NOVEMBER 22 2012


As anyone who knows me can attest, I have no problem spending hours or even days on a ridiculously complicated recipe with 87 steps and 41 ingredients. Case in point, the insane Peking Duck recipe from Lucky Peach, fully described here by another crazy person willing to go the distance. But, there has to be some kind of payoff for all the invested effort and time. Unfortunately, some of Mr. O's recipes ask me to put myself through the ringer but just don't deliver. One example is this ridiculous herbed rice which had more steps than I even care to recount yet tasted like rice with lots of herbs stirred in. These stuffed onions are another example of wasted effort as I will explain.

I decided to make these for the annual "Bastard Thanksgiving" hosted by friends of ours where we all get together on a day that is not the third Thursday in November and make ourselves a huge Thanksgiving dinner with allllll the fixins. It is an awesome tradition of which I am so thrilled to be a part of. But, as most of the traditional dishes are claimed early, I often try to bring something unexpected and these intriguing stuffed onions seemed like the perfect dish. Festive and "Thanksgiving-y" but not a regular fixture like green bean casserole or mashed potatoes.

I started the day before cause there was a fair amount of prep to be done. The four onions had to be halved then pulled apart into layers, which then were blanched "a few at a time" in a simmering mix of stock and white wine for 3 - 4 minutes until just tender. I know, sounds easy, right? Surprisingly this was a big hassle and took forever! The house did smell pretty darn delicious afterwards, though.

I also mixed up the stuffing in advance so all I had to do was roll and bake before dinner. Each onion layer will be rolled around the mix of breadcrumbs, feta, parsley, tomato, garlic and green onion. I pack everything up and haul it to the party house where I start rolling.

Looks pretty cute! Now slather with tomato sauce (some leftover Sunday sauce... yummy!) and bake 45 minutes until bubbling.

Now I get to the part about wasting all that time doing prep for a not-that-special dish. After peeling and blanching and rolling and tucking and baking, it all tasted just like oniony stuffing. I mean, I could have just chopped the onion, mixed it with the stuffing and baked it until golden and it would have been basically the same dish. No need to spend forever prying apart the onion layers and gently blanching each one for 3.58 minutes. Not necessary! Don't bother!

Anyway, the whole thing was okay and got a kinda burnt and I wasn't that impressed.

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