Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22: Roasted Onions

I am lacking any kind of culinary inspiration tonight. I overcooked the spaghetti tonight, something I never do. My mother arrives tomorrow. Clearly I am a little distracted.

This is a recipe from The Splendid Table, which is a genius show on NPR hosted by Lynn Rosetto Casper, who I love but whose last name I may have misspelled because I am too lazy to go find her cookbook and look at it. Her show, but Jamie Oliver's recipe. I think Jamie Oliver is a little spazzy, but still sort of adorable in a pallid British way.

Jamie recommends serving this dish with cod or roasted chicken. He also describes this as "The dog's kahunas." Given the size and shape of onions, I will work very hard to keep that phrase out of my head. I have gone ahead and put his recipe verbatim here, just because I love how he talks.

Roasted Onions

4 tennis-ball-sized white onions, peeled
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 twigs of fresh rosemary, lower leaves picked and chopped
8 tablespoons heavy cream
A couple handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of pancetta or bacon

Boil the onions in plenty of water for 15 minutes until slightly tender. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Then, with a sharp knife, remove the top inch of each onion, finely chop and place to one side. If need be, slightly trim the stalk end of the onions so that they will sit flat on a roasting tray. Cut about a heaping tablespoon out from the inside of each onion, keeping the outside intact. Finely chop and add to the rest of the chopped onion.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a frying pan and add a little olive oil, your garlic, the chopped onions, and just a little chopped rosemary. Fry for a couple of minutes until softened, then turn the heat down, add the cream and remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and season.

I like to wrap a nice slice of pancetta around the middle of each onion and just spike it in place with a sharpened twig of rosemary or wooden toothpick. The rosemary and pancetta will make the onion taste lovely as it cooks. Place the onions on a roasting tray and spoon some of the chopped onion mixture inside each one. Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until soft and tender, depending on the size of the onions. It's cool to experiment with different cheeses, so give it a bash.


Kimberly said...

Mmmmm, British foodie guy. Yum. Hey, none of my Emails are going through to you. They're all getting returned as undeliverable. That's why you haven't heard from me. I'm taking a long, long weekend, so am at home today. Email the home address if your Email isn't going kooky on you.

Neen said...

Sounds decadent, and surprisingly easy. In fact, I bet I have all those ingredients somewhere in my pantry as we speak. I'm intrigued though... wouldn't the cream be overkill given the bacon and the caramelization that occurs during roasting?