in a Skillet.

  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 2 c. celery sliced
  • 1 1/3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley
  • 1/2 loaf bread, rye is best
  • 1-2 lemons to yield:
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

In a large skillet, saute onions and celery in oil until clear. Onions and celery will create a huge pile which may appear to overflow skillet, but don’t worry they’ll cook down in 10 minutes or so.

While onions/celery cook, take your chicken and flip it on its breast so its backbone is facing toward you. With a sharp knife, butterfly your chicken. To do this, you remove the back bone and neck out of the chicken by cutting through the ribs and hip bones.

Using sharp knife, cut through bones to remove neck and backbone.

This may sound scary to those new to cooking chicken, but just get in there and do it. Although you have to apply some pressure, the bones cut and break relatively easily. When you have the backbone and neck removed, rub your chicken inside and out with 2 Tbs of olive oil, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Place seasoned chicken on a plate and set aside.

Butterflied chicken with removed neck and backbone.

Tips when cutting your chicken

  • Use a sharp knife and keep your fingers away from the blade when slicing as you have to use some force to cut through the bigger bones.
  • When your backbone has been removed, place chicken on a plate and immediately wash your knife and cutting board with soap water to remove any blood and bacteria.
  • Put your neck in a plastic bag and put in freezer to save for making chicken stock.

When your onions and celery are clear, add your lemon zest and seasonings.

Cooked onions with seasonings.

Stir to mix and remove to a bowl.

In your greasy skillet, layer out the half loaf of bread. This is a great way to use up stale bread!

Layer onion mix on top of bread and place seasoned chicken on top of onion mixture skin side up. Pour 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice over chicken.

Place chicken in oven uncovered and roast at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until golden brown. Once done, let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Roasted chicken all golden and crispy.

This recipe, which my Mom gave me from a magazine clipping, is from Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, MI. I love this recipe because of its wonderful simplicity. As the chicken cooks, its juices mix with the lemon and onion seeping down and creating an instant stuffing as the bread gets fried and toasted.

Delicious stuffing of bread, onions, celery and lemon.

The lemon and red pepper gives everything a nice tangy taste to compliment the smooth savory flavor of the caramelized onions. Although we served it with the roasted beet side, you don’t have to even make a side if you don’t want to. The chicken and stuffing can stand on their own. And clean up is super easy as its only one pan!

This isn’t some pretty bad food photography, but give me a break, I was tired remember??

Ira’s mom, Janice, raises about 100 chickens every year and she sent us home with three or four on our last visit. You have never tasted better until you’ve tried Janice’s organic free range chicken! We served the chicken and stuffing with a side of roasted beets from my parents garden. Aren’t we lucky? A fully organic meal basically free and grown and prepared with love. (Is that sappy or what. But so true.)

Try this recipe once and you’ll be hooked because you can make it in the same pinch you’ll give yourself to see if you’re dreaming when you eat this delicious dish!

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