Crunchy pickled onions


April 16, 2003|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Flo Davidson of Granby, Mass., wrote that she wanted a recipe for pickled onions. "My aunt made them and they were crisp and crunchy and not so sour as cocktail onions. As soon as I entered her kitchen, she'd get out a jar of them and some Jewish rye bread and butter. How I wish I had that recipe."

Dolores Cooney of Baltimore responded. "This is for Flo Davidson. I have used this recipe many, many times. Follow directions carefully, but most of all, don't overcook the onions or they will get soft."

Pickled Onions

Makes 5 half-pint jars

2 1/4 pounds small white pickling onions

2 cups pure coarse salt

3 quarts boiling water

several blades of mace

30 white peppercorns

10 whole cloves

1 1/4 bay leaves

1 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

Peel onions. Make a brine of 1 cup salt and 1 1/2 quarts boiling water and pour over the onions. Cover and let stand 2 days, then drain off brine. Again make the same amount of brine and pour over the onions in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling and boil gently 3 minutes. Again drain onions and pack tightly into clean, sterilized hot canning jars. Add to each jar a dime-sized blade of mace, 6 white peppercorns, 2 cloves and 1/4 bay leaf. Heat vinegar, water and sugar barely to a boil and fill the jars to the top with the mixture. Seal jars and let stand 3 to 4 weeks.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The mace and cloves give the finished onions a delicious, fragrant spiciness. The finished onions are still crunchy, with a salty-sweet flavor that makes them perfect as an accompaniment to burgers or grilled meats. If you want them a little kickier, you could add mustard seed to the jars, or the generic `pickling-spice' mix that is widely available."

Recipe requests

Diane C. Alther of Raeford, N.C., wants a clam-cake recipe. She writes, "When my husband and I were in the Boston, Mass., area, we dined at a restaurant by the shore that served the clam cakes, and they were wonderful. I sure would appreciate the recipe."

Rebecca Hart of Westminster says she is seeking a "delicious recipe for chocolate mousse that I lost in a move about 10 years ago. I have tried other recipes, but they were not as good. I would appreciate any help."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions.

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