Onion Pie

Happy Hump Day, everyone!  I’m so excited – when I killed my laptop, I had to restore everything through Carbonite and I thought I’d lost my cookbook software database.  It just didn’t seem to be part of what Carbonite backed up.  I had all of the recipes, and it backed up the actual cookbook, but I was devestated; I thought I was going to have to rebuild the entire thing manually.  Then I remembered the backups I had here on the network at the office.

Color me several shades of relieved.

Anyhoo, it is Day 15 of the Paleo Iron Chef competition, and today’s not-so-secret ingredient is Onions.  After much deliberation, I’ve decided to submit my Onion Rings recipe.  I’d made this over the weekend with the intention of submitting it, but decided the onion rings would probably be better received.

Not to take anything away from this Onion Pie – it is absolutely delicious.  You know I love me a good, crustless quiche and this is one of the better ones.  It just oozes onions and butter (or ghee, in my case).  It takes awhile to caramelize the onions, but other than that, it’s not hard at all.  I didn’t specify what type of cheese to use, because this is one of those dishes that would go well with just about any type of cheese – I used one that goes under the brand name Naked Goat; it’s a semi-hard cheese made from raw goat’s milk and is just wonderful.  Cheddar would work well, as would a good pecorino romano.  The cheese is also optional, if you choose not to use it.

Note:  I used a yellow onion and a red onion – it’s just what I had on hand – and the taste was quite good, although I wasn’t thrilled with the color the red onion gave the interior of the dish.   Use all yellow or white onions if you prefer.  You can also substitute the coconut milk/water mixture with an equal amount of half and half if you have no problem with cow’s dairy.

Onion Pie
Onion Pie
Onion Pie
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups yellow onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 cups red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cheese, grated (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt the ghee in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, water, eggs, salt and pepper until well-blended.
  4. Spread the onions over the bottom of a well-greased, deep dish pie plate. Pour the coconut milk/egg mixture over the onions, then sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the surface.
  5. Bake for 45 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  6. Pie may be served hot, warm or at room temperature.
  7. Nutrition (per serving): 245 calories, 178 calories from fat, 20.6g total fat, 123mg cholesterol, 633.5mg sodium, 206.3mg potassium, 7.4g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 3g sugar, 9.3g protein

 

Frizzled Cabbage

First, it’s International Blackadder Status Day, so if you follow me on Facebook, well, that explains it.

Now.  Frizzled Cabbage.  I made this last night because A) I happen to love cabbage, especially when cooked with onions and copious amounts of butter and 2) it describes exactly how I feel.  (I got six whole hours of sleep last night…better than the six whole hours I got over the weekend, I suppose.)

I’m not sure how or where the term “frizzled” came from.  Perhaps it’s just easier than “cabbage cooked with onions and copious amounts of butter”?  At any rate, I’ve been making this for ages, not knowing what it was called – I guess I’m just a natural-born…frizzler? (Oh, give me a break, I’m TIRED.)  Anyhoo, it’s my absolute favorite way to cook and eat cabbage, and I would make it to excess given the opportunity (just ask Darling Daughter).  Plus it’s drop-dead easy.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go forth and frizzle.

Frizzled Cabbage

Frizzled Cabbage

serves 8, or me for 3 meals

1 large cabbage
1 small onion
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Core and slice the cabbage very thinly. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Set both aside.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the cabbage, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cabbage has almost completely wilted, about 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is beginning to brown and caramelize, another 10 to 20 minutes.

Adjust the seasonings as needed and serve immediately.

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Posted in participation with Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

Green Bean Casserole

While putting my Thanksgiving menu together last week, I decided to make green bean casserole.  From scratch.

Yeah, I’m weird that way.

There are a lot of recipes on the internet for green bean casserole from scratch, and almost all of them called for either canned fried onions or panko bread crumbs as the topping.  I did find a couple that called for non-canned fried onions – well, one was for caramelized onions (that I knew the kids wouldn’t like) and the other had the onions heavily battered before frying (that, I wouldn’t like).

French Fried Onions

What I came up with was damn near a religious experience.  Oh.  My.  GAWD.  (See?) So, so, SO good.  And while it was time consuming, it wasn’t hard at all, especially if you have a mandolin to slice the onions very, very thinly (if you don’t have a mandolin, you really need to get one).  Fried in lard I had rendered myself, the onions were light and crispy and SO much better than those greasy things from a can (I had a hard time not eating them all before adding them to the casserole).  The green beans were tender-crisp, and the sauce was a cheesy delight full of succulent, browned mushrooms and caramelized onions.

THIS is what green bean casserole was meant to be.

There’s no reason you couldn’t fry the onions and put the casserole together the day before; just put the fried onions in an airtight container until ready to use (and for heaven’s sake, keep them out of reach so you don’t eat them all!) and refrigerate the assembled casserole.  Just bring it to room temperature before heating in the oven.

As written, this bakes in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish, but could could easily be doubled.  I also used sprouted wheat flour and sprouted corn flour for the onion rings and arrowroot for the sauce; feel free to use all purpose flour and corn meal for the onions rings and all-purpose flour or corn starch for the sauce.  I’ve included instructions for both flour and arrowroot.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

serves 6

1/2 large  yellow onion, very thinly sliced

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sprouted whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)

1/2 cup sprouted corn flour (or regular corn meal)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lard or shortening or vegetable oil

8 ounces white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1/2 stick unsalted butter, divided

3/4 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed

2 cups whole milk at room temperature

salt and pepper

3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour OR 1 to 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Pour 1 cup milk into a medium-sized mixing bowl; in another medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, corn flour or corn meal, salt and pepper.  Add enough fat (lard, shortening or vegetable oil) to a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to measure a depth of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches; heat the fat to a temperature of 350º F.

Working in batches, drop a handful of the very thinly sliced onion rings into the milk.  Using a fork, transfer them to the flour/corn meal mixture and toss until coated.  Drop them into the hot fat, taking care not to crowd them, and fry until crispy and golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Watch carefully so they don’t become too brown or burn.  Remove them from the hot fat with a fork or slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.  Repeat until all of the onions have been fried.  Set aside.

Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water to a boil; add 1 teaspoon salt.  Add the green beans and parboil for 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain and add the green beans to a  large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  When cold, drain the green beans again and set aside.

In another large, heavy skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat.  Cook the mushrooms without crowding, in batches if necessary, until golden and beginning to brown at the edges.  Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet if necessary, and add the onions to the skillet.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are a soft and translucent, and just beginning to turn golden brown.  Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and reserve on the same plate as the mushrooms.

If using flour to thicken the sauce, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter from the skillet; return to the stove over medium low heat.  Add the flour and whisk until a thin paste forms.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes then slowly add the 2 cups of room temperature milk, whisking continually.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth.  Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses; stir until melted.  Remove from heat; taste, and season with salt and pepper.

If using arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce, pour any remaining fat from the skillet and return to the stove over medium-low heat.  Whisk the arrowroot powder into the 2 cups milk, and pour into the skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth.  Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses; stir until melted.  Remove from heat; taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Add the mushrooms, sautéed onions and green beans to the cheese sauce, stir gently but thoroughly to coat the beans.  Pour into the 8″ x 8″ baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and just beginning to brown.  Remove the dish from the oven and scatter the fried onions evenly over the top of the dish; return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp and brown the onions, watching the dish carefully so the onions don’t over-brown or burn.

Serve immediately.

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Green Beans on Foodista

Posted in participation with Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quiche

An update:  I’m feeling better.  As of this writing, Sunday night, I’m able to go 8 hours before taking any pain medication (it had been at 6 hour intervals like clockwork since the tonsillectomy).  I’m down 7 pounds – there had to be something good in all of this – and I’ll be back in the office today, even if I go home early.  And I may; it’s still only been 6 days, and I get pooped pretty easily.

I’m also eating.  Not a lot – I’ve been tracking what I eat and I’m only taking in about 700 calories a day (there’s the 7 pounds), but it’s better than ice water and beef broth.  Since I’m stuck with soft foods, I’m eating things that I normally don’t; mashed potatoes, grits – I even had a pancake at 2 a.m. Saturday (it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be).  Sunday morning, though, the last thing I wanted was something bland and since I was feeling pretty good, I whipped this up.

I made the quiche crustless, since I couldn’t – and wouldn’t normally – eat it.  If you want my recipe for a quiche crust, go here.  Nor did I take the picture; I wasn’t up to hauling out the photography equipment and doing a place-setting.  But it felt awfully good to cook something, especially something that was so delicious.  I threw the onion in the food processor and chopped it finely before caramelizing it and sliced the sweet potato very thinly with a mandolin before parboiling, but that was just to make sure everything in the quiche was a soft enough consistency and small enough size for my poor sore throat – next time I will probably just thinly slice the onion and cube the sweet potato.

Yup, I’ll make this again – it tasted just wonderful, and had just enough texture to keep it interesting without being too hard to eat.  In fact, it was so good I had two servings…and it only took me about half an hour to eat them.

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quiche

serves 6

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

Pinch of sugar

1 large sweet potato, about 1 pound, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half and half

Preheat the oven to 375º F; generously butter a deep dish pie plate.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium low heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and brown, about 10 minutes.  Do not let it burn.  Add the pinch of sugar and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 2 – 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil; add the sliced sweet potato.  Return to a boil and cook for three minutes.  Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, basil, salt and pepper.  Overlapping slightly, layer the bottom of the pie plate with half the sweet potato slices.  Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the slices, then layer with the remaining sweet potato.  Pour the egg mixture over the top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

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