Bargain Betty – making the most of bulk-buy onions
April 14, 2012 in Cooking with Woolies
Everyone loves a good bargin and I am the first one to admit it! So when Woolworths first brought out their fantastic new range – Buy bulk and save I was in heaven. Especially now because the weather is starting to take a colder turn, the salads that I used to welcome in Summer are not as enticing any more. My body is craving slightly heartier, warmer meals and for those meals I nearly always need an onion to start them off.
Buying them in bulk not only saves me money but I don’t have to worry about starting a meal, only to find I don’t have enough onions. Here are some of my favourite ways with onions.
Caramelised onions are always handy and add such depth of flavour to your dishes. Peel and thinly slice 4 onions before adding them to a large pan over a low heat with 50g of melted butter. Gently sweat them until soft for about 5 minutes.
Add 3 T brown dark sugar and a glug of Balsamic vinegar, leave them to simmer gently for 25 – 30 minutes until reduced and sticky. I love to eat them spooned onto hot pizza with smoked mozzarella, chilli and chorizo topped with loads of fresh rocket.
French onion soup is also highly underrated in my opinion. It’s the best way to use up any onions that might be past their best.
You will need 6 large onions, thinly sliced, plus as 2 red onions, also thinly sliced. Add them to a large saucepan over a low heat with 50g butter, 4 sliced baby leeks and 3 cloves of crushed garlic.
Let them simmer slowly with 3-4 T olive oil until they are soft and caramelised. Add 2 T Balsamic vinegar and 4 cups of good quality beef stock, simmer for a further 5 – 10 minutes and remove from heat.
It’s the perfect starter for Autumn nights. Serve with crunchy toasts generously topped with melted cheese for dipping. The cheese also cuts the richness of the soup and gets your appetite going for the next course.
Potato skins stuffed with bacon and rocket
This is such a simple but delicious recipe. When I grew up my granddad loved making stuffed potato skins, but he used to add corned beef and loads more cheese. I like to make this version at home because I am not a huge fan of corned beef.
They’re great to make for friends as a filling, warm snack with cold beers if you aren’t making dinner. They’re sooo tasty eaten cold the next day, so I often pack them as padkos when I drive home to Plett.
To make, wash 4 potatoes, then halve lengthways. Bake in the microwave for 10 – 15 minutes, or until a knife is easily inserted. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes then scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl.
Mash the potato, then fold in half a finely sliced onion – you can also use red onions if you like. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Gently spoon the mixture back into the skins and arrange on an oiled baking tray. Top with grated Gouda or Cheddar, sprinkle with chopped chilli and place under a hot grill for 5 minutes, or until melted and golden. Served topped with pan-fried bacon and garnished with wild rocket. This is enough to serve 4.
Consulting Food Editor, Woolworths TASTE