January 18, 2010

World's Best Baked Onions

"I've found it. The best onion recipe—it's smashing, pukka, the absolute dog's kahunas! I love it served with cod, but it's also great with roast chicken. You've got to try it."

Above were Jamie Oliver's exact words when describing these onions in the cookbook 'Happy Days with the Naked Chef '. And the man wasn't kidding! These really are the worlds best onions!

I received the Happy Days cookbook back in 2002, shortly after it was published. It's one of Jamie's earlier books and probably the first decent cookbook I owned. Since then, I have made these onions many times. The original recipe consists of onions, double cream (heavy cream), Parmesan, garlic and rosemary. However, I often take advantage of their versatility by tweaking them here and there. For example, I like to add finely chopped mushrooms to the the cream as they offer a bit of texture and tremendous flavour to the filling. Also, I sometimes replace the Parmesan with blue cheese when serving them with steak. Another variation I like, is to top the onions with some breadcrumbs mixed with freshly chopped thyme. Delicious!

Today I have prepared them with the addition of finely chopped mushrooms, a mix of both light and double cream, and a little extra garlic.

If you're looking for a recipe that is decadent, delicious or 'the absolute dog's kahunas' as Jamie Oliver so eloquently put's it, then try this one, you won't be disappointed!

Serves 4

4 tennis-ball-sized white onions, peeled
3/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
8-9 tbls double (heavy) cream. You can also use light cream or a mixture of both
4 slices of pancetta or streaky bacon
A few good handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for topping



Note: In the book, Jamie boils the onions but I prefer to steam them. Steaming takes a bit longer but the onions will be more crisp.

Boil the onions for 15 minutes or steam for about 25. The onions need to be slightly tender.
Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. With a sharp knife cut an inch off the stem end of each onion. Then, cut about a heaping tablespoon out of the inside of each onion being sure to leave the outer layers intact. Finely chop and set aside for the filling.

Preheat oven to 400F. Wrap each hollowed onion with a slice of pancetta or bacon and secure with a sharpened sprig of rosemary if desired.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Add reserved chopped onion, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add cream and remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Place onions onto a roasting tray and spoon some of the cream mixture into each one. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan and bake for about 25-30 minutes until tender, depending on the size of the onions.

Recipe adapted from 'Happy Days with the Naked Chef' by Jamie Oliver.

35 comments:

  1. Interesting. I've never heard of baked onions. These sound really good!

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  2. That is a must try recipe! Your blog is awesome!

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  3. This looks like quite an impressive dish to serve at a dinner party! Smashing indeed!

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  4. I can see why it is world's best! So simple too!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe. I would like to make this when we are having family gathering.

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  6. okay, you're right, this looks like nothing I've ever had outstanding. i can almost smell it here. i am going to try it. brilliant. so glad you shared it. beautiful blog too. i follow Keri (a.k.a. Sam)

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  7. Beautiful photos! Do you have any tips for someone who is still learning how to use her new d-slr camera? I would love any help I can get. :)

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  8. Jennie, what a terrific way to prepare onions! They are filled with a great mixture and so simple to make. I am definitely going to try this recipe. Many thanks...

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  9. First of all, I have to say that I love Jamie Oliver. He just cracks me up. These onions look out of this world delicious. I am going to have to share them with my friend who is "an official onion connoisseur."

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  10. I love this... I have done similar, but i hollow out a bit more of the onion, and add a quarter cup of peas to the inside, then top...

    They are a crowd pleaser

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  11. How lovely! I'd never thought of baked onions before. Thanks for posting.

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  12. I wish my husband liked onions then I'd make this in a second. Maybe when he's on a business trip or something. :)

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  13. I love your choices of food. This, the beat soup. I want to cook everything you make here. Seriously.

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  14. I've never even considered baking onions, but it sounds/looks so interesting! I am definitely going to try this! XOXO

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  15. Kristi W - Thank you! I use a Canon 30D and several lenses. The lenses I use the most are a Canon 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 60mm 2.8. I use natural light only and a good tripod. If you are photographing food, I would recommend doing so as soon as it's prepared. After a while food can begin to look unappetizing, so the sooner you start shooting the better. The rest is really down to practice. Take A LOT of pictures and really get to know your camera. I hope this helps! :)

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  16. I love onions but never really eat them on their own. They are usually just thrown into everything else. I definitely need to try these though. Any dish that you praise so highly must be amazing!

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  17. I didn't even know you could have onions on their own as a side dish. I think I will give these a try! Thanks.

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  18. I agree, I have made this Jamie recipe a lot & it never fails me,....

    Lovely pictures too, Jennie!

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  19. Oh these sound yummy! I just got a Jamie O cookbook. Can't wait to try it out!

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  20. Wow..looks delicious and mouth watering..

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  21. I love onions and must try the recipe! They look wickedly good!

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  22. I am running to the store to get this book! Those look absolutely divine. These would be a perfect side dish or even a meal on its own. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. This recipe has been bookmarked. Baking onions really brings out the natural sweetness-These look damn good.

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  24. Oh wow, these look amazing!! I love baked onions and Michael loves bacon. He would especially love these guys!

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  25. Thanx Jennie for visiting my blog....Ur blog is so awesome,brilliant photography..liked close up califonia roll shot a lot...Me too lov baking and photography,Lov onions a lot,never tried this way,will try...Will be back often...

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  26. Amazing! My daughter said that this reminded her a little of French onion soup. I love the bacon wrapping the wonderful rosemary!

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  27. What a fantastic recipe !! I Would surely try it tomorrow only !! This is something i love !!

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  28. Unusual to eat onion like that, I will make a note. Love your cooking thoughts. Anna :)

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  29. Don't know if I could ever bring myself to eat a whole onion - think this might change my mind.

    I heard Jamie Oliver's having a rough time of it over in the US filming his new series. Some of the kids in it thought tomatoes were potatoes!

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  30. Great photos. I'm glad glad I found your blog.

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  31. I will have to try these baked onions! I made something similar once and my husband said it was the worst dish I ever made. So maybe your version will do the trick:)

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  32. i think it is very delicous
    i feel hungry when i see it
    thx

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  33. My boyfriend is going to do a happy dance when I tell him about these - we are huge onion fans!

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  34. Amazing, it was absolutely delicious. I can't wait to do some different styles. We're doing carne asada soon, I'm going to stuff the onions with jalepeno and a pinch of authentic cotija cheese. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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  35. As a follow up... Don't know if you read this still (if you do, please post more, your recipes are AMAZING. I know, family time comes first, and I understand that with two of my own, but if you have a minute, I 'm begging you.) Did the Mexican spin, and it was amazing. Used a soft cotija cheese (think mozzarella with a slight salt flavor) instead of Parmesan, used cilantro instead of rosemary, and used a touch of jalepeno. Perfection. Truly.

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