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hollowing out an onion?

smilingal Dec 27, 2010 06:06 PM

Has anyone ever done it and if so, is there any trick to it? Thinking of using it as a vessel for a carmelized onion dip - I had seen a picture once but have never attempted it.

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  1. c
    cheesecake17 RE: smilingal Dec 27, 2010 06:12 PM

    Not to be a buzzkill.. but wouldn't the (raw) onion be kinda strong smelling? Might even change the flavor of your dip. I'm assuming you're thinking of a raw onion?

    What about seving the dip in a bell pepper half?

    20 Replies
    1. re: cheesecake17
      smilingal RE: cheesecake17 Dec 27, 2010 06:19 PM

      cheesecake - I never thought it through - but you are probably right - it looked cool in the picture - I appreciate your foresight. Thanks! NEVA MIND!

      1. re: smilingal
        goodhealthgourmet RE: smilingal Dec 27, 2010 06:39 PM

        not a problem if you roast the onion "shell." in fact, that's what i assumed you were planning to do :)

        just slice off a *small* piece at the root end to make a flat, stable surface, but DON'T cut all the way through the root or it won't hold together. then slice off the top, and use an apple corer to get most of the center out. you can clean it up with a sharp paring knife.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          smilingal RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 27, 2010 06:45 PM

          and how would you recommend roasting it?

        2. re: smilingal
          Veggo RE: smilingal Dec 27, 2010 06:40 PM

          But you 2 have my wheels turning. Hollow out a few vidalias with an Exacto knife, and bake them with a stuffing of:
          * browned loose sausage or chorizo, sauteed mushrooms, and torn bread
          *fondue / fundito cheesiness with shrimp or crab
          This may be a bad idea, but I may give it a try.

          1. re: Veggo
            smilingal RE: Veggo Dec 27, 2010 06:47 PM

            veggo - let us know if you do try it! i might attempt doing the onion for a party I am making for this weekend - after you roast it - how long would it keep? Refrigerated I assume?

            1. re: Veggo
              jfood RE: Veggo Dec 27, 2010 06:47 PM


              Let's keep going

              To hollow out the onion I would cut north-south and leave both the root end and the other end attached. This should leave the integrity of the interior intact. Then you can use your exacto or a paring knife to remove the center semi-spheres. Next I would use the kife to carefully remove the exterior skin. Lastly I would slice a little piece off the bottom so it sits nicely on a cookie sheet.

              Love the chorizo and suateed mushroom stuffing idea.

              1. re: jfood
                Veggo RE: jfood Dec 27, 2010 06:56 PM

                I was trying to think of stuffing combinations that would meld with a baked and partially carmelized onion, and how thick the "walls" should be, and how much the glorious mess may collapse during baking, and for how long. I think it's worth a few hours of tinker time for me on a skanky weather day.

                1. re: Veggo
                  valerie RE: Veggo Dec 27, 2010 07:04 PM

                  I've always wanted to make these roasted stuffed onions, but I haven't found the right occasion yet....


                  1. re: valerie
                    smilingal RE: valerie Dec 27, 2010 07:10 PM

                    Valerie {{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}} thanks so much - that is what I was referring to - I would like to put a cold/room temp carmelized onion dip into it. But now I am thinking that it probably doesn't hold that much as a vessel. I bookmarked it - perhaps for use for a smaller party. Thanks again!

                    1. re: smilingal
                      valerie RE: smilingal Dec 28, 2010 02:28 PM

                      Glad to help!

                    2. re: valerie
                      Veggo RE: valerie Dec 27, 2010 07:22 PM

                      Nice to have some parameters, i.e. onion "igloo" prep, baking time. I suppose the stuffing combos are endless. As for onion carving skills - at $1.29 / lb, I'll be careful. The pics look purdy but I would be tempted to cook them longer, for a little crisp & carmelizing. If the walls come tumbin' down, so be it.

                      1. re: Veggo
                        kaleokahu RE: Veggo Dec 27, 2010 08:06 PM

                        Veggo: Why stop there? Stuff with loose duck sausage, Morrells & golden raspings, bake a little, batter and fry. Knowing you, you would nest different onions, turducken style!

                        1. re: kaleokahu
                          Veggo RE: kaleokahu Dec 28, 2010 02:19 PM

                          I'm watching my girlish figure on the fried part. I'm with you up to the duck sausage and morrells, but my only mating dance with turducken was a disaster.

                        2. re: Veggo
                          c oliver RE: Veggo Dec 28, 2010 01:00 PM

                          You keep mentioning Vidalias but where are you getting them? The season is still months and months away. Or do you just mean a generic sweet onion. I love the morel idea also but that's another spring crop.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            Veggo RE: c oliver Dec 28, 2010 02:13 PM

                            I confess that in my lexicon I use Vidalia like Kleenex or Jello, with no respect for the city limits of Vidalia, Georgia. Good sweet onions are not confined to its boundaries.

                            1. re: Veggo
                              c oliver RE: Veggo Dec 28, 2010 03:09 PM

                              Okey dokey :) Being a 'Georgia Girl' I have a strong preference for V's. Walla Walla's, Maui's etc. are great but not as sweet to me. I do think this is a very interesting food topic and we're counting on you to figure it all out.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                smilingal RE: c oliver Dec 28, 2010 04:37 PM

                                i have a recipe that calls for Walla Walla's or Maui's - but I bought a 5 lb bag of Mayan Sweets in Costco figuring the price would be best and I'm sure they could be interchangeable for my recipe.

                            2. re: c oliver
                              kaleokahu RE: c oliver Dec 28, 2010 04:59 PM

                              c oliver: Morrels may be spring (about St. Patrick's Day where I live), but the ones I dehydrate appear year round.

                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                c oliver RE: kaleokahu Dec 28, 2010 05:06 PM

                                How luxurious! I certainly hope to get up to So. Oregon and buy some. At $20/# or more, maybe I could save my pennies and get a pound to dry.

                      2. re: jfood
                        smilingal RE: jfood Dec 27, 2010 06:57 PM

                        oh but the idea I was looking for was a whole onion - skin and all - hollowed out from the top down thru the inside. So...... can I still roast this onion with the skin on? It made a neat presentation!

                        and yes, the chorizo and sauteed mushrooms with torn bread does sound mouthwatering

                2. John E. RE: smilingal Dec 27, 2010 07:29 PM

                  A couple years ago I hallowed out some onions, stuffed and baked them. They turned out great but I haven't done it again, I wonder why? I sliced the root end to make it flat, sliced off the top and peeled it, the took a parenting knife and stabbed the center a few times the used the small end of a melon-baller to hollow it out. I sauteed the onion pieces with mushrooms, Italian sausage, a little chopped tomato and pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, stuffed it back into the onions. I baked it at 350 with a little chicken stock on the bottom and covered with foil. After a while remove the foil and let the onions caramelize a little.

                  1. hill food RE: smilingal Dec 27, 2010 07:48 PM

                    got a variable speed reversible power drill with a low-torque setting, a wide-jaw pair of tongs (for safety) and a steady hand?


                    these sell relatively cheaply by the individual size (or by set) at decent hardware stores. good for hollowing out vegetables and cutting power cord chases in the backs of cabinets, generally range from 1" diameter up to about 3"

                    I like the idea of roasting the dip inside the shell and incorporating the scooped (drilled) interior into that or other dishes. Given the results from grilling I'd expect the onion shell will get soft and need to be handled gently after roasting (roast it perched in a small ramekin/poach cup and leave it there through service?), but it should be as fine as the filling depending on storage and handling. I wouldn't even trim the root end just to keep the base 'seal' intact, but a person with better knife skills than I might get very creative with scoring the outermost remaining layers

                    1. s
                      salsailsa RE: smilingal Dec 28, 2010 01:16 PM

                      I did this and I used a mellon baller.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: salsailsa
                        jjjrfoodie RE: salsailsa Dec 28, 2010 04:02 PM

                        Melon baller works perfectly.

                        I make a Paul Prudhomme recipe for stuffed and baked vadaila onions from one of his cookbooks a few times each summer. Very rich recipe that uses ground pork, minced fresh shrimp, one of his spice seasonings, heavy cream, stock and a half a dozen other ingrediants.

                        Mean to be a main course, but Ive found out if you use smaller onions, they make a side dish since they are sooooo rich to eat a whole large one.


                      2. mamachef RE: smilingal Dec 28, 2010 01:49 PM

                        You've gotten great advice. I just wanted to mention that a great thing to do with baked or roasted onion is to fill it with layers of small croutons and shredded swiss; then top it all off till full with strong beef stock. Bake roughly 45 minutes to an hour at 375. sooooo goooood.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mamachef
                          operagirl RE: mamachef Dec 28, 2010 02:22 PM

                          Mm, sounds like french onion soup inside of an onion!

                        2. s
                          smilingal RE: smilingal Dec 28, 2010 02:27 PM

                          thanks to all for your advice and suggestions and yummy recipes! After being able to digest all that was offered, I realized that it is too risky of an attempt and also would not meet the needs for the purpose of serving a dip for veggies/chips in the roasted onion holder merely meant to be a funky vessel. Thanks again!

                          1. AndrewPF RE: smilingal Dec 28, 2010 05:38 PM

                            Carmelized onion dip sounds great! I'll trade you my chili recipe for that one.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: AndrewPF
                              smilingal RE: AndrewPF Dec 28, 2010 06:45 PM

                              sure thing - but I can't claim the onion dip as mine - it was originally Ina Garten's - and it IS fantastic --- addicting! I've made it about 6 times and it is always a winner.

                              let me know if the link works for you! And thanks - I would love your chili recipe!

                              1. re: smilingal
                                AndrewPF RE: smilingal Dec 30, 2010 02:22 PM


                                It's a hit at parties, I hope you get some good use out of it. Thanks for your recipe as well!

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