"A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, an onion, and Thou..." Help and ideas on 50 lbs of onions, please.
- FoodFuser May 13, 2008 04:04 AM
I just scored 50 lbs of onions at 9 cents a pound. Seemed like the right thing to do.
Rather than a single 50 lb mesh bag, I was able to pick through the pile and get the best and least bruised of the bunch, with firm neck ends and fully dried layers on the exterior, and no black dust. It's a really fine haul of Allium. They are Texas Sweets 1501, akin to Vidalias.
I have a freezer. How would you go about preserving this harvest for use over the next few months?
Freezing will ruin raw onions. Keep in a very cool, dark place.Keep as much as you can in the produce draws of your fridge, and enjoy. That would be about a 2 month supply for me, but that's a lot for one purchase. Make onion preserves, sauces that you can hot pack to preserve (onions basically turn to mush when frozen), onion tarts, a lot of salads, onion soup (you can freeze that), roast them, fry them, put them in every dish you make...
Saute 'em, bag 'em into usable amounts, throw into freezer, yank back out when sauteed onions are called for and throw back into pan. Wicked good and easy.
I second the onion soup. I carmelize the onions and slowly saute in a big pot until deep brown and just a tiny fraction of the original volume of the onions. The total volume of the soup will be about the same as the volume of onions with which you started.
You can freeze the cooked onions and add to other things such as soups or omlettes. The easy way is to spray an ice cube tray with oil (for easy removal) and freeze in chunks to use as needed.
I had a 50 lb. bag of onions to use up about a year ago also. Mine were Peruvian sweets - really good onions, that I got free. Did you know there are 5000 recipes for onions on Epicurious? (although that includes a lot of variations on the same thing - onion and bacon tarts, for instance). I made several of those, and a couple of big batches of onion soup. And of course I use onions in just about everything I cook anyway. Even then I ended up giving away quite a lot of onions, and, sadly, some did go bad before I used them.
Roast 'em with a little butter and salt = side dish (even better with fresh herbs)
Broil them with some unpeeled garlic and whole jalapeno, puree with canned, crushed tomatoes, cilantro, red wine vinegar, and salt, and you have addictively delicious salsa.
I'd also make some mjadra--lots of browned onions and lentils, served either with rice or on pita as a sandwich, with yogurt sauce. Spelling varies--it's a Lebanese dish. Some cooks add various spices such as cumin or cinnamon.
OP here. Figured I'd wait till I saw how the storage outcomes manifested over time to give thanks and report.
(And, to corporate CNET: waited 15 minutes to repost this after the rotating circle. Please: let's get professional.)
Moved out to the deck (has table, fan, and wok) to process them on the mandoline.
1) Dried onions, small dice, in dehydrator placed outside for odor. (In an earlier phase in life, I dried them a) indoors then b) in the hot summer car. Both left a odiferous legacy that is best corrected by placing the dehydrator outdoors). I love dried onions... when reconstituted they bring a stronger taste, just like dried mushroom, shrimp, etc.
2) Sauted for frozen storage. They truly are better if sauted before freezer, then brought out for mirepoix uses.
3) Made the confit for a bread spread.
4) Did a LOT of caramelized, using mandoline, then hot wok, then to the 2 crockpots, then added a slurry of concentrated beef base, then to the freezer. Come first frost: Let there be soup.
5) Pantyhose storage has performed VERY well. Dropped in one at a time, knotting each one into its own hammock. A really cool tip was to slit the upper portion of the hammock of each onion, to allow for an easy reach-in for turning, and upon later season removal, the pantyhose leg will be ready to receive another years storage without having to go thru all the tying of knots each year.
6) Those were the "storage of harvest" techniques. Once the mandoline was onto the process, I made, for immediate consumption, an embarrassing amount of fried onion shreds.
Thanks for your help.
I have close friends who buy large quantities of Texas Sweets. They wrap each onion in a paper towel, then store them in the crisper drawers in the extra frig in the garage. They last for many, many months that way.