Like some other vegetables, onions can be used as an edible container. The different regions of Spain provide an endless variety of fillings.
The glorious custom of preparing a large baking dish with stuffed vegetables - such as green or red bell peppers (capsicums), potatoes, onions, zucchini (courgettes) and tomatoes - unfortunately seems to be dying out. El Libro Anonimo de un Gatronomo Jubilado defines ground (minced) meat stuffing as an "article of general use." This book deals with making use of leftovers in a typically thrifty nineteenth-century way. Stuffed onions are, however, a great traditional dish in their own right, not just as a way of using up surplus food. In Nuevo Arte de Cocina (1745), Juan de Altamiras provides a meatless version, flavored with cheese, which uses spices but has a mild flavor typical of the time.
- 8 medium onions
- 5 ounces ground mincemeat (pork and beef)
- 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs soaked in 1/3 cup hot milk
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dry white wine
- 2 eggs, beaten
- All-purpose flour for coating
- Olive oil, for deep-frying
- 1/3 cup beef broth, hot
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the onions and slice off the tops and bases. Heat plenty of water in a pan with a little salt. When it comes to a boil, add the onions and cook for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
Put the ground meat, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, white wine, eggs and a little salt in a bowl (keep a little beaten egg for coating) and mix thoroughly.
Scoop out the centers of the onions, then fill with the meat mixture.
Brush the exposed filling with the rest of the egg, then coat the whole onion with flour. Heat the oil in a deep skillet and fry the onions 2 at a time.
Grease a baking dish with a little oil and transfer the onions from the skillet. The filling end should face upward. Pour the hot broth into the dish to half cover the onions. If necessary, add a little of the onion cooking water.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the onions are soft and golden, basting occasionally with the broth. Serve in the baking dish.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
358 calories; 14g total fat; 119mg cholesterol; 285mg sodium; 41g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 17g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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