Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cozy Onions

Happy new year everyone! Hope you had a smashing night (to some, that's probably literally what they had) Hoping the new year will be filled with many great recipes! Now on to a recipe I created a few months ago for the holidays when I was stuck in a cooking rut. You know when you just feel like you keep making the same things over and over again? Or even when you try to change things up you seem to be using the same ingredients or techniques? Well this recipe is what got me out of my rut. A fabulously stuffed onion.

Speaking of onions, I have not researched this, (which I could do right now on Google in about 2 seconds) but I would assume that the French discovered the onion. Maybe because they just have so many delectable recipes featuring the onion as the star. Anyways, back to my stuffed onion recipe. As for the name? Cozy Onion? My husband came up with it. Why you ask? Well doesn't it look like the onion is wearing a scarf? Cute no?

The onion is stuffed with a selfishly spoiled mashed potato that boasts fried onions, tiny diced and sauteed rib eye steak and a sprinkle of curry. Then the onion gets wrapped up like a pretty present with puff pastry dough which is then baked. What you get is a gorgeous gift filled with magnificently palatable mash that is both luxurious and comforting.

In order to stuff the onions, slice off the top and bottom and then make a cut from the center of the top of the onion all the way down, so that you can peel off the onion layers. But don't do that just yet. After making the cut place the onions in a bowl of luke warm water for about half an hour. The warm water will loosen up the layers, making it easy to separate them without braking the layers.

Now on to the mash potatoes. The onion and steak sautee consists of a rib eye steak that has a generous amount of fat that is finely diced and sauteed with the onion until nice and brown. The entire mixture along with the oil is added to the bowl of your freshly boiled potatoes. A little salt, pepper, parsley and a sprinkle of curry (which is optional, but I find it is wondrous with the meat) and you're good to go.

After stuffing the onions, two strips of puff pastry dough are wrapped around the onion like a present. Brushed with a little egg wash and into the oven it goes. I think my favorite thing about this recipe is that it can fit effortlessly into the category of complicated and fancy, as well as simple and comforting. So basically after you have served this at your next elegant dinner party, you can enjoy it as a midnight snack alone in your pajamas. If there is any left!

Cozy Onions
Makes 8 Stuffed Onions

8 white medium white onions
5 medium potatoes boiled till fork tender
1 red onion finely diced
1/2 generously fatty rib eye steak, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 sheets of puff pastry dough
2 tbsp. olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Slice off the top and bottom of the white onions. Make a cut from the center of the top all the way down, and peel the onion. Place the onions in a large bowl of luke warm water. Let sit for half an hour. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the diced red onion and saute until lightly brown. Add the steak and cook until the meat has browned nicely, scraping any bits that stick to the pan. Add this mixture to a bowl with the boiled and mashed potatoes. Add the salt, pepper, curry, parsley and garlic. Mix well and set aside. 
To separate the onion layers, gently pry your fingers in between the layers and run them around. Stick the onion back in the water often, to get some water between the layers to help separate. Carefully separate them or let the inner onion slip through the hole of the outer layer. Stuff the onions. They don't have to be packed. Close the onion by simply squeezing it gently, overlapping the openings if necessary. Slice the puff pastry into 1 inch wide strips. Wrap one strip around the onion covering the "seam" or cut side of the onion, overlapping if necessary. Wrap a second strip crossing over the first strip and make a little twist at the top. Place the onions in a casserole dish. Brush with egg and bake uncovered in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden. 

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