postheadericon How to Cook Your Onion: Onion Pie

The first time I heard of onion pie I thought it was a joke.  But the first time I tried it I was hooked.  Onion pie is a delicious, healthy, way to use up a lot of onions if you have them.  It makes a delicious, filling, dinner on a cold day.  While onion pie may sound disgusting, it actually has a mild, sweet, taste.  The onions cook for so long that any unappealing onion flavor is destroyed and all that is left is the inherent sweetness of the onions.  Onion pie is a delicious, creative, way to turn all of your excess onions into a sweet treat that the entire family will enjoy.

 

Ingredients

There are several basic ingredients needed for this recipe.  None of these ingredients are exotic or fancy, and you should have no problem picking them up at your local grocery store.  To keep things simple, I recommend using a pre-baked pie crust.  These are usually available in the pastry section of your grocery store.  If, however, you love to bake there are tons of easy recipes for pie crusts available on the internet.  The ingredients you will need for onion pie are listed below:

  • 3 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (9-inch) pre-baked deep-dish pie shell
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

 

Directions

Begin by preheating your oven to 325° Fahrenheit.  Next grab a medium sauce pan and melt the three tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Be careful not to turn the heat too high and burn your butter.  That can lead to a smelly, stinky, mess.  Once your butter has melted, add the onions and sauté them until they are lightly browned.  Place your pie pan on a sheet pan and proceed to line the bottom of the crust with the onions you just finished caramelizing.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs and flour together.  Then combine them with the milk, sour cream and salt.  Mix all of these ingredients together very well and then pour the mixture over the top of the onions.  Garnish the pie with bacon and then bake until it is firm in the center.  This will take about thirty minutes.  Once the pie is finished baking, move it to a serving platter and enjoy!

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Although onion pie sounds disgusting it is actually a sweet and delicious way to use up all your excess onions.  My family and I have become big fans of this delicious pastry dish.  It is a great meal to serve at the end of summer or the beginning of fall as your supply of summer onions begins to dwindle.  Not being a great baker, I was skeptical of my ability to turn out a terrific onion pie.  However, this recipe is easy as can be.  The most novice cooks can put their onions to use to make a unique, different, tasty meal to surprise their friends and family.

postheadericon How to Cook Your Onion: French Onion Soup

Ooey-gooey cheesy goodness! A great way to turn your onions into a delicious, fulfilling, meal is to make them into the aptly named French Onion Soup.  Onions take a back seat in most dishes, but not this one.  Their bold flavors are at the forefront of what is one of the world’s favorite soups.  This soup is hearty and can be used to wet your appetite as great appetizer or be the star of your meal as a main dish.  French Onion Soup is a staple soup from diners to five star restaurants.  The best part of this soup is that it is not hard to make.  With the right ingredients even the most inexperienced home cook can make a meal that will turn heads.

Ingredients

French Onion Soup requires fairly common ingredients that can be found in almost every grocery store around the country.  If they are not in your pantry already, they should be easy and inexpensive to find.  The ingredients you will need to make a scrumptious French Onion Soup are:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Directions

Begin by melting the stick of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Be sure your heat is not too high or else you will burn your butter.  Once the butter has melted add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook this mixture until the onions become soft and caramelized, about twenty-five minutes.  Once the onions have caramelized, add your wine.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, which should take about five minutes.  Pull out the bay leaves and thyme and throw them away (or compost them if you’re going green).  Lightly dust the onions with flour and give them a stir.  Turn the heat to medium low and cook the flour and onions for ten minutes to remove the raw flour taste.  Next, add beef broth and bring the mixture back up to a simmer.  Cook for ten minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once you are ready to eat, turn on your broiler.  Once the broiler has heated up, arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil them until they are bubbly and golden brown, which should take three to five minutes.  Ladle the soup into bowls, top them each with one of the Gruyere croutons and enjoy!

 

 

I love French Onion Soup.  It is a versatile soup that represents the best taste an onion can provide.  French onion soup packs so much flavor for such an easy dish to throw together.  It is great for lunch, dinner, a midnight snack, anything really.  The cheese covered crouton on top adds a great boost of flavor and texture to an already delicious dish.  If you have some onions lying around and are hungry for something new give this recipe a try. I promise you won’t regret it.

postheadericon How to Cook Your Onion: Onion Rings

If you love fried foods as much as most Americans, you probably love onion rings.  Next to the French Fry, onion rings are the most popular fried treat.  While they are widely recognized and available at just about every fast food restaurant many people don’t realize that with a few simple ingredients and a little time, onion rings are a simple treat to whip up at home.  I have an easy recipe for onion rings that I make with my family all the time.

Ingredients

Before you begin there are several ingredients you need to pick up.  A few bucks and a quick trip to your local grocery store are all that is required.  The list of ingredients are as follows:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, such as Vidalia, sliced 1/4-to-1/2-inch thick

Directions

Once you’ve purchased all the ingredients it’s time to start cooking. Begin by preheating your oven to 450° Fahrenheit.  Place parchment paper on two baking seats and set them aside for the moment.  Grab a small bowl and combine the flour, paprika and two teaspoons of salt.  In another small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.  Add half of the flour mixture to the buttermilk and eggs and beat until the mixture is smooth and thickened.  In a third bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, olive oil and two teaspoons of salt.

Now it’s time to get messy.  Lightly dredge the onions you sliced in the flour.  Then proceed to dip them in the buttermilk batter.  Drain the excess batter and lightly dredge the onion ring in the panko bread crumbs.  It helps if you use one hand to dredge the onion in the flour and breadcrumbs and the other to dip it in the batter.  This wet hand/dry hand method prevents the flour and breadcrumbs from sticking to your hands and making a big mess.

Once all the onion rings have been prepared, arrange them on the baking sheets in a single layer.  You can place smaller rings inside bigger rings if necessary, just make sure there is space between them.  Once all the onion rings are on the sheet, place the trays in the oven.  Cook your onion rings until they are golden brown (Approximately 14-20 minutes).  Halfway through the cooking time, pull the trays out of the oven and flip each onion ring over to ensure even cooking.  Once finished you will have crispy, golden brown, onion rings to enjoy!

 

This is one of my favorite recipes. I make it as a side dish with a variety of meals. They are tasty enough on their own, but if you are feeling adventurous they go well with a variety of sauces that can be made at home as well.  If you love onions and crispy snacks these onion rings are the perfect recipe for you.     

postheadericon Onions in the 21st Century: Where to Buy Onions Online

Onions have been around for really long time.  As technology evolves your ability to purchase onions evolves with it.  No longer does buying tasty, fresh, onions involve a trip to the grocery store.  In the age of the internet, you can now fulfill all your onion needs without even leaving the couch.  In today’s culinary world where farm to table has become increasingly popular, you can now ensure the quality and freshness of your onions by ordering them directly from the supplier.  The internet offers every type of onion imaginable.  For those with a green thumb, there are websites offering onion plants, which must be planted and will produce your own delicious crop of onions. Enough jabbering, time to tell you where to find these delicious websites!

Where to Buy Onions Online

jcowartfarms.com: The Cowart family has been farming for generations.  They offer online ordering of their sweet vidalia onions.  Ten pound bags cost $23.99; twenty-five pound bags cost $40.99; Forty pound bags cost $55.99.

plantationsweets.com:  Plantation Sweets is a packaging and shipping company located in the picturesque farmlands of Southern Georgia that has been in business for decades.  They offer onions for sale in bunches of ten and forty.  Bunches of ten cost $12.95 and bunches of forty cost $49.95.

hendrixproduce.com: Hendrix Produce is both a farm and distributing company.  They offer a variety of onions and watermelon.  You must email them for ordering information.

vidaliasfinest.com: L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms, Inc. is a family owned and operated business that has been around for thirty years.  They offer vidalia onions for sale in two different sizes: ten pounds and forty pounds.  Ten pound cost $36.95, forty pound cost $76.95.

antiochfarms.com: Antioch Farms deliver their customers the finest quality vidalia onions.  They sell two sizes: ten pound boxes for $23.95 and twenty pound box for $38.95.

If you are interested buying onion plants and growing your own onions Dixondale Farms offers onion plants for sale.  They come in bushels and the price depends on the amount of bushels purchased.  One bushel costs $11.00.

Welcome to the twenty-first century onions! Now that you no longer have to go to the grocery store to pick up your supply of onions you should be even more inclined to cook your favorite onion recipes.  I prefer to buy my onions online for several reasons.  First, by purchasing them online directly from the farmers I am sure that they of the highest quality and freshness.  Second, buying onions online ensures me a good price on a bulk supply of onions.  I prefer to buy my onions in bulk because I use them in almost everything I make and they last a very long time before going bad.  If you do decide to purchase your onions in bulk be sure you use them before before they begin to rot.  There is nothing grosser than rotting onions.  They look terrible and smell even worse.  If you cook often and want to save trips to the grocery store and ensure your onions are fresh and high quality, buying your onions online is a terrific option.

 

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postheadericon The History, Types, and Uses of the Onion

Onions have been an important part of people’s diet since the beginning of time.  It is believed that the valiant onion has its origins in Asia, though it is likely that onions have been growing on just about every continent for a very long time.  Their use can be traced back to 35oo B.C.  They were one of the few foods that would not spoil during the bleak winter months, which destroyed so much of early peoples’ crops.  As our ancestors realized the onion’s durability they began to grow it as a crop for food.  Once the onion had made its way to Egypt it became more than just food.  Ancient Egyptians worshiped the onion.  They believed that its spherical shape and concentric rings were symbols of eternity.  Ancient Egyptian artists made gold renditions of onions that have survived the passing of time and are still around today.  Ancient Greeks believed that the onion would “lighten the balance of the blood”.  When Greek influence faded as it fell under the Roman empire’s expanded territory, the onions influence as a powerful vegetable did not fade with it.  The Romans used the onion to rub down gladiators before battle, believing the onion juice would “firm up their muscles”.  As history progressed, the onion continued to be viewed as holding valuable medicinal qualities.  During the middle ages it was used to alleviate headaches, cure snakebites, and halt hair loss.  Puritans brought the onion with them on their voyage across the Atlantic and probably served them during the first Thanksgiving meal.  The onion possess a long and stories history and is one of the most important vegetables in people’s diet even today.

Onion Types and Colors

Common onions are available in three colors: yellow, red, and white.  Yellow onions are full flavored and a reliable standby for cooking just about anything.  The turn a rich dark brown color when cooked and have a tangy, sweet, flavor.  The red onion is perfect for grilling, char-broiling, and in fresh dishes, such as salad.  White onions are the traditional onion found in Mexican cuisine.  They have a golden color and and sweet flavor when sauteed.  Scallions are onions that were picked before maturing and developing a bulb.  Scallions have a milder taste than most transitional onions and are used in soups, noodle and seafood dishes.

How to Select, Cut, Prepare and Store an Onion

Selecting an onion should not be very difficult process.  However, to achieve the best taste and most flavor be sure to purchase the freshest onion available.  There are several simple things to look for when you are in the produce section of you local grocery store.  If you are looking for dry onion bulbs, ensure they are firm and have little to no scent.  Avoid bulbs that are soft, have cuts, bruises or blemishes of any kind.  If you are  purchasing whole peeled onions, try to select ones with an outside layer that does not show any signs of being dehydrated. When buying fresh-cut onions, be sure to purchase them before the their expiration date.

Cutting an onion is a simple exercise that does not have to result in tears.  For step by step instructions on how to properly cut an onion see this link.  The four most common ways to prepare an onion are to either saute, caramelize, grill, or roast it.

Your onions should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air movement.  DO NOT store your onions in plastic bags.  A lack of ventilation will drastically reduce their storage life.  Peeled onions should be stored in a refrigerator.  Cut onions can be stored in a plastic bag and kept fresh for up to seven days.  If you buy pre-cut onions be sure to keep them refrigerated and use them before the expiration date.

 

The onion is one of the most common and versatile vegetables in the world.  It is used in almost every type of cuisine. From Asian to Italian, it is a featured ingredient because of its versatility and unique flavor.  If, like me, you cook regularly you are no doubt familiar with the onion in all its forms.   No matter how simple or complex a dish you are making it will no doubt include the onion in some form.  Many people are not aware of the onion’s long and storied history.  It has been proscribed mythical status by certain ancient cultures.  The Egyptians thought so highly of it the immortalized its likeness with gold statues.  Most ancient societies considered the onion to have special healing powers.  While the onion may not be a cure all medication, it is an extremely useful ingredient featured in almost every meal you eat.  Its time to give the onion the respect it deserves as one of the oldest and most important vegetables around.

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