Favorite/best Thanksgiving onion side dish?
Hi, my father' family always made creamed onions and I never tried them. They looked like blank white eyeballs. My dad used to make them out of duty or nostalgia, but he was the only one who ate them.
But now I'm thinking---hmm, soft slow cooked onions, mmm.
Just looked at a Thomas Keller via Smitten Kitchen recipe for creamed onions with bacon and chives, and the Julia Child's brown onions recipe (think I'll go with that one.) But do you have a favorite recipe?
Onion casserole. Everyone looks skeptical when I bring it--onions as vegetable and not a flavoring?--but later can be found fighting over the browned, chewy bits clinging to the dish:
Eyeball your largest , deepest casserole dish (I actually use a cooking pot) and thinly slice enough yellow and red onions and leeks to fill it about 2/3 full. You don't have to use all three kinds but it does make for a colorful end result. Mix all the onions together. Put about 1/3 of them into the bottom of the casserole. Strew with a couple of handfuls of a semi-soft, white cheese that's been grated--Monterey Jack or Havarti or some such. Put another layer of 1/2 the remaining onions on that, then top with a thin layer of a soft, melty cheese, with or without herbs--Boursin, Rondele, brie, a triple creme, etc. Top with the rest of the onions and at the very top, spread on a couple of handfuls of Gruyere or Swiss or a mixture. You might have to mash down the mixture with your palms as you go. Pour about a 1/2 c of chicken stock or white wine over all. Bake at about 350 for about an hour. Cover with foil if it's getting too brown for your liking.
There are a few tips I can offer:
This can be made at least two days ahead and covered (tightly!) with plastic wrap and then foil and stored in the fridge.
This is very forgiving and if the available oven time or temp isn't exactly an hour at 350, just adjust. You can't mess up the cooking of this recipe, except possibly undercooking it.
A friend served this with salmon and swears she almost got a marriage proposal out of it!
The recipe below looks so good, I almost hesitate to submit this, But: If you like onions, and cheese and stock and French onion soup, this one's a keeper:
1 large sweet white onion per person
2 Tb. unsalted butter per onion
2 Tb. shredded Parmigiano or other hard cheese; we like P. best
roughly 1/4 strong beef stock per onion
Extra-heavy duty foil. Large square, doubled, per onion.
with melon baller, hollow out center of onions. (bits can be used in stuffing, or whatever). Place butter inside center; sprinkle with parm., salt and pepper and place in center of foil. Pour stock into each center and wrap tightly. Place in baking dish, fairly close-together is fine, and bake at 350 for about an hour, until soft and pierce-able with fork. Unwrap on plates, carefully: the steam's really hot.
Enjoy your deconstructed French onion soup. Mr. and I can make a meal of these with good bread and soup or salad.
Last few years I've been making Barbara Lynch's pearl onion gratin (from food & wine), which I've thought was pretty good. This year I'm going with "onions braised in porter" (though I'm using a chocolate stout) from "real beer and good eats" by Aidells. I've liked it when I've made it over the last few months, and figure it'll be a nice contrast to all the creamy/rich dishes I normally have on thanksgiving. The downside is that it involves more hands on work instead of make-ahead goodness, but OTOH I've got things now where almost everything is make-ahead so I can afford to put some more hassle back into my thursday :)