Onion choices

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Onion choices

Postby Jim Cassidy » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:15 pm

I'm making french oinion soup, from the Joy of Cooking recipe, which I have made quite a few times before. I think I have always used yellow onions. We have sweet onions available at my local grocery. Does anyone have an opinion on the differences between the sweet onions and regular yellow onions in this recipe?

If it makes any difference, we'll be serving both a southern rhone and a Murphy-Goode cabernet with the soup and main course, steak au poive with brandy cream sauce.

TIA
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Howie Hart » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:47 pm

I use both in French Onion Soup. I put thinly sliced yellow cooking onions in a large pot with butter to simmer slowly. I put thickly sliced sweet onions in a hot skillet with butter and a bit of sugar and sautee until the onions are carmelized (for color). I then stir-cook in a bit of flour for thickening and then add them to the pot with the yellow onions and add chicken stock and allow to simmer for a while.
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Jenise » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:53 pm

Jeff, sweet onions (as I have found out when that was all I had on hand) can be too sweet for some applications--it's like adding sugar. If you think you'd like that result, a mix like Howie recommends would probably be best; otherwise, buy yellow or white.
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:28 pm

I adore this. I could eat it 7 days a week.

We use a combination of about half yellow, and a quarter each of sweet and red onions.

(Lunch update... today I had a delicious pumpkin soup made by the wonderful chef at my workplace. But I would have swapped for onion soup in a heartbeat!)
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Carl K » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:02 pm

I use Vidalia onions in almost everything except French Onion soup. Even mixed half and half with yellow onions, they're still too sweet; though I'll admit that I never thought of mixing them in with red onions as well as yellow onions as Cynthia does. Course I tend to use beef stock instead of chicken stock, and that can make a difference in perception of the sweetness of the onions as well.
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:43 am

Carl K wrote:Course I tend to use beef stock instead of chicken stock


Wow. I had never thought of using chicken stock. Hmm. Might try that. Although I love it with beef stock.

Too many options! :?
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:40 am

Cynthia Wenslow wrote:Wow. I had never thought of using chicken stock. Hmm. Might try that. Although I love it with beef stock.

As I posted above, I cook the sweet onion in a hot cast iron skillet with butter. (Sautee was actually a poor word choice.) You have to constantly stir it in a manner that I like to describe as "daring it to burn", but not burning it. When ready, add flour-water mixture to cool and thicken and stir (like making gravy) before adding to the pot with the other onions and chicken stock.
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Carl K » Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:35 am

Cynthia Wenslow wrote:Too many options! :?


All too true my friend, all too true. I've also heard of people using hard cider, white wine, brandy, or even whiskey to liven things up a bit. Personally I save my whiskey for drinking and pork, but I've sometimes wondered about hard cider or apple brandy. I mean, apples and onions go so well together in other dishes . . .
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Re: Onion choices

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:02 pm

Carl K wrote:but I've sometimes wondered about hard cider or apple brandy. I mean, apples and onions go so well together in other dishes . . .


Well, since I am Always Thinking Of Others (tm) I will undertake a batch of onion soup this weekend that incorporates apple brandy.
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