"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness"

When I tucked into this dish, it reminded me of a little piece of fortune cookie wisdom which found its way to my hand not very long ago : "A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness".

When it came to share this delicious recipe with you, I thought I'd better investigate the cook who bought that recipe to my table and what I found truly gobsmacked me. Why was not I told? how come I did not know, had never heard of her? have I been living with a paper bag over my head for the past many years? Well No, I did not know Angela Hartnett and now I read that she is THE UK leading female chef. Earlier on in her career she got a job in Gordon Ramsay's kitchen. She lasted 12 years, that in itself seems to me like a feat. Her restaurant has its very own Michelin star, she received a MBE from the Queen for services to the Hospitality Industry.
Last year, she published her first book of recipes "Cucina", which was acclaimed by its readers and the pros alike and if that was not enough she has been taught her skills by a Italian grand-mother, though the latter is just for me to cleverly link her biography to the stuffed onions recipe which seems to be a little bit like a family signature dish.

Stuffed onions

Ingredients:

splash of red wine
4 large onions
2 shallots
1 carrot
1 finely diced celery stick ( that I did not used as there is a serious case of celeryphobia at home)
100g breadcrumbs
100g parmesan,
10 g of dried porcini mushrooms which will have to be pre-soakedin 1/4 litre of hot water according to the paquet instruction.
parsley & a little bit of tomato puree
olive oil and butter

Method:
To make the sauce, heat some oil and butter in a pan and add two finely chopped shallots, one finely diced carrot, and one finely diced celery stick and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add 10g of dried porcini mushrooms (pre-soaked in about 250ml of hot water for 5 mins) and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
Add a squirt of tomato puree and a splash of red wine and bubble until completely reduced. Finally, add the strained mushroom liquid, reduce the heat and simmer for up to 1 hour. Though my sauce took less longer to reduce
Keep a little bit of the liquid, you will need it later on
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add 4 peeled whole onions and boil for 3 mins. Drain and cut them in half and scoop out the centre with a spoon until you're left with just 2-3 layers of skin.
Chop the scooped out centre of the onions finely and add these to a bowl of 100g breadcrumbs and 100g grated parmesan cheese and a splash of the mushroom water (enough to bind the stuffing together).
Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Finally, put the onions in an overproof dish, drizzle with olive oil, stuff them with the parmesan breadcrumbs and spoon over the mushroom sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C (gas mark 6).
I admit this is not the fastest stuffed recipe in the world but it is well worth the effort.
If you wonder why there is a picture of a still life by Vincent uploading at the front of thsi post, it is because mine looked like this:

1 comment:

chefjp said...

The stuffed onions look great-- good job on this recipe--- sounds like there's lots of great flavors at work here. Thanks again!

si

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