The late Thomas Murrey, so long famous as a restaurateur, was one of the defenders of the onion. He said that the generally expressed American abhorrence for the vegetable was an affectation and that many of the most pronounced dissenters were often seen reveling on sauces fairly reeking with the flavor of the odoriferous bulb and its cousins.
The young green onions which are in the market in the spring are now to be had from the hothouses and are capable of preparation in numerous appetizing ways.
They must first be carefully washed in salt water, the roots and tops trimmed and then the onions tied again in small bunches. These must be put over the fire in boiling salted water and cooked for ten minutes. This time allowance is for the very young ones; a longer time must be allowed in proportion. They are then drained and placed on dry toast with melted butter and pepper and served hot.
The Spanish onion, which is now in season, seems to be the established favorite for both cooking and for salads, although the young Bermuda is also delicious in flavor and specially adapted for the salad. The Spanish onion scalloped is excellent when cooked after this recipe:
Peel two pounds of Spanish onions; put them over the fire in sufficient boiling water to cover them, with a teaspoonful of salt and boil them until tender. Meantime, grate an equal quantity of bread crumbs and just moisten them with cold milk. When the onions are tender, pull them apart with two forks and put them into a buttered earthen baking dish in layers with the moistened bread crumbs; season each layer lightly with salt and pepper; let the top layer be of bread crumbs. Put a tablespoonful of butter over it in small pieces and place the dish in a hot oven until well browned over, then serve at once.
Baked and stuffed, the Spanish onion is also a most agreeable dish. For this, take six medium-sized onions; take out the centers with a scoop; parboil them for three minutes and put them upside down on a cloth to drain. When drained, fill the inside with forcemeat of bacon, or sausage mixed with the heart of the onion minced very fine; also bread crumbs, pepper, salt, mace and a spoonful of cream. Stuff the onions with this and simmer in the oven for an hour, basting often with melted butter. When done take the onions up carefully without breaking, place them, open ends uppermost, in a vegetable dish. Add to the gravy in the baking pan the juice of half a lemon, four tablespoonfuls of cream and a little browned flour. Boil up and pour over the onions.
Closely allied with the onion in the black list of foods is one frequently served with it, namely tripe. It is capable of wonderful effects in its preparation and strangely enough with epicures is a distinct favorite. The famous amateur cooks who prepare terrapin and oysters for their bachelor parties also cook tripe in various forms, especially in the chafing dish.
Tripe with oysters is a delightful dish cooked in Creole style, broiled lyonnaise or curried. With oysters it may be cooked after the following method and will be found excellent:
Thoroughly wash a pound of double tripe in cold, well salted water, drain and scald it. When cold cut it into narrow two-inch strips and let it simmer an hour in a quart of clear soup stock, with a stalk of celery. Roll four ounces of butter into little balls; roll them in flour, add one at a time to the tripe, stir continually and as soon as one is melted add another. When all are used let it simmer half an hour longer. Put the tripe into an earthenware dish and when cold place in the icebox until next morning. When wanted, warm the tripe (at table is best), add about thirty medium oysters, let it simmer three minutes, season with salt and white pepper and serve on thin toast.
Tripe, New Orleans-style
The New Orleans fashion of preparing tripe is very much in favor. Cut one and a half pounds of tripe into small pieces and fry them in a pan with two ounces of butter, one chopped onion and half of a green pepper, also chopped. Brown them slightly for six minutes; then transfer them to a saucepan with one chopped tomato and one-half pint Spanish sauce and season with a pinch of salt, a half-pinch of pepper and a crushed clove of garlic and a bay leaf. Cook for ten minutes and serve with a spoonful of chopped parsley on top. Spanish sauce is a mixture of butter, flour and good broth, stirred till smooth, simmered for about an hour and put through a sieve, when butter is added.