This is a fantastic recipe for stuffed onions because you use the grill to smoke the onions as well as grilling them, which infuses the whole dish with a beautiful smoky flavor. If you want to make stuffed onions for vegetarians, you can omit the bacon and substitute finely chopped vegetables for the sausage meat.
This stuffed onion recipe makes a great side dish or you can serve each person two as a main course. This is a great grilled vegetable recipe for the barbecue because onions grill very nicely and the apple wood smoke pouch gives these stuffed onions a really mouthwatering taste, which everybody is sure to love.
Stuffed onions do not get more flavorful or elegant than in this recipe and you will love the taste. There are perhaps a few more ingredients in the ingredients list than you might have expected but each ingredient contributes to the overall flavor of this dish, adding its own flavor in there. White onions are combined with sausage meat (your favorite ground meat, although pork is an especially good choice here) and artichoke. Tomatoes, basil and oregano add an Italian flair to this dish, and a little salt and black pepper finishes off the flavor spectrum. This delicious mixture is then spooned into hollowed out Spanish onions, and this is a very easy step too. Wrap bacon around each one, both to add a nice, meaty and salty flavor, and also to help hold the onions together.
The prepared onions are then cooked over hot coals and woodchips to add more dimensions to the flavor. You can just start to smoke and cook these when you are ready so if you have a lot of people over and you want to prepare as many dishes as you can before they start to arrive, just make these in the morning and keep them covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them. Covering them is important unless you want everything in your refrigerator to start smelling of onions! Knowing you can make these stuffed onions in advance is very handy though, so you might want to do this as a make-ahead recipe. Because the smoke takes longer to flavor the onions than a high heat would take to cook them, keep these stuffed onions cooking over an indirect heat so the smoke can take its time to add maximum flavor appeal to the onions.
Blending sweetness, saltiness and other flavors, the harmony in this recipe will really impress you. One of these served with a grilled chicken breasts makes the most wonderful meal, or you might like to serve one as an accompaniment to something really elegant like a barbequed lobster or crab. The sky is the limit really. Side dishes as good as this one go with so many different things and you will be able to make up your own. Another idea would be to serve one of these with some crusty buttered bread for lunch.
- 6 Spanish onions, peeled
- 3 tomatoes, chopped and deseeded
- 1 cup chopped artichokes
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 6 slices lean bacon
- ¼ cup black olives, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 spicy Italian sausages
- 1 white onion in ½ inch rings
- Fresh rosemary to garnish
- 3 cups apple wood chips
- Prepare the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to a medium high heat. Oil the grill and put the white onion slices over the heat.
- Grill for a couple of minutes per side or until you have grill marks on them.
- Remove from the grill and cool, and then chop finely.
- Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings into a bowl and add the olives, grilled onions, tomatoes, oregano, basil, artichokes and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Core the onions, leaving a ¼ inch border and put them on a baking sheet. Put the sausage mixture inside and put in the refrigerator to set.
- Put 2 cups of the apple wood chips in to a bowl of cold water for an hour. Set the stuffed onions on a perforated grill tray after you wrap a piece of bacon around each and secure it with a toothpick. Make a smoke pouch by draining the wet wood chips and squeezing out the excess water, then spreading them on a large piece of aluminum foil.
- Put the dry wood chips on top and mix them together. Close the foil around the wood chips to make a sealed package and puncture holes in the top and bottom to let the smoke flow through.
- Prepare the grill for indirect grilling, heating it to 220 degrees F.
- Put the smoke pouch directly over the heat, close the lid and wait for smoke.
- Put the stuffed onions on the side of the grill with indirect heat and smoke them for 45 to 60 minutes or until the filling is cooked through and the onions are tender.
- Serve with fresh rosemary as a garnish and a dollop of sour cream.
The apple woodchips give this stuffed onion the most wonderfully distinct smoky flavor that brings out a really nice mix in tastes. You get to enjoy the sweetness of the onions, the salty taste of the bacon and other flavors besides. The bacon and sausage keep the whole thing nice and moist and add further to the overall flavor. This is a delightful appetizer to serve at a cookout dinner or you could serve one alongside a grilled chicken breast or even with lobster or crab if you do not mind 2 or 3 kinds of meat together.
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