Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recipe: Gluten Free Stuffed Onions

This recipe is a variation on a recipe I found in a Spanish cookbook called 1080 Recipes by Simone & Inés Ortega. It's a fantastic resource for Spanish cooking, but it's not a gluten free cookbook. Still, I love to adapt dishes to be GF, and then tweak them to fit my family's tastes.

These stuffed onions have been adapted to be gluten free, but also to include some additional ingredients that made the recipe more to my personal taste. I omitted the bread, changed the cooking water to broth, and made a few other changes along the way. I also cut the recipe from 12 onions to 6, to be more manageable.

The recipe itself isn't complicated, but it is time consuming with a few different stages. I love onions, and I really love the way their flavour changes when cooked, sweetening and taking the spicy edge off. Everyone enjoyed these, even the toddler. If there is any meat leftover after the onions are stuffed, make meatballs out of them.

**For a dairy free version, substitute the milk for a dairy free version, and omit the Romano cheese.



Stuffed Onions

Must have a large soup pot for boiling onions, a frying pan, and a casserole dish large enough to hold the onions.

Ingredients

6 onions (I used plain yellow onions)
6 cups gluten free beef or vegetable broth
1 lb. ground beef, or any ground meat of choice
1/4 cup GF breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk (or substitute)
1/4-1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 handful parsley, chopped
1/2-1 cup gluten free flour (I used Robin Hood gluten free flour, but any will do.)
2 eggs, whisked
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for Frying (Canola or other Vegetable Oil that can handle high heat)

Directions

I use yellow onions, medium size



1- Heat broth over high heat in a large pot (large enough to hold onions). While broth is heating, cut each end of the onions off and peel the outer layer off. Onions should be able to stand on end. In a small bowl mix together bread crumbs and milk. Let stand.






2- When broth is boiling, add onions and cook for 15 minutes. If the broth doesn't cover the onions, top up with water. While onions are cooking, mix beef, breadcrumb and milk, parsley, grated cheese, and just over half the eggs in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well with hands. Take 1-2 teaspoons and cook in a small frying pan to check seasonings. Adjust and put meat mixture aside.




3- Remove cooked onions from pot with a slotted spoon. Reserve liquid. When cook enough to handle, using a small knife and a spoon, scoop the inside of each onion out. Put the insides in a separate bowl. 

Tip: You want to leave a few layers of onion, enough so that it keeps its shape, but not so much that it takes forever for the beef to cook. Once the first bit comes out, the rest should follow easily.





4- Stuff onions with beef mixture. Using the remaining egg mixture, brush each onion with egg. Place the gluten free flour in a bowl, and roll the onions in the flour to coat. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and coat the bottom with about a 1/4 inch of oil.





5- When oil is hot, fry the onions, rolling them around to coat each side until the outside is golden. Place the onions in a casserole, and pour the reserved broth until the liquid reaches about halfway up the onions. The leftover liquid makes great soup.




6- Heat oven to 375F and cook onions until beef is cooked through (when juices run clear, not pink), anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the onions. Sprinkle some extra Romano cheese and serve immediately.

The leftover onions should be used as soon as possible. I like to slice them up and cook them until caramelized in a little bit of red wine. Then I add a tablespoon of gluten free flour and stir until absorbed. Add them to the leftover broth, adding some water if necessary to make a quick French Onion Soup. Serve with a slice of gluten free bread or baguette and a slice of cheese, melted under the broiler until bubbly. YUM!

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