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onions

Peeling Back the Layers

Onions Star in 3 Seasonal Recipes

By Mary Reilly

Onions are the kitchen workhorse. So many delicious recipes are built on their savory foundation. Without onions, we’d have no mirepoix, Cajun trinity or soffrito. But these pantry MVPs can star on their own as well. In these recipes, we celebrate the onion’s, well, “onion-ness.” Whether they’re red, white, yellow or sweet, show off your onions!

Aunt Helen’s Three-Cheese Onions

I was introduced to this dish at a family Thanksgiving dinner. The casserole is more a condiment than a side dish, so don’t be scared by the amount of cheese in the dish, as the serving size will be small. Serves 6–8 as a side dish.

Butter, for greasing baking dish
6 large onions, sliced
Freshly ground pepper
1½ c. (6 oz.) shredded Havarti
10 oz. Boursin cheese (substitute herbed goat cheese)
1½ cup (6 oz.) shredded Gruyere

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease a 2-qt. baking dish with butter.

Layer one-third of the onions into the dish and sprinkle with Havarti and a few pinches of ground pepper. Top with another one-third of the onions and then, add Boursin and a few more pinches of pepper. Put the rest of the … Read More

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DIYMKE-Yogurt

Yogurt-Making 101

Recipes and Photography by Mary Reilly

I never feel like my fridge is fully stocked unless I have a container of yogurt on hand. While store-bought yogurt is a pretty good thing, over the last few years I have gotten into the habit of making my own. The process is easy, and a quart of homemade yogurt is a quarter of the price of what I buy at the supermarket. With probiotics promoting the good bacteria in your stomach, it’s good to have this healthy stuff on hand.

No-Frills Yogurt

The first step in yogurt-making: find great yogurt to use as your starter culture. Ideally, you can find yogurt made with fresh local milk, but in a pinch, I’ve used yogurt from the supermarket with great success. Just look for a variety that contains nothing but milk and cultures (no pectin, no stabilizers). This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. Makes 1 quart.

1 qt. fresh milk
2 T. plain yogurt

Heat milk in a saucepan over a medium-low flame until it reaches about 190 degrees (the milk will be steaming, a skin will form across the top, and bubbles will form around the edge of the pot). Turn off … Read More

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Salt

Waste Not, Want Not

A Recipe for All Season[ing]s

Column by Mary Reilly
Photography by Dominic Perri

One of the greatest things about summer is cooking with gorgeous fresh vegetables. But my heart always breaks a bit when I see the pile of scraps littering my workspace after a marathon cooking session. That detritus—the scraps, peels and leafy tops—always promises even more pleasure. For years I’ve wracked my brain for ways to use it all.

Stocks, soups, pestos … all these options have been fully explored in my kitchen, but I recently discovered yet another way to use those scraps. It has changed the way I cook and season my food. (It’s also given me a bottomless arsenal of hostess and holiday gifts.) I make seasoned salts.

The procedure is simple: measure the vegetables, grind them up in a food processor or blender, and then add an equal weight of salt. I spread the shaggy, moist mixture across a sheet pan in a thin layer and let it dry, either in my oven or on the counter (the oven is faster—your salt will be ready in a few hours; the counter method will take a day or two, depending on the humidity in your … Read More

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