Via Request, here are the stuffed onions I've made for my family. If you've never tried such delectable, these are a winner. They take a long time to prepare, yes, so enlist help from various family members. My little 12 year old sister requested these for her birthday. Crazy girl.
The recipe is from Julia Child's The Way to Cook, but I've modified it a tad. Here's the modified recipe.
For 6 large onions:
6 large firm, fresh, perfect onions at least 3 inches in diameter
2 cups or so minced onions
Butter as needed
1.5 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated swiss cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
4 T regular bread crumbs (or more)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
fresh or dried basil, to taste
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken broth
One at a time, shave off the pointed and root ends of the onions, being careful to keep the onion layers attached to the root. Peel, them. With a sharp knife, cut a cone-shaped core out of the top (not root) end of the onion, and reserve all cuttings. Then, being careful not to make the sides and bottom too thin, (they should be about 3/8 inch thick) use a melon baller to dig circular sections out of the onion to form a cup of the interior. Note: This is neigh impossible unless you have a melon baller. Impossible as in takes 3x as long to do with out this handy tool. This is where help is gratifying.
Drop the onion cups into a pot of boiling salted water (add 2 or so teaspoons) and boil slowly for 10-15 minutes. (I've never done it that long, just until they are tender. You want them to still hold its shape. Remove one by one with tongs to a colander to dry upside down.
Make the stuffing: Cook the minced onions slowly in 2 Tablespoons of butter in a covered pan until very tender; uncover the pan and stir over moderately high heat to brown very lightly. Blend in the rice, cream, cheese, and 4 T of bread crumbs, adding more if the mixture is too soft for easy stuffing. STir in the parsley and basil. Season to taste, but in my experience be VERY VERY liberal with the salt and pepper.
Stuffing the onions. Butter or oil the outside of the onions cups and arrange cup side up in a heavily buttered baking dish about 3 inches deep and just large enough to hold them in one layer. Season the insides and outside of cups with salt and pepper, and fill with the stuffing, heaping it into a 1/2 inch dome. (It is called STUFFED onions for a reason. Pack it) To each with a teaspoon or so of breadcrumbs and drizzle with a little butter. Pour the broth around the onions enough to come about a third of the way up.
Bake the onions for about 1.5 hours at 375 degrees, but bring to a simmer on the top of the stove. Bake uncovered in the lower middle level of the preheated oven, maintaining the liquid at a slow simmer and basting the onions several times with the liquid in the dish. (It's really important to baste as often as possible. They are done when a knife pierces them easily, but they must keep their shape. (The outside layer will be slightly tough, but the insides deliciously tender.)
The onions may be baked in advance, and reheated later; they are also good served cold.
Hope you like them as much as my family!