Recipe 1: Cebolla Rellena (Stuffed Onions)

From Magdalena Alpieri, Guia de la Cocina Asturiana, 1981.

Translator’s note: This recipe shows the most traditional Asturian fillings, but you are encouraged to improvise according to your dietary needs. E.g. toasted buckwheat, prepared in vegetable stock and seasoned would be a great vegan alternative. (Like any stuffed vegetable, the recipe is really about handling and cooking the casing and the filling is yours to introduce.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. of poached cod or other flaky white fish or stewed meat (but canned tuna, as is, is a fine alternative)
  • 12 medium onions
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 roasted red peppers from a jar, minced
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, minced
  • white wine (Of course, I use sidra natural. Gives it an umami boost and a bit of sweet & sour, like an Eastern European stuffed cabbage.)
  • 1 sprig of parsley, minced
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp. flour

Preparation:
Mix the flaked fish or shredded meat with the crushed tomato, minced egg, 1 minced red pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Remove the outer skin of the onions and hollow them out with a corer. Fill them with fish/meat or alternative. Brown them all over with plenty of oil, basting them with the hot oil, and move them to a casserole or other crockery.

Sauteé the minced onion removed from the shells and add the other minced red pepper, 2 tbsp. of crushed tomato, flour, 1 mashed garlic clove, parsley and a splash of wine (sidra). Bring this to a boil and add it to the casserole with the stuffed onions, adding a bit more wine (sidra) and season to taste. Cover and simmer slowly till tender, approximately 2 hours.

Serving:
Move the onions to a platter. Strain the sauce and pour over the onions.

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