roasted stuffed onions

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Short and sweet tonight because someone (aheeeem) already forgot that she had something she was supposed to be doing every day in November!

I hope you don’t only allow yourself to eat stuffing on Thanksgiving. I mean, why is it that something so delicious, so universally adored (as least in our families) is limited to just one day a year? We don’t only eat apple pie once a year, perishthethought.

Nonetheless, I have decided to single-handedly spearhead the effort to bring stuffing into the everyday repertoire, and this, this a marvelous place to start. Bacon, cashews, sourdough cubes, spinach, onion and garlic are baked inside hollowed-out onion shells, allowing not just a pretty wow-factor but a neat and effective stuffing-delivery vehicle for those of you not actually stuffing a bird. But this stuffing would be phenomenal anyway you baked it, up a bird’s bum or even in a baking dish, and I do hope you bookmark it for when you’re seeking out a recipe in a few weeks.

Or tomorrow night. Because if you knew how good it tasted, you wouldn’t even wait that long.

One year ago: Is That All There Is

Roasted Stuffed Onions
Gourmet Magazine, November 2002

A whole bunch of notes: If you only want to make the quantity for stuffed onions, even half of this is slightly more than enough, leaving you with the option of using an extra onion or two, or just baking it in a pan.

If you wish to make this vegetarian, simply omit the bacon, and cook the filling in olive oil instead. Vegetable stock can be swapped for turkey.

If you’re freaked out about hollowing out an onion, believe me, I was too. I dreaded and dreaded it, and then–voila! I used a melon baller. Working carefully, you’ll be surprised how easily it works.

If you’re stressing because you have a lot of guests coming over, you can definitely do the onion-hollowing step a day or two in advance. The stuffing can be made in advanced as well, then brought to room temperature before filling and baking.

10 medium red and yellow onions (4 lb)
1 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces
3 celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz baby spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped (14 cups)
1 (9-inch) round loaf country-style bread (1 1/4 lb), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 cups), lightly toasted
2 cups salted roasted cashews (10 oz), coarsely chopped
1 stick (1/2cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups turkey giblet stock

Make onion shells: Cut a 1/2-inch-thick slice from tops of onions, discarding tops, and trim just enough from bottoms for onions to stand upright. Scoop out all but outer 2 or 3 layers from each using a small ice cream scoop or spoon (don’t worry if you make a hole in the bottom), reserving scooped-out onion and onion shells separately.

Make stuffing: Coarsely chop enough scooped-out onion to measure 3 cups.

Cook bacon in 2 batches in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 10 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving about 1/3 cup fat in skillet.

Add chopped onion, celery, salt, and pepper to skillet and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in spinach, bread, cashews, butter, 1 cup stock, and bacon, then cool completely.

Roast onions: Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange onion shells, open sides up, in a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan, then add 1/2cup water and cover pan tightly with foil. Roast onions in middle of oven until tender but not falling apart, 25 to 30 minutes.

Stuff and bake onions: Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Transfer shells to a work surface and pour off water in pan. Fill shells with stuffing, mounding it, and return to pan. Reserve 5 to 7 cups stuffing for turkey cavity, then put remaining stuffing in a buttered shallow 3 1/2-quart baking dish and drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup stock.

Bake stuffed onions and stuffing in dish in middle of oven, uncovered, until heated through, about 25 minutes.

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