Can I use these accidentally pureed onions?
July 12, 2010 7:11 PM   Subscribe

I took my new Cuisinart out for a spin and accidentally pureed all my onions. Can I still use them in meatballs?

It seems to me that if finely minced onions are what you want in meatballs, then really, really finely minced onions - i.e., pureed onions - should be fine too...but I've been really, really wrong about this kind of thing before. If I can't use them in the meatballs, can I use them in something else? Freeze the whole thing and wait till I need to onion smoothie...or something? Or are these just ex-onions?

Just as a side note, the Cuisinart is AMAZING. I love it. You should get one right now. But for God's sake use a light touch with the onions. It took two pulses to go from "mince" to "slushee."

Thanks MeFi cooks!
posted by Betsy Vane to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
They're fine. Fold them in and try not to overwork your meatballs.
posted by Gilbert at 7:15 PM on July 12, 2010

Don't know about the meatballs but the onion puree can be used as a marinade ingredient. You can extract the juice if you do not want the bits. You can also make an onion marmalade or conserve of some sort with a slow cooking of the onions to caramelize and either cutting it with a bit of balsamic vinegar or another mild sweet tart type OR add some brown sugar for extra sweetness. It will make a good spread on bread for your bacon sandwich.
posted by jadepearl at 7:17 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

My only worry would be that the onion puree would be a bit too liquidy and cause some problems with meatball stability. I would consider adding a few more breadcrumbs or other dryish binder to keep things together.
posted by that girl at 7:18 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

I don't think it would hurt the meatballs but you may need more binding to hold them together if the onion mixture is really watery. Personally, I like my meatballs to have chunks of ingredients in them... so I'd freeze then into onion cubes (use a ice cube tray). Toss them in a freezer bag to use later in soups, stews, sauces, etc.
posted by pghjezebel at 7:18 PM on July 12, 2010

Are they really wet? You might want to strain them a bit or try to remove some of the moisture.

Also, I have to say that the above the fold gave me the most delightful mental image - sort of like Julia Child dicing that gigantic pile of onions in Julie and Julia, plus some kind of mad scientist "bwa ha ha!" moment.
posted by Sara C. at 7:20 PM on July 12, 2010

I would use them by sautéing them really low and slow until they were a deap, flavorful, caramel color, then add them to the meatball mix. This gives you the nutty, sweet flavor of the onion without the liquid.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 7:24 PM on July 12, 2010 [4 favorites]

OneMonkeysUncle has a great suggestion--that sounds delicious!

I always grate my onions into basically a puree for hamburgers and meatballs, so I'm sure it would be fine in your recipe.
posted by phunniemee at 7:27 PM on July 12, 2010

Response by poster: My God, you guys, I am so hungry now. Bacon sandwich! Nutty sweet onions! I want to eat all of these things simultaneously and I want it to last forever. If anyone knows how to do THAT...well, you won't post it here, you're already a billionaire.

This is all such a help - I don't have to go to the store for more onions and I will watch the liquid - fortunately with my new Cuisinart, bread crumbs are only 10 seconds away. (tho the way I use it, 2 seconds after that is probably bread juice.)

I totally agree about chunky meatballs...unfortunately my kids react to the chunks like they just found a dead bug ("What's THAT?!?!?") So this may actually help.

I'm not choosing a best answer because it's the whole discussion that's helping me to feel like I (sort of) know what I'm doing...and btw Sara C., love your image - just add Homer Simpson shrieking "AAAH!" when I saw the onion goo dripping off the spatula.

Thank you everyone! I am going to go play with my Cuisinart some more and try not to puree my fingers....but if I do I'll be back to ask you what to do with them.
posted by Betsy Vane at 7:49 PM on July 12, 2010

I know I'm late to this, but I love pureed onions, especially in recipes where you want a little body without the chunky. I once made killer vegetarian red beans and rice by pureeing my onions and peppers, which helped make up for the meat-free texture. I bet those meatballs are going to be awesome.
posted by devinemissk at 7:55 PM on July 12, 2010

I would just drain off some of the extra liquid, then use as usual.
posted by desuetude at 9:11 PM on July 12, 2010

I'd combine that girl's suggestion with OneMonkeysUncle's: confit the onion puree low and slow until dark and caramel-ly, combine with breadcrumbs and add to the meat for lovely, tasty meatball deliciousness.
posted by trip and a half at 10:11 PM on July 12, 2010

Response by poster: I am definitely going to try that vegetarian red beans and rice thing. The meatballs turned out great - I just took them out with a slotted spoon, and saved the rest for use in some of these great-sounding recipes. I didn't have time to caramelize all of it (I'm making a huge batch) but I did for some, and it was divine. The whole house smells so good. And, I didn't cut off a single finger.
posted by Betsy Vane at 1:29 AM on July 13, 2010

I would probably set aside the onion puree for a more suitable use than meatballs. Slowly sauteing those pureed onions, as well as finely minced/pureed garlic and spices, is the first step in many Indian recipes such as a simple vegetable curry with whatever you have on hand. Glad to hear it was a success though! I ruined my first food processor item too so you're a step above me! :)
posted by Meagan at 11:01 AM on July 13, 2010

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