Kristin Kveno

I was talking all things gardening with “From the Fields” producer Mark Wettergren last week and he suggested a good topic for “Cooking with Kristin” would be onions. Great idea, Mark! Whether you have lots of garden-fresh onions or just grab a bag of them whenever you’re at the grocery store, onions are always awesome.

My all-time favorite onion rings are from Clementine’s — a restaurant in St. Joseph Michigan. My grandparents had a boat on Lake Michigan and kept it in a slip in St Joseph. We would visit them every summer and my grandpa would love to take the boat to Clementine’s for some tasty rings. The onion rings would arrive on a dowel — either six inches or 12 inches. We always went with the 12 inches. You can never get enough of fresh, crispy and delicious rings. Here’s a recipe I’ve used that tastes a lot like those amazing Clementine’s rings I still dream about!

Crispy Onion Rings

https://realhousemoms.com/crispy-onion-rings/

2 sweet onions (Vidalia or Walla Walla)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup cold water

2 eggs lightly beaten

Vegetable oil for frying

Cut off the top of each onion and peel away the skin. Using a sharp knife, cut the onions into 1/4-inch slices (or thicker if you prefer). Separate the individual onion rings from each slice, discarding the centers. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, seasoned salt, and baking powder. Add in water and eggs and mix until the batter is smooth.

Heat two inches of oil in a large pot to 375 F over medium-high heat. You can use a long stem thermometer to monitor the oil's temperature. Dip onion slices in the batter, and shake gently to remove any excess. Then carefully drop the onions into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Use tongs or a spider strainer to remove cooked onion rings to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining onions and batter. Serve onion rings immediately.

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I’ve had roasted garlic and found it to be delicious, but I’ve never tried roasted onions. This is on my to-try list. I can only imagine how aromatic it must be and how tasty too!

Roasted Onions

https://keviniscooking.com/roasted-onions/

Marinade:

1 cup water

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pinch red pepper flakes optional

4 large onions 

Roasting:

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped

Blend marinade ingredients in small bowl and pour into a baking dish that will hold all 8 onion halves. I use 8x8-inch baking pan or round 12-inch baking stone (pictured) depending on size of onion. Trim the end of onions and cut horizontal (leaving skin on) and place cut side down in marinade. Marinate overnight covered in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Flip the onions over in the marinade, and lay on the flat bottom of each side. Top each onion with 1/2 tablespoon of butter and remaining teaspoon of rosemary.  Roast uncovered in oven for 1 hour or until golden brown, basting once or twice during roasting. Remove from heat, spoon reduced sauce over and sprinkle with parsley or more fresh chopped rosemary. Remove outer skins before eating and serve.

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You can never have too many dips in your recipe arsenal. This one utilizes the flavors in caramelized onions to create a delicious, creamy dip that goes well with veggies and crackers alike.

Caramelized Onion Dip

https://www.acouplecooks.com/happy-hour-platter-caramelized-onion-dip/

1/4 cup olive oil

4 large white onions

1/4  cup red wine

1/2  teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt, plus more as needed

2 cups sour cream

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Make the caramelized onion dip: Finely chop the onions. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Add the red wine and sauté until the wine is cooked off, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat, add the salt, and let cool.

Once cooled, transfer to a medium mixing bowl and fold in the sour cream, yogurt and soy sauce. Season with pepper and more salt, if needed. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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This wouldn’t be an onion-focused column if I didn’t include one of the very best ways to eat onions: French onion soup. If you haven’t made this soup yet, then give this recipe a try as it is pretty darn scrumptious.

Rich and Simple French Onion Soup

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/13309/rich-and-simple-french-onion-soup/

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups sliced onions

4 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

4 slices French bread

4 slices provolone cheese

2 slices Swiss cheese, diced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter with olive oil in an 8-quart stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and continually stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions. Add beef broth, sherry and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven broiler. Ladle soup into oven-safe serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top of each (bread may be broken into pieces if you prefer). Layer each slice of bread with a slice of provolone, 1/2 slice diced Swiss and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil in the preheated oven until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

Onions are versatile, flavorful and a fabulous addition to all kinds of recipes. From rings to dips to soups onion are tough to beat.

Kristin Kveno scours the internet, pours over old family recipes and searches everywhere in between to find interesting food ideas for feeding your crew. Do you have a recipe you want to share? You can reach Kristin at kkveno@thelandonline.com.

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