The new cookbook, 320pp.
by Miriam Polunin
Doubleday, Sydney, 1984
Cooking on pages 132–33
I’ve had this cookbook for more than 30 years and haven’t cooked from it for about two decades. It’s been parked on a bookshelf in our coast house since the early 1990s. That’s where I usually cook old standards that I can make blindfolded, so the cookbooks down here don’t get much attention. But I’m working my way through all my cookbooks, and this one caught my eye.
Page 32 has a recipe for a creamy herb sauce. I might go back and make that, but the recipe on pages 132–33 was too tempting. We had company coming and I had onions that were crying out to be cooked as a side dish.
4 large onions, unpeeled
10ml (2tsp) any fat or oil
150ml (1/4 pint) stock
cottage cheese or cheddar cheese, grated, to taste
black pepper or paprika, to taste
Heat the oven to 150°C (300°F) gas mark 2.
Cut the roots from the onions but do not peel them. Sit them in a baking dish, brush them with the oil and pour stock around them.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, depending on size. To test whether an onion is done, squeeze it gently between a finger and thumb, it should give slightly.
To eat, cut back the brown skin and sprinkle the tops with a little cottage cheese or grated cheddar cheese plus black pepper or paprika.
How it played out
This is a no-brainer, but I still changed a few things. I was going to serve these with baked salmon steaks and potato wedges, so I set the oven to 200°C. I then put these in the oven (using chicken stock and olive oil) along with the wedges for about 50 minutes, adding the salmon for the last 12 minutes. It’s always satisfying when everything for dinner is ready at the same time.
Because I cooked the onions at the higher temperature, a couple of the centres popped up, but that was easily disguised with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of paprika. No cheddar or cottage cheese on hand.
A delicious way to prepare onions—the dinner guests want the recipe! I’ll be making these often when doing a roast or another dish that requires a longish bake.
By the way, I peeled the onion completely for serving, rather than cutting back the skin as shown in the photo in the cookbook.