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Friday, May 27, 2011

How Do I Hollow Out an Onion?

“I borrowed the Williams-Sonoma book, Main Dishes from the library. It has a recipe for roasted onions stuffed with Italian sausage, egg, and fresh bread crumbs that looks very good. The instructions call for hollowing out the onions, stuffing them, placing them in a baking dish filled with ½ inches of water, and baking at 350 degrees for about an hour. But how do you hollow them and leave the ½ inch thick shell required?” The patron showed the Newton Falls Public Library staff the photograph and directions for this very tasty looking dish on page 63.

While having many combined years of cooking experience, our staff wasn’t really sure how one went about hollowing an onion. The book in which the patron found the recipe offers “colorful recipes for health & well-being” but no instructions for creating an onion shell. The search continued by examining the Larousse Gastronomique: the new American edition of the world's greatest culinary encyclopedia. In the listing for onions on page 744, there are recipes, including stuffed onions. These instructions explain when preparing this dish, you need to peel the medium sized onion without splitting the outer layer. Remove about ¼ of the onion by cutting it horizontally at the stalk. Blanch the remaining ¾ in salted water for about ten minutes, drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Finally scoop out the inside; leaving at least a thickness of 2 layers all around, and the onion is ready for filling.

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