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NOTE: Fresh parsley is essential here: Don't even think about using dried, which tastes dusty and stale.
- 5 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- 4 yellow onions (3 1/2 to 4 inches each)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- TOAST CRUMBS Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Bake bread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
- PREPARE ONIONS Following photos 1 to 3, trim 1/2 inch from both stem and root ends of onions, peel, halve through equator, and pop out center of each half, leaving outermost 3 rings intact. Chop onion centers finely to measure 1 cup (reserve any additional onion for another use).
- MAKE STUFFING Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chopped onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup broth, parsley, zest, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to bowl with bread crumbs and toss to combine.
- BROWN ONIONS Sprinkle onion halves with sugar and season with salt and pepper. Melt additional 1 tablespoon butter in empty skillet over medium heat. Place 4 onion halves in skillet, wide ends down, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining butter and onion halves. Flip onions and return first batch to skillet, browned-side up. Add remaining broth and simmer, covered, until liquid evaporates and onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
- STUFF ONIONS Heat broiler. Fill onion halves with bread-crumb mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil until stuffing is golden brown and heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.