Yield: Makes 10 stuffed onions

Ingredients

  • 10 medium onions
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups onions chopped*
  • ¼ cup green olives chopped
  • 1 ½ cups raw meat chopped
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mini capers chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro minced
  • 1 chili jalapeño chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups Homemade Mexican Tomato Sauce (see recipe below)
  • ½ teaspoon each oregano and thyme, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Onion Shells

Cut a 1/2-inch-thick slice from tops of onions, discarding tops, and trim just enough from bottoms for onions to stand upright. Scoop out all but outer 2 or 3 layers from each onion using a small ice cream scoop or spoon (don't worry if you make a hole in the bottom), reserving scooped-out onion and the onion shells separately.

Stuffing

Coarsely chop enough scooped-out onion to measure 2 cups.

Cook chopped onion in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and green chili and sauté for about 3 minutes, then add chopped meat and let fry for another 10 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and let cook for 5 more minutes, then add the cappers, olives, cilantro, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and let it cook for another 3 minutes. Add 1 cup tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes until it thickens and becomes less liquidy. Turn off heat and let stuffing cool.

Stir occasionally to mix stuffing evenly.

Stuffing and Cooking the Onion Shells

Arrange onion shells in pan, open sides up, and steam onions until tender but not falling apart (25 to 30 minutes).

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Transfer shells to a work surface. Fill shells with stuffing, mounding it. Pour remaining tomato sauce in an oven dish and put the stuffed onions on top of the sauce. Cover dish with aluminum foil, place in middle of oven, and bake about 25 minutes, then uncover and let brown for 5 more minutes (or until brown). Serve with the tomato sauce.

Homemade Mexican Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 6 pounds ripening tomatoes, cut in half and squeezed into a pot
  • ½ an onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (optional)

Cook tomatoes for about 2 hours over a low flame, let cool for 10 minutes and blend it by batches, in blender, with onion and garlic. Strain back into the same pot together with the extra virgin olive oil, 2 bay leaves and (optional) dried oregano and let cook for another 45 minutes. At the last moment, add salt to taste.

You can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months and use it for different dishes.

Some Additional Serving Suggestions for the Mexican Tomato Sauce:

Mexican-style Breakfast:

Place fried eggs on top of a tortilla, top with the Mexican Tomato Sauce and some shredded cheddar cheese and broil. Serve with cooked black beans or re-fried beans and chili sauce.

Enchiladas:

Fry tortillas in oil and soak them in warm Mexican Tomato Sauce. Fill them with cheese and serve with sour cream and onions as garnish. You can also mix in chili sauce for a spicy taste.