Bacon Wrapped and Stuffed Vidalia Onions

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Wine Pairing by Grapefriend

Eggs and bacon like Dad never had them…with or without a glass of wine. 

Bacon Wrapped Vidalia Onions by Libbie Summers (photography by Chia Chong)

Bacon Wrapped and Stuffed Vidalia Onions
serves 6

What you need:
3 large Vidalia Onions, outer dry skins removed
6 strips bacon
6 (4-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs (the woody ends)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons finely diced rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
6 eggs

What to do:
1. Boil Onions: Place onions in a large saucepan and cover with water. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Place saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water and allow onion to cool.

2. Prep Onions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Working with one onion at a time, cut the onion in half width-wise. Remove center of each half leaving a shell 1/4 to 1/2″ thick. Finely chop the onion pieces that have been removed and place in a medium mixing bowl. Wrap the outside of each onion half with a piece of bacon and secure with the rosemary sprig or a bamboo skewer. Place in an ovenproof baking dish and continue the process with the remaining onions.

3. Make Topping: To the mixing bowl of finely chopped onion pieces, add the bread crumbs, butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parmesan cheese, remaining salt, pepper and milk. Stir together. Stuff mixture into the center of each bacon wrapped onion half (mixture will be piling over the top).

4. Finish Onions: Pour 1/2 cup hot water into the bottom of the baking dish around the onions and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and pat the top of each onion flat with the back of a spoon. Break one egg over each onion and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked. Serve immediately.
Bacon Wrapped Vidalia Onions by Libbie Summers (photography by Chia Chong)

Wine Pairing by Grapefriend:
One of the only times I’ll have eggs after breakfast is sitting at the bar at my favorite neighborhood bistro where they make a killer omelet, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of Sancerre. This dish is much heartier and more savory than a plain omelet though, so I’d go for something with a little more body. If we still want to go French, white Burgundy is all Chardonnay grapes, but like the best Chardonnay you’ve ever had in your life and not one of those overly oaky ones from California. If you want even more oomph, a lush peachy Pinot Gris from Oregon would be a great balance for the salty bacon and parmesan.

 

Ginger Scallion Meatballs

By Libbie Summers (recipe inspired by Epicurious)

This ain’t your Italian meatball! Minimal ingredients, full of delicious flavor, overly moist, gluten free and on the table in under 20 minutes. Use them as a main dish or appetizer with a simple sweet and sour sauce.
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Ginger Scallion Meatballs
makes 16

What you need:
1 pound ground fresh pork
1 egg
6 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced pickled ginger (sushi ginger), can substitute 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
2. In a large wooden bowl, stir together the fresh pork, egg, scallion, pickled ginger, ONLY 1 tablespoon oil and salt. 3. Stir mixture together pretty vigorously until it has lightened in color and shaggy (about 3 minutes).
3. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over a baking sheet. Working one at a time, use a small portion scoop or heaping tablespoon to scoop out portions and roll into balls; arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake meatballs until cooked through and browned on top, 8–10 minutes. 5. Serve warm as an appetizer with a simple Sweet and Sour Sauce or as a main course over jasmine rice with a Spinach Curry Sauce (recipe below).
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Spinach Curry Sauce

What you need: 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup store-bought or homemade Thai green curry paste
1 (5.4-oz.) can coconut cream
1 (5 oz.) container baby spinach
Juice from one lime

What to do: 
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add oil, onions and salt. Cook, stirring until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). 2. Stir in curry paste and cook for 1 minute.
3. Stir in coconut cream and bring to a low boil.
4. Stir in spinach and cook, stirring until spinach is wilted.
5. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
6. Add in lime juice and pulse until combined.

 

Adult Tuna Melt

By Libbie Summers

What started out as cheap mundane dorm fuel before parties has become a fancy adult lunch sandwich when made with layers of flavor that I couldn’t have appreciated at 18. 

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Adult Tuna Melt
Serves 1

What you need: 
1 thick slice of rustic bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (can sub adobo sauce or hot sauce)
1 (5 ounce) can tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, hand grated on large grate
1 cup mixed greens
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Flake sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

What to do:
Preheat broiler.
Place slice of bread on a baking sheet and slather with butter. Broil until just browned around the edges.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and chipotle powder.
Spread spicy mayonnaise over bread.
Top with tuna.
Top Tuna with grated cheese.
Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Top with greens. Squeeze lemon juice over greens. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a dash of salt and pepper.
Serve hot!

Pro Tip: If I have a red onion on hand, I will shave a few pieces and caramelize them in a pan with butter. Then top the tuna with them before adding the cheese. It’s a delightful surprise inside!

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Pork Carnitas

By Libbie Summers
Recipe by Pati Jinich (with a couple of tweaks)

I’ve been making carnitas since as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until the blizzard that hit New York City in January 2016 (when I made Pati Jinich’s recipe) that I upped my carnitas game. I was in NYC food styling a shoot for Better Homes and Gardens for their May issue (we were working 3 months in advance) and we were featuring Pati’s recipes from her new book. This was one of them…and it changed my life forever. Just the addition of one or two ingredients and a whole new world opens up. It’s easy, it’s affordable, it feeds a crowd and it’s damn near impossible to beat. 

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Pork Carnitas
serves 8

What you need: 
1/2 a white onionpeeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic
*1/2 whole jalapeno (cut lengthwise) *my addition
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cumin
4 whole clovesstems removed *(I used 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea saltor to taste
1 tablespoon lardvegetable shortening or oil
4 to 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or buttcut into 4-inch chunks, fat on!
Kosher or flake sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
Corn tortillas, charred for serving
Salsa verde, for serving (optional)
Radish, cut into matchsticks for serving (optional)
Cilantro, chopped for serving (optional)

What to do: 

In the jar of a blender, place the 1 1/2 cups water, onion, *jalapeno, garlic cloves, marjoram, thyme, black pepper, cumin, cloves and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth.
Set a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Add the lard (or vegetable shortening or oil), and once it has heated up, add the pork chunks and sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Brown the meat on all sides, stirring and flipping as each side browns, about 10 minutes.
Pour the onion mixture over the meat, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the orange juice and sweetened condensed milk, add the 2 bay leaves, and give it a good stir. Let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low to low and cover.
Cook covered, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the casserole 2 to 3 times along the way, until the meat is completely cooked and coming easily apart if you pull one piece, about one hour and a half (this took 2 1/2 to 3 hours for me). Remove the lid, cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop out the carnitas with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind, and serve in a bowl or platter. Shred with a fork, if desired, before tucking into tacos. Or do like we do, serve straight from the pot.
To Serve: Serve warm with charred tortillas and cilantro, salsa verde and radish on the side.
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Easy Egg Foo Young

By Libbie Summers

In 1997 this simple recipe helped make the toughest days aboard our 40′ sailboat, Calumet, a happier place. We were able to use up the bits and bobs of produce that was on its last legs AND enjoy a dinner that our then ten year old son said “tastes just like carryout from home”.
Pro Tip: Make this dish your own. Don’t have the produce I call for? Use what you have! Make sure there is a crunch inside and always make the brown sauce…always. 

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Easy Egg Foo Young
Serves 2 (can easily scale up for 4, 6 or more)

What you need: 
For Brown Sauce
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch
For Omelets
4 eggs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup finely shredded cabbage (can substitute bean sprouts)
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions plus more for garnish
Canola oil for frying
Sesame oil for frying (optional)

What to do:
1. Make Sauce: In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients and place over a medium heat. Heat, whisking often, until thickened.
2. Make Omelet Mixture: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, soy sauce, water and black pepper. Stir in cabbage, mushrooms and green onions.
3. Fry Omelets: In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil. Once oil begins to shimmer, use a 1/2 cup measuring scoop to add one scoop of mixture to the pan. Cook until bottom is set and beginning to brown and top is almost set. Use a spatula and flip omelet over and continue to cook until eggs are just done.
To Serve: Place omelets on plates or a platter and spoon sauce over. Garnish with green onion. Serve immediately.

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