Category: Onions

Recipe Revamp – SS’s Stuffed Onions

 

The story for these Stuffed Onions starts WAAAAAAYYYY back to my first Pieathalon in 2015.  My pie was a Belgian Onion Pie chosen for me by the wonderful S.S. from A Book Of Cookrye.  If you are ever in need of a chuckle, giggle or even a downright belly laugh, you must check this blog out.  S.S. has a wit drier than the Sahara.  You know, I try really hard to be funny.  I feel with S.S. that it is just effortless.  A Book of Cookrye is always just so, so good! 

Stuffed Onions2Below the recipe for the Belgian Onion Pie that S.S sent me there was a picture of some little balls of delight (STOP IT. NOW! ) which I mistakenly took for a picture of the finished Belgian Onion Pies.  I assumed that the recipe was going to be some wacky Belgian reverso situation where the onion was the “pastry” and the filling was…I have no idea…crumbly pastry?

Belgian-Onion-Pie-Filling-Recipe (2)Sadly this was not the case.  But I hold out hope for the Belgians  They invented Smurfs, they can invent a reverso onion pie if they really put their mind to it…maybe after Brexit is over they’ll have some time on their hands for pie shenanigans. 

Anyhow, after probably eye-rolling and face-palming at my inability to understand the difference between a PIE and a STUFFED VEGETABLE, S.S then v kindly sent me the recipe for the stuffed onions.  Which I promptly printed and lost.  Then about six months later I found it again and made them.  They were….flawed but had potential.  I started thinking about how to improve the recipe.  After a while I made them again.  And again.  Then, earlier this year I was getting ready to post the improved version when my laptop died and I lost all my photos and my improvement notes.

However, cursed as this recipe may be, it was also like a ghost haunting me.  So, recently, despite history indicating that the Stuffed Onions post would never see the light o’ day, I made them  again. With what I could remember of the improvements. 

And they were fabby!  So tasty!

Stuffed onions3

I am still waiting for the world to implode when I post this though…

Let’s have a look at the original recipe and then have a chat about how I changed it.

Stuffed Onions recipe

  • Sausage meat is almost invariably going to have a high fat content.  Adding cream to something that is already fatty made the mixture far too greasy.  Believe me, your mouth will be coated in it and it almost feels like your whole face is smothered in a layer of grease. Mrs Dan Sartor may have been a  fan of the feeling like she had been dragged backwards through a pork chop but I do not.  So the cream is gone. As is the butter.
  • The wine does not have to be white.  I used a beef sausage and felt a red was a better match for the robust onion and beef flavours. 
  • Next…I don’t really understand inches but Google tells me that a 1/4 inch is 6mm which I feel is too much onion.  I took mine back to 2- 3 layers of onion. Which is more than enough. 
  • Depending on what kind of sausages you have you can also  add in flavourings like chilli, garlic, a teaspoon of tomato paste, or even a couple of finely chopped mushrooms (Sorry Jenny) to  the mix. 
  • Finally save some of those breadcrumbs for a little sprinkle of the top to add a little bit of crunch.  If you happen to have some dukkah to add to that sprinkle so much the better!
  • I served mine on a toasted piece of baguette.  The main ingredients – sausage, onion, bread are reminiscent of a hot dog so you could use whatever you like on your hot dogs.  I had some aioli and rocket but swap in whatever condiments you like!  Or replace the aioli with a slice of cheese.  Maybe if you are using a spicy sausage like a chorizo add some guacamole.  And throw some black beans into your sausage mix….
  • You could pretty much style this baby up into anything you wanted just by changing the type of sausage and the condiments / veggies. 

Stuffed Onions4Here’s the updated recipe.

Stuffed Onions
A modern take on a vintage stuffed onion recipe!
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Ingredients
  1. 8 medium onions
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 sausages, your choice of flavour,
  4. 2 tbsp plus more for sprinkling over the top, breadcrumbs
  5. 1 handful of chopped parsley
  6. 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
  7. 1 cup beef or chicken or vegetable stock
  8. 1/2 cup dry white or red wine (your preference)
  9. 1 tbsp dukkah to garnish (optional)
  10. 8 small sprigs of thyme to ganish (optional)
Serving Suggestion
  1. 8 slices of baguette
  2. Aioli
  3. Rocket Leaves
Instructions
  1. Peel the onions and cut the top and bottom off so they sit flat.
  2. Scoop out the insides so 2/3 layers of onion are left.
  3. Finely chop half of the scooped out onion. (Save the rest for another recipe).
  4. Blanch the cases for 5 minutes then leave to dry.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the chopped onions. Allow them to soften and colour slightly - about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the sausage meat from the skins and crumble into the onion mix. Cook for around 5 minutes.
  7. Drain off the excess fat and add half of the wine and the breadcrumbs..
  8. Cook for a few minutes then add the herbs, salt and pepper.
  9. Fill the shells with the stuffing mix.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and the dukkah if using.
  11. Garnish with a ting sprig of thyme.
  12. Arrange the onions in serving dish. Pour in the stock and the remaining wine.
  13. Bake in a 180C / 350F oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.
  14. Meantime, toast the baguette slices.
  15. Spread with the aioli and the rocket.
  16. Top with the cooked onions.
Notes
  1. Stuffing ingredients and serving suggestions can be modified based on the type of sausages you use and your favourite condiments.
Adapted from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972
Adapted from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
A huge thanks to S.S for the recipe!  Sorry it has taken so long!  Thanks also to Mrs Dan Sartor for the original recipe.  And thanks also to my sadly deceased stepfather who, when ever anyone mentioned anything stuffed vis a vis “Hey I  made stuffed onions today”  would respond by saying something along the lines of “Oh…I”m sure they weren’t that bad” or “What’s important is that you tried”.  Those jokes were running rampant through my head for entire length of this post! 

Dad  jokes are the worst! 

Until you don’t have them anymore…

Huh…Way to finish on a downer.

Ummm….looks around frantically for something to lighten the tone….

Okay, here are some rather unappetizing vintage ideas for stuffed onions!

Here’s a thrifty way to “Satisfy your Inner Man”

Vintage Stuffed Onions2I’m not sure.  I feel like my inner man would prefer a steak…

And as for this next one all I’m going to say is creamed diced carrots. 

You can fill in the blanks on that one….

Vintage Stuffed Onions1Have a great week!

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The Margaret Fulton Cookbook 5 – Onion Soup Gratinée

Only the pure in heart can make a good soup”

 – Ludwig van Beethoven

 But any bozo in 1977 could photo it. The sign, the snails, the baguettes. 

It’s French.  We get it.

Nous l’avons.

French Onion Soup Gratinee 1977
French Onion Soup Gratinee 1977

 The soup looks like a hot mess too.

Whereas this from 2004?  Gorgeous! So elegant.  I just want to grab that spoon and tuck right in!

French Onion Soup Gratinee 2004
French Onion Soup Gratinee 2004

  Which is your favourite?

Also, all going well in scheduled post land…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM, LOVE YOU LOTS !!!!

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 Related articles

The Margaret Fulton Cookbook 3 – Onion and Olive Pie

“When a substantial first course is called for, it is hard to improve on a savoury tart served warm” 

 – Margaret Fulton

I so totally agree! 

MFCB Olive And Onion Tart
MFCB Olive And Onion Tart

I think the Onion and Olive Pie  looks pretty good in both of these pictures. It’s certainly the best looking item on the 1977 page. In the modern picture though, it really shines.

Both make me wonder why this is not called a Tomato and Olive Pie.

If like me, you really want to eat this, here is the recipe.  From the 1977 version.  This ain’t called Retro Food For Modern Times for nothing.  

 

Onion and Olive Tart Recipe
Onion and Olive Tart Recipe

 Have a great week…if you want to know what I’m up to on holidays check out my daily Instagram!

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My, My, Belgian Onion Pie – Pieathalon 2

My, My, At Waterloo, Napoleon Did Surrender

It seemed quite appropriate that I made my Pieathalon pie on Eurovison weekend.  After all, my pie was a Belgian Onion Pie with French Pastry Dough. And in 1974 ABBA won Eurovision with their song Waterloo which draws its inspiration from the site in BELGIUM where the Brits defeated the FRENCH army lead by Napoleon.

The coincidence is almost spooky.

Belgian Onion Pie

But would this pie take me down like a diminutive French General?  Or, like a bearded drag queen was I going to “rise like a phoenix” to Euro glory?

 And I Have Met My Destiny (In Quite A Similar Way)

A few weeks ago, the lovely Yinzarella put out the call and 19 bloggers answered.  We were going to take part in a global event to rival Eurovision, Pieathalon 2.

 Pieathalon

  The History Book on The Shelf (Is Always Repeating Itself)

My recipe, which came from S.S. over at A Book of Cookrye is taken from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972:

Pieathalon BookWhich looks and sounds like it comes more from the Mississippi Delta than any field in Flanders I ever saw.  Which is fine, I just finished reading Miss Hazel and The Rosa Parkes League for bookclub.  I’m feel like I’m down with the M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter….

I also recently made a French Apple Flan, so my credentials for France are also solid.

  • I have driven through Belgium on a bus. 
  • I have watched “In Bruges“.  Twice.  
  • They have waffles.  And chocolate. And smurfs.

And that’s pretty much the sum total of my knowledge about Belgium.  If there’s going to be a weak link here, it’s bound to be Belgium…is Pieathalon going to be my Waterloo?

My, My, I Tried To Hold You Back (But You Were Stronger)

 French Pie DoughI feel like the The French Pie dough recipe is very French.  And by that I mean both annoyingly pedantic in some details (Triple sifting flour?  Really?) and then just gives a big Gallic shrug and leaves others mostly up to your imagination.  The implication being if you are that much of a dummy to not know what spices and liquid to use in your pie dough, you probably shouldn’t be making pie dough.

My imagination told me to use a pack of French Onion Soup Mix for both –  a spoonful of the dry mix as my dough spice, then make up the rest of the soup and chill it down for my liquid.

 My imagination is a psychopath. 

The soup mix made the pastry quite salty.  If I had added more salt by adding the soup, I’m pretty sure it would have become inedible.  So, after a moment of panic and some highly creative swearing I used some pear cider as my liquid.  Purely because I happened to be drinking it at the time of making.

2015-05-17 00.17.00

And you know what?  It worked!!!  Really well.  The sweetness took out some of the salt and I think the bubbles helped to make the pastry really light and crisp.

I loved this pastry.  It had a real French Onion Soup flavour.  I am going to make it again but into “cheese” straws to have with dip. And I will probably use Pear Cider as my go to chilled liquid again too!

Now to the first way I “tweaked” this recipe…you may know that  have a weakness for small round food.  I’m also very much of the mind that more is more. So, why make one pie when you can make a lot of pies?

French Pie Dough 3
French Pie Dough 3

And Now It Seems My Only Chance Is Giving Up The Fight

I was actually pretty confident with the filling.  Because pastry is the hard part of any pie right? And honestly, I nailed that French pie dough like a….like a….French hammer…Yeah…just like that.  (Note to self, find some better metaphors).

So bring on the filling….

Belgian Onion Pie Filling Recipe 

First up -looking at this very cute picture made me think the pie was baked in onions.  I’m not actually sure HOW you would bake a pie in an onion but I do know I want to find out.  Another entry into the bucket list of weird food I want to make. I think it also may have sub-conciously influenced my idea to make party-sized pies instead of one big one. 

Then? Chopping three large onions?  There were tears before bedtime.  Then I weighed the butter.  Half a pound of butter seemed like an awful lot. I checked my measurements from ounces to grams and weighed it again.  No, my measurements were right and that was still a, pardon me for using a very technical baking term, a shit ton of butter. 

Belgian Onion Pie - ButterSuddenly my mountain of onions seemed like barely a hill next to that Everest of butter.    In the end, I couldn’t do it.  That skyscraper of butter was too overwhelming.  I cut off about a third of it and stuck that back in the fridge.  I felt really bad about this because I had wanted to follow the recipe exactly.  But I was convinced this was just wrong. 

And I could just add some extra butter if I needed, right?

Then I started to saute my onions. I was a bit worried that the onions would suck all the butter up and it would be too dry.  It seemed ok when the onions were sautéing, however once I added the flour the butter problem became apparent….

Belgian Onion Pie 4

Far from being too little butter there was still too much.  WAY too much…it was pooling everywhere…

Belgian Onion Pie5I made the decision to tip some more butter out….turned out to be about another two tablespoons.

Belgian Onion Pie 6I was kind of worried about doing this but as soon as I added the milk and cream, it all came together perfectly and I knew I had made the right decision.  Look how lovely and smooth the filling looks. 

I only had filling for ten little Belgian onion pies so I ate the additional pie shells.  That pastry was awesome!!!!

Belgian Onion Pie 7
Belgian Onion Pie 7

 And half an hour later they came out like this. Puffed up, golden brown, the Belgian Onion Pie babies looked like little golden buttercups!!! 

Belgian Onion Pie 8
Belgian Onion Pie 8

 I was so happy with these.  And not only were the baby Belgian Onion Pies so pretty to look at, they were delicious too – the light crisp pastry, the creamy filling, they were gorgeous!!!!  And they tasted just like French Onion Soup! 

You could almost say they were souper!

Gahhh…….Thankfully,  the Belgian Onion pies tasted better than my puns!!!!!

Belgian Onion Pie 9

 I Feel Like I Win….

So despite a couple of hiccups, Pieathalon 2 was a total success. 

Huge thanks to S.S. for the recipe and Yinzerella for the opportunity.  I LOVED it!  Here is my slightly twisted Muriels Wedding thanks to you both:

“I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to ABBA songs. But since I’ve met you and moved to Sydney joined in Pieathalon , I haven’t listened to one Abba song. That’s because my life is as good as an Abba song. It’s as good as Dancing Queen”

High praise indeed! 

And as a fitting finale to this Pieathalon, Ladies, Gentlemen…bring out your best moves and your favourite satin jumpsuit  and join me, Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths in a little celebration of all things Pieathalon.  Feel free to sing along with my ever so slightly modified lyrics below as you bust a synchronised move…

 Pieathalon, Belgian pie with butter galore,

Pieathlon, promise to love you for ever more

Pieathalon, couldn’t escape if I wanted to,

Pieathalon, Knowing my fate is to be with you,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Pieathalon,

Finally facing Pieathalon!”

The entire list of bloggers and pies are here.  Please check ’em all out but check out Sarah who made my Fiesta Almond Peach Pie recipe first!

Mandee from Vintage Recipe Cards  – Peach Pizza Pie
Susie from Bittersweet Susie  – Blueberry Cream Pie
Ashley at A Pinch of Vintage – Pecan Pie
Saucy Cherie at cookbookcherie.wordpress.com – Prune Whip Pie
Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen – White Christmas Pie
Heather from Yesterday’s Menus – Pasta Cheese Pie
Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers – Magic Cream Pie
Kelly from The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en Web Series – Swiss Pie with Hot Dogs
Dr. Bobb of Dr. Bobb’s Kitschen – Mincey Peach Pie
Sarah from Directionally Challenged Cooking – Fiesta Almond Peach Pie
Clara at Heritage Recipe Box – Cottage Cheese Apple Pie
Poppy of “Grannie Pantries” http://granniepantries.blogspot.com – Brandy Alexander Pie
RetroRuth from Mid-Century Menu – Cheese Pie
S.S. of A Book of Cookrye – Gowanda Pie
Emily aka Yinzerella  from Dinner is Served 1972 – Melton Pork Pie
Erica Retrochef from Retro Recipe Attempts – Steak and Mushroom Pie
Catherine at  Battenburgbelle –  French Onion Pie

 Have a great week, and go eat some pie!

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