“No,” will be the response by my wife to this recipe. Not to the recipe itself, but to the timing.

“Why?” Suzen will say, “Do you want stuffed onions, meat-stuffed onions, on Thanksgiving when you will already be having bread-and-sausage stuffing?”

“Because I do,” will be my response. That's true. I'm just intrigued at the whole idea.

I play Blackjack, the only casino game where the betting advantage is with you and not the house. To secure that advantage, something you have to do at times is double down — double your bet and draw one card. If you are dealt an 11, you always double down. And that act is one of the steps that gives you the advantage to win over time.

On Thanksgiving, this Thanksgiving, I want to double down. I want these lovely Stuffed White Onions. The recipe is one that Claude Monet enjoyed and he actually wrote this recipe down in his culinary journals — journals that were translated into the book Monet’s Table back in 1989.

Now, I don’t know how Monet enjoyed these onions. Did he have them along with roast turkey and stuffing? I don’t know if he did. But, more importantly, I have no proof that he did not.

You know, I think that line of argument is not going to be too compelling with Suzen. I may have to beg. Or, wait until Christmas. We’ll be visiting my daughter, Kelly, who is always eager to please me. And, when I tell her boyfriend Mark about doubling down on stuffing, he’s going to beam.

Mark likes Monet, too.

Stuffed White Onions as Enjoyed by Claude Monet

Yield: serves 4


  • 4 large white onions
  • 1 cup ground cooked roast pork, chicken or calves’ liver
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs
  • ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 hardboiled egg


Cut ½–inch slices off the tops of the onions. Blanch the onions, by putting them into boiling water to cover and cooking for 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Scoop out the center of each, leaving about a ½ inch wall. Combine the ground cooked meat with the chives, dried mixed herbs, and half the grated cheese. Mash the egg yolk and chop the white; combine them with the rest of the mixture. Stuff the onions with the mixture, mounding it slightly above the level of the onions.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the onions in a greased roasting pan and sprinkle with the rest of the grated Gruyere cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Source: Monet’s Table by Claire Jones [Simon and Schuster, 1989]