It is the Saturday night before Passover. Monday I need to start on dessert and I hope to post a couple more recipes before it gets to late. I love this dish, it is traditional Turkish or Rhodosli Sephardic flavors, parsley, tomato. It could be more hightly spiced or flavored but I think on Passover the feeling of keeping the ingredients simple runs through as our people were in a hurry to leave and didn’t take much with them. We have the bare minimum with the matza and Nona used to say you keep the flavoring agents in a dish simple for this holiday. Fresh green herbs, onions, tomatoes, and things readily available.
4medium yellow onions
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 cup minced fresh parsley plus 1/3 cup for garnish later
1 and1/ 2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 2 large cloves)
Freshly ground pepper
1/ 2 cup matzo meal
3 to 5 extra large eggs
Safflower oil for frying (or any kosher for Passover oil you prefer)
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree or chopped tomatoes
2 cups diced fresh Roma tomatoes (small dice)
1 cup of water
Peel onions and reserve dried brown skins for another recipe. Cut onions down one side through until the center. I choose elongated onions more oval in shape not flat round. Slice bearded end off onion and cut a small piece of the top end. Carefully remove outer layers in one piece by placing your thumb around the cut edge of each onion to loosen individual layers, then by pushing from the narrow end down to stem end to release. If onion layers crack a bit don’t worry. Each onion yields from 5 to 7 shells to stuff. Set onion shells aside on cutting board for a moment.
Mince remaining insides of onions and using your hands combine with ground meat, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, and matzo meal. Incorporate 3 eggs into meat to complete stuffing. Stuffing should be fluffy. If it seems dry and hard add another egg. Loosely stuff onion shells. Roll onions tighter into circles and secure with a toothpick. Place onions on a plate and heat a 12 inch skillet on medium-high heat.
Add about 3 tablespoons oil to pan to a depth shy of 1/ 4 inch. Place onions open side down in oil. Fry each onion until golden brown on ends and some of the sides. I use tongs to turn onions. Onions do not have to be completely cooked as they bake in oven to finish.
Remove onions from skillet to an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish. Heat oven to 350° F. In a large pitcher combine canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, and water. Stir to mix. Pour sauce over top of onions, season with sea salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh minced parsley. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 1/ 2 hour covered and then uncover. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.