Tag Archives: onions

Pork Tenderloin with Onions & New Season Potatoes (serves 4)

It is the time of year in Ireland when you start seeing potatoes with layers of thick dirt attached to their thin skins. The New Season potatoes are in the supermarkets, butcher shops and Farmer’s Markets all across the country and it would be a shame not to take advantage of this delicious crop.

Pork Tenderloin with onions & New Season Potatoes

All they need is to be scrubbed and boiled. Eating them directly from the cooking pot slathered in butter and salt is a pleasure that should be seized with gusto.

They were also pretty great thrown in last-minute to this quick pork dish.


You will need:

2 tbs unsalted butter

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb), sliced thinly

8 to 12 medium new season potatoes (available at the beginning of summer until supplies last!)

1 large or 2 medium sweet or yellow onions, sliced into thin 1/2 circles

2 sprigs rosemary

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken broth (or good quality chicken or veggie bouillon cube & water)

1 tsp sea-salt (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes)

several grinds black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream


1 – Prep all ingredients (chop onions, slice meat). Wash and scrub the potatoes and place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Place on medium/high heat and cover with lid. Boil until the potatoes are cooked (soft all the way through). Drain, place teacloth on top of potatoes and set aside.

Saute onions

2 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add butter. Add onions and rosemary and cook for 15 minutes, or until the onions are nice and soft.

add broth, then pork

3 – Add the sliced pork and stir into the onions in an even layer and turn heat up until pork starts to cook. When the pork has lost most of it’s pink color (about 2 minutes), add the flour and stir. Add the white wine and let it boil and thicken for about 30 seconds.

add broth, then pork

4 – Add the salt, pepper, and the remainder of the liquid and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down, cover and cook very gently for about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and cream

5 – Remove lids, add cream and potatoes and stir gently. Cook until heated through.


Serve as is, or with some peas or other green vegetable.

Whole Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Cherry Tomatoes & Onions (serves 4-6)

This dinner was inspired by my mother, who sadly is no longer in this world. Among countless other things, she was an outstanding gardener, and when her children left one by one, she put all of her energy into the dirt outside the house. One day when walking in the garden with my sister, among the roses, the trees, the heavy baskets of flowers weighing down the little stone bridge by the gate, she turned and said, “everywhere you look, you’ll see me” She was right. The gnarly rosemary bush aptly planted by the kitchen door is such a physical reminder of her, and I am so thankful for what she left behind.

Whole Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Cherry Tomatoes & Onions

The wonderful thing about last night’s dinner is I was able to walk out that same back door, and cut some heady sprigs of rosemary from her plant, and make something perfume-y and delicious for dinner. I am lucky enough to be home for the summer, which means: sleeping in my old room, admire my mother’s roses, cook dinner for my sisters and kids each evening, and walk the familiar country roads around our house.

My mother’s rosemary plant

Sometimes the food is only part of the story, and knowing that the flavor from the broth came from a herb my mother planted over 30 years ago changed the dish into something special for every member of the family.

 Sentimental, but true


*Blood Type A Friendly Diet*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs and as “free range” as possible)

1/2 lemon (optional)

2 medium/large sweet onions, cut into 6 wedges each

2 cups cherry tomatoes (yellow or red, OR a combination of the two)

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 cup white wine

2 cups veggie or chicken broth (or good quality bouillon cube and 2 cups water)

1 tsp course sea-salt

freshly ground black pepper (omit for Blood Type A Diet)


Preheat oven 425*

1 – Place the veggies, herbs and liquid in bottom of heavy casserole, or dutch oven with lid.

Place veggies and broth in bottom of pan

2 – Place chicken on top and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon to cavity (if using). Cover with lid and place in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Place chicken on top

3 – Take out and let pot sit for 5 or so minutes before serving.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours

Serve with anything you like. In our house some had it on a bed of romaine leaves, while others sopped it up with basmati rice.

Crisp romaine leaves

Roast Cut-Up Chicken with Onions & Celery with Tagliatelle (serves 4)

 I love the onion-y and buttery-ness of this chicken dish. It is one of the most comforting and satisfying meals around. There are no end of variations when it comes to popping chicken into the oven, of which I am becoming an expert!

Roast Cut-Up Chicken with Onions, Celery & Tagliatelle

If you keep chicken in your freezer, onions in a basket, and celery in your crisper at all times, there is no excuse when it comes to pulling something like this together.

This same dish would work just as well with only onions, or carrots, parsnips, cubed potatoes, celery alone, garlic with parsley…..do you see where I’m going with this?

Get Cooking!


You will need: 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 whole cut-up chicken, 2 medium sweet onions, quartered, 3 celery ribs, cut into 2″ pieces and each piece cut into thick match sticks, 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, 1 good quality bouillon cube, crumbled, 4 cups water, 1 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 tbs all-purpose flour, sea-salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season, 12 oz tagliatelle egg noodles

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Prep ingredients as instructed above. scatter the onions, celery, parsley, and bouillon cube into bottom of heavy saute or roasting pan.

Scatter onions and celery into bottom of pan

2 – Season chicken with sea-salt and black pepper and lay on top of veggies in an even layer. Drizzle meat with oil and add the water to pan. place in oven for 35 minutes.

Place chicken on top

3 – Take out of oven and baste with pan juices. Reduce heat to 375* and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.

Roast Chicken

*time tagliatelle to be ready when pan sauce is cooked*

4 – Remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil. Put pan with juices onto low heat. Mix the flour and butter in a bowl until it becomes a paste. Using a whisk, swirl into the pan sauce. Continue to stir and cook for 3 minutes. The sauce will thicken, and become buttery and delicious.

Lovely pan sauce

Serve with tagliatelle and a tablespoon or two of chopped parsley.

Melted Onions with Cumin Seeds (serves 6 as side-dish)

Melted Onions with Cumin Seeds

I made a whole dinner around these onions last night, and, because they were so darn good, I thought they deserved their very own post.


Who doesn’t love slow-cooked, carmelized onions? I don’t know one person who would refuse such a delightful treat. I am a devotee of every variety in the onion family!

pearl onions.

Onions have been an important part of our lives since ancient times when bronzed Greek athletes would eat large quantities of them to enrich their blood and make them stronger, not to mention the fact that gladiators would rub their muscles down with raw onions to ensure a good performance!

cipollino Onions

I start almost every dinner with sautéing onions, and it makes the house smell sweet and mouth-wateringly delicious. Throw a couple of onions on the pan and it inevitably summons a crowd to the kitchen inquiring,  “when will dinner be ready!”

onions always part of my base flavors

In Ireland a favorite pub snack is a grilled cheese sandwich with a smattering of thinly sliced onions. If you have never tried it, now is the time. The crunch and tang of the onions in combination with the melting cheese and greasy bread is addictive.

Ramps (wild leeks)

Last night I bought two giant sweet onions just to have in the pantry, but, when I got them home, all I wanted to do was eat them both for dinner. if I were alone I would have cooked them up just how I did last night and simply piled them on a piece of toasted crusty bread, finishing it off with a shower of freshly cracked black pepper. Maybe next time…

big pan of sweet onions

If I remember in time, one of my favorite things to do with onions is to cook them in butter for a long time. It is nothing new and most people know how to do this. Sometimes sugar can be added to enhance the sweetness that comes from the slow-cooking. I was using sweet onions so didn’t bother.

Diced red onions

Darina Allen, Ireland’s foremost authority in the kitchen, makes a dish called melted leeks, which is basically the same thing, only using leeks. This is also nothing new, but I loved her description “melted” to describe what happened to them after a lengthy time on the stove top.

Grilled onions..

As I began to cook my big pan of  half-moon slices, I decided to add something new to the mix. I had bought a jar of cumin seeds to cook with some pork chops last week (see post “Crusty Pork Chops”) and still had the taste on my tongue. Why not flavor the onions with cumin seeds?

braising Vidalia onions.

What a great idea (of course, I’m sure it has been done before!). The onions and cumin were perfect partners, working off each other to bring out the most flavor possible.

shallots & peppercorns

I cooked some pork tenderloin and a side of braised collard green to go with them and it was delicious. Cumin can be an acquired taste so was hoping my kids would not balk. I am happy to report that I got rave reviews. With all the food piled on their plate they were unaware that the star of the dish was the melted onions laced with cumin.

onions and bacon

This side-dish would be great on so many things; pork chops, grilled chicken, steak, any fish, tossed in pasta with a little broth and cream, on a grilled cheese sandwich, on a cuban sandwich (on any sandwich), in an omelette, the list goes on.

Buy a couple of sweet onions this weekend and experiment.


You will need: 2 large sweet onions (or yellow onions and 1 tsp sugar), cut in half & sliced into medium-sized half-moons, 3 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp sea-salt (I used Maldon salt flakes).

1 – Put a big pan on medium heat (one that has a lid) and add the butter. When it has melted, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add cumin, salt and pepper

2 – Add the seasonings and give a stir. Continue to cook like this for about 15 more minutes, adjusting heat if necessary and stirring occasionally.

3 – Cover with lid and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, or, until the onions are meltingly soft.

Melted Onions with Cumin Seeds

Serve with whatever you please (see above for suggestions)

I served the onions with pork tenderloin and braised collard greens (will post recipe in the future)

Whole Chicken Cooked with Creamy Celery (serves 4)

 When the cupboards are getting bare, I usually have onions and celery in the house. They keep for a long time and do wonders for anything they are added to.

If you are not sure what to keep on hand for those days you do not want to go shopping (that would be me), or, it is just that time of the week when you generally run out of ingredients, put 3 things on your list of staples; onions, celery, chicken broth, OR, good quality bouillon cubes. If you have these few things, you will never be stuck.

I buy a really great vegetarian bouillon cube  which has herbs and sea-salt added. In a pinch, they are all I need to pull together a soup or stew-like dish. They also make a great base for various pasta sauces (will be posting about this wonder-cubes in my pantry section tomorrow!)

This was a wonderful and simple method to coax the most flavor out of my chicken dinner!

Yes, it is also a good idea to have a couple of chickens in the freezer, and a stock of canned goods such as plum tomatoes.

It is also worth mentioned that this dinner costs pennies to make.

Last night I put all my stables to the best possible use and whipped together yet another amazing chicken dinner! It took little or no effort on my part and the flavors were not compromised. I give all the credit to a few sticks of celery and a couple of onions.


You Will Need: 3 1/2 lb whole chicken, 4 big celery ribs, including leaves, sliced, 2 medium onions (yellow or sweet), large dice,  2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 14oz can plum tomatoes, including juices, 2 cups chicken broth (or, 1 good quality veggie or chicken bouillon cube & 2 cups of water), 1/2 cup heavy cream, sea-salt and freshly cracked pepper to season chicken.

Preheat oven 425*

saute veggies, then add liquid

1 – Put heavy-lidded casserole on medium heat on stove top and add butter and oil. Add the onions and celery and cook for 15 or so minutes. add the cream, tomatoes, thyme, and broth and bring to a simmer.

add chicken

2 – Lay the whole chicken on top of everything and spoon some of the juices and greens over the skin. Place the lid on your pot and place in the oven for 70 to 75 minutes.

3 – Transfer chicken to a plate and cover for 10 minutes to rest and cool down a little.

Whole chicken cooked in Creamy Celery (my son had some rice in his broth)

This dish has lots of yummy broth so serve in shallow bowls giving each person a big piece of their favorite part of the chicken. You can also serve it along with rice, pasta or crusty bread.

Aromatic Roast Chicken with Baby Peas & Onions (serves 6)

 Tonight I felt very happy to be in my crappy kitchen. We had been away for a week, and as we took the long drive home, the thought that kept me from getting “car fever” was the image of me cooking dinner with my family all piled in around me. At this particular time in my life, it seems to be routine to head to the kitchen around 6pm, make dinner, eat, and then write about it. I could complain that my life seems predictable, which in turn could make it boring, or hun-drum, but, the fact is, that’s not the case at all. I love my evenings, and on the journey home, I could have day-dreamed about all sorts of  exciting things. Instead, I found myself longing for the familiar. Like when you are in some strange place, sleeping in some strange bed, you find yourself longing for your pillow and the smell of your sheets.

Aromatic Roast Chicken with Peas & Onions

For me, nothing says home better than chicken. I am a lover of that succulent white and dark meat, and I never tire of inventing new ways of cooking it. Tonight I had to make chicken as a welcome home greeting to me! I refused to buy any vegetables to go with my chicken as I was going to be picking up my wonderful veggies from my CSA the very next day (look to the top right of my blog for more info. on what that means). I had some onions and frozen peas, and, they would have to flesh out the dish. Because it is the height of summer, my herb garden is in full bloom and I had all sorts of flavors right outside my back door to choose from. I choose thyme and basil. I always favor something sweet to go with chicken, and what could be better than the liquorice-y aroma of basil, and the sugary taste of thyme leaves!

While I was cooking, my friend Shawn called, and as we chatted he suggested that I needed more “pots” to serve my food from, as he was getting tired of seeing pictures of the same dishes! So, this evening, I pulled out a dish from my reserved stash to photograph the finished dish. I hope he approves (I’m sure he will, since he made the pot!).

Dinner was divine, and if you want to feel all cozy and comforted, you need to make this dinner; it should do the trick!


You will need: 1 whole cut up chicken OR 4 drumsticks, 3 thighs, 2 whole chicken breast (bone-in, skin on), extra skin removed,  2 large sweet onions, diced, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, a bunch basil leaves with stalks, left whole, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 cups water, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning, 2 cups fresh or frozen baby peas (I used frozen), 1 tbs unsalted cold butter.

Preheat oven 425*

Basil, thyme & onions

1 – Put onions, followed by herbs in big saute or roasting pan (big enough to hold chicken in 1 snug layer).

lay chicken on top of herbs & onions

2 – Lay chicken on top and add 1 cup of broth and a 1/2 cup of water. Drizzle chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for 35 minutes.

Turn heat down to 400* Take out and check, adding another 1 cup of water. Place back into oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is nice and browned and cooked through (test by cutting into a piece of the thigh. The juices should be clear and the meat tender).

Remove chicken and add peas to pan juices

3 – Remove chicken to a plate and put pan or roasting dish on stove-top on medium heat. Add the peas and another 1/2 cup of water, and let the liquid come back to a simmer. Simmer until peas are cooked (between 3-5 minutes). Swirl in 1 tbs of unsalted butter.

Dinner by me, lovely serving bowl by my friend Shawn Ireland!

Serve on its own, or, with pasta or rice.

Ginger Chicken with Basmati Rice (serves 6)

I would certainly give this dinner a big thumbs up! I pulled a cut-up chicken from the freezer in the morning, and didn’t think much about what to do with it until one of the kids asked what great culinary delight was in store for them (not his exact words mind you)? I was in the mood to please, so I tried to think of something really impressive, “Chicken, infused with a gingery broth, sweetened with basil leaves form the garden, served with aged basmati rice!”  With words like that, my children were expecting something very grand indeed!

Ginger Chicken for dinner last night

When it came time to cook dinner I got a late start due to one thing or another. I asked if we could put the chicken thing off until tomorrow and make something fast (like a sandwich?), but I was pleaded and begged for the ginger chicken! I wanted to slow cook it, but now I had to think of a more efficient method. I decided to sear the meat which would give me a head start, and use a heavy casserole which would intensify the heat inside the pot.

I love using as little ingredients as I can when it come to cooking chicken in the summertime.  I decided to blanket the chicken in big slices of onions, and use fresh basil leaves for sweetness, (as well as it adding a shock of color to go with the milky white complexion of the ginger broth). I had tiny button mushrooms, and they were the perfect last addition to this dish.

If you want to cook something impressively elegant and fresh with practically little effort, then this is the dinner you should cook this week. You will not be disappointed with the flavors, and the succulent tender meat. Throw it on the minute you get in the door and enjoy an hour chatting with the family while dinner cooks itself!


You will need: 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces (about 3 1/2-4lbs), 3 tbs olive oil, 2 cups baby mushrooms, left whole, 2 medium sweet onions. sliced whole into rounds, 14 basil leaves, left whole,  1″ piece of ginger root, peeled & quartered, 1 tbs minced fresh ginger root, (use the finest side of your grater or a zester), 1 cup white wine, (can be on the sweet side, like a Riesling or sweet-style chardonnay),  1 1/2 cups water, coarse sea salt (I use Maldon), freshly ground black pepper, 6 cups cooked basmati rice (2 1/2 cups raw for stove-top method & 3 cups using rice cup for rice cooker).

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put pan on high heat, add 2 tbs of oil and sear chicken in batches until browned (about 2 minutes per side. You may need to add more oil for second batch). Don’t try to do this in 1 step or the meat will not brown fast and crisply. Transfer to plate and set aside.

Sear Chicken

2 – In a heavy casserole or dutch oven (which has a lid) line the bottom with 1 onion, followed by 1/2 of the basil and 1 cup of mushrooms and 2 pieces of the ginger quarters. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp coarse salt and several grinds of pepper over everything.

onion rounds, basil, mushrooms

3 – Next, add the chicken in an even layer, followed by most of the basil and the last 2 pieces of ginger.

next, chicken and basil

4 – Top with a last layer of onion rounds, 1 cup mushrooms and a few basil leaves. Combine the minced ginger with the water and wine in a small bowl with a fork, and pour into the casserole. Add a few grinds of pepper, cover and place in oven for about 65 minutes.

While chicken is in the oven, cook the rice. I used a fantastic aged basmati by Swad (look in my pantry section for more details)

lastly, onions and mushrooms (& liquids)

Remove from oven and let the dish sit for about 10 minutes before serving with rice in warm shallow bowls.

This was amazing!

To serve: Put a cup of rice in bottom of bowl, top with chicken and vegetables, and add lots of gingery broth.