If there is beef on the table my trencherman will clamor for these unusual onion stuffed onions. I'm happy to oblige because they can be assembled the day before the feast and leave my hands free for other tasks. If you're looking for something slightly different to serve your family this holiday season, take a quick look at the recipe and see if it might suit your needs. Onions prepared in this manner are sweet and a perfect match for beef. They are wonderful on many levels. It's hard to beat that old trinity of cheap, easy and delicious. Why not give them a try?
6 (about 6-oz. each) tennis-ball-size white onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
4 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves + 1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a medium (11 x 7 x 2-inch) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Peel onions, leaving root and stem ends intact. Place in a large microwaveable container; add water to just cover bottom of container. Cook, covered, on HIGH power for 10 minutes, or until onions are just tender. Remove from container; set aside to cool.
3) Heat oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until brown and crisp. Remove pan from heat.
4) Remove top 1-inch of onions. Discard stems; add flesh to bowl of a food processor. Leaving sides and bottoms of onions intact, scoop interior flesh into food processor and place onion shells in prepared baking dish. Add garlic, basil, and 1/2 cup parsley to onions in food processor; pulse to coarsely chop. Scrape into skillet containing bacon and stir with spoon to combine. Return skillet to stovetop; cook over medium heat until onion mixture softens and is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spoon an equal portion of mixture into onion shells. Bake in middle third of oven for 30 minutes. Garnish with reserved 1 tablespoon parsley. Serve hot. Yield: 6 servings.