What do you make when life gives you big onions?
October 29, 2014 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of big onions. I want to make something you can't make with small onions. Does such a recipe exist?

Got them for something not-size-specific I didn't end up making, and now am left with five onions that are bigger than my fist and weigh about 400g each. Rather than chop them up and use one huge onion where I would normally use two regular sized ones, I am looking for onion-centric or onion-heavy recipes where size does matter.

My cooking skills are above boiling water but below preparing multi-course meals for foreign dignitaries. I have access to a regular-sized non-fancy kitchen.

Bonus points for something I can make in single-person sized batches.
posted by Dr Dracator to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I propose a Bloomin' Onion. Also can I come over for dinner please?
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:01 PM on October 29, 2014 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Roasted onions stuffed with feta. Lots of other stuffed onion recipes out there too.
posted by sobarel at 12:04 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I attempted to make the cool-looking breakfast where you fry your egg inside an onion ring (example), my problem was getting a large enough ring to hold a big egg without being super-thick. A larger onion would give you more rings of a suitable size and allow you to have thinner eggs which cook more evenly.

Also, stuffed onion recipes usually ask for the largest onions you can find.
posted by aimedwander at 12:21 PM on October 29, 2014

Get your hands on a slow cooker and carmelize them all, then dole them out into half-cup sized tupperware containers or tiny baggies and freeze them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:38 PM on October 29, 2014 [15 favorites]

Yes empresscalipygos wins. Make caramelized onions. Set [life] == "vastly improved"

Seriously. Life changing.
posted by chasles at 12:40 PM on October 29, 2014

And with a store of caramelized onions, you can make French Onion soup whenever you want it. Which, for me, is all the time.
posted by cooker girl at 12:51 PM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nobody mentioned something like beer-batter onion rings yet?
posted by doctor tough love at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have been making this thing which works best with large onions...it's not as large-onion specific as some of the recipes here, but they do help.

Slice two large red/orange/yellow bell peppers so that you get a lot of medium-sized vertical strips. Chop half a large onion into rounds about 3/4 inch wide, then chop those rounds in half. Try to keep them in half-rounds as much as possible - don't break them up.

Turn the broiler on high. Toss the peppers and the onions with olive oil and salt. Broil for about eight minutes, then toss and broil another eight minutes - there should be some darkening of the peppers but not, like, large burned patches. (Although I sometimes get - and consume - large burned patches). When the onion and peppers are broiled satisfactorily, put them in a bowl and toss with some goat cheese* and parmesan.

The big onion slices broil better - smaller slices dry out, carmelize and burn before the peppers are done due to the sugars in the onion.

My theory is that once I am out of goat cheese and hence vegan again, I will toss these with things like that muffaletta-ish olive mix you can get, various tapenades, etc.

*Fell off the vegan wagon; climbing back on once I run out of goat cheese.
posted by Frowner at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Frowner's recipe should work on a baking sheet in the oven as well! Just saying since I've had something similar sounding but baked.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:08 PM on October 29, 2014

Onion volcano
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:10 PM on October 29, 2014

Best answer: Don't caramelize all of them, save one for pickling. Awesome on pulled pork, hamburgers, and hotdogs.

Onions (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups acidic liquid (apple cider vinegar or 1/2 cup each of lemon, lime and orange juice)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 jalapeño (optional)

Bring a quart of water to a boil.
Slice onions
Combine vinegar or citrus juice with salt and sugar in non-reactive bowl; stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
Blanch a handful of the onions at a time for 15 seconds. Place blanched onions into colander to drain.
Place blanched onions in vinegar solution for a minimum of one hour. Store in fridge.

Notes: If you add a red onion the whole batch will turn a lovely pink.
(If I'm using juice, I drain the liquid after a couple days.)
posted by shoesietart at 1:19 PM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Similar pickled onion recipe with spices.
posted by shoesietart at 1:20 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Caramelize some, pickle one, but do save 1.5 lbs of your giant onions (2 of them?) for the deliciousness that is a French onion tart. Here is the recipe from smitten kitchen.
posted by third rail at 2:34 PM on October 29, 2014

Onion rings. Definitely onion rings.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:35 PM on October 29, 2014

Best answer: ]Cut the top off and cut out a small cone-shaped section out of the middle of the onion. Put a bouillon cube and an ice cube (or butter, if you're feeling Paula-Deen-ish) inside, cap it back up and wrap in foil. Place the whole thing on a low grill for about an hour. Unwrap and enjoy!
posted by checkitnice at 3:11 PM on October 29, 2014


The linked recipe uses rice but we like it with bulgur.

This would be a good use for some of the caramelized onions you made and froze in half cup baggies. I'd use four baggies worth or maybe more, five? If you haven't caramelized them yet, one would work for this recipe.

posted by danabanana at 4:03 PM on October 29, 2014

The caramelizing tip is similar to an Indian technique, which actually slices them thin and sautees them medium, then low for 30-40 minutes, stirring till they dry. Then freeze. A great addition to curries, etc, and I'm sure many other recipes would benefit. Ditto on the onion soup. To make it worthwhile, use more than you expect you'll need.
posted by LonnieK at 11:38 AM on October 30, 2014

nthing onion soup (yeah, ok, you can do that with little onions too).

- caramelize the onions for 10-12 hours on low in a slow cooker. You will end up with lots of liquid--drain that off periodically, and when you have it all, reduce to all buggery in a saucepan. Pour into a half-litre container or a jar and chill to separate out the butter/olive oil you've used. You're left with onion-flavoured butter/oil (yum!) and a sort of onion jam. I made some a couple weeks ago, and before topping the soup with bread and cheese, I toasted the bread in a toaster oven, spread with the jam and butter. Added a layer of flavour.

- I've been pondering the idea of using enormous onions as bowls for onion soup, raw to add yet another dimension of flavour. Innards get cooked and put in the soup.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:25 PM on October 30, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for your suggestions everybody, here's your Big Onion update:

I used three for roasted onions stuffed with feta : that's the kind of thing I was going for. Currently in the oven - looks delicious.

I used the remaining two for onion pickles, even though it doesn't have a specific Big Onion angle, because pickles.

I am also saving some of the other ideas for future onion developments - I'll probably try this one next time I'm grilling something.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:17 PM on October 30, 2014

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