Stick Cloves into onions

sally2_gwFebruary 19, 2012


This is an instruction I've come across since my early days of cooking when I learned to cook from Irma Rombauer. Why not have onions and a few cloves in the soup? Why not stick the cloves into something else, such as a celery stick, or a potato, or some other ingredient? And why not just add a dash of ground cloves. I've done this when I was out of whole cloves. Is there a reaction between the cloves and onion that impart a certain flavor to the dish that wouldn't be there if you added the clove flavor another way?


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Because then you can retrieve the onion and the cloves and not risk getting a whole clove in your spoon.
The directions telling you to stick cloves into an onion are my experience...referring to a fairly delicate creamy sauce as a bechamel.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I've mainly seen it in recipes for soups, at least, that's what I remember. It wouldn't surprise me that when I was first starting to cook I'd pass on recipes that used a bechamel sauce due to being intimidated. It wouldn't concern me now, but might have then.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Soup or Bechamel - I think Lindas theory is correct - it is for ease of removal when serving. No one wants to bite into a whole clove any more than they want to bite into a whole bay leaf.

I've also seen numerous recipes that hae you tie the dried cloves, allspice, etc into a cheesecloth bag to remove them all when the dish is finished.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I've always stuck one or two cloves into an onion when making chicken stock. I always count how many whole peppercorns I use, too, so I can retrive all of them. I suppose tying them up in some cheesecloth would be a better option LOL,


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Easy retrieval is what I always figured. As for chicken stock, I run mine through a fine mesh strainer so no need to count or stick anything anywhere!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 5:36PM
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I always put whole allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves, and other chunky spices like cloves in a tea ball. Toss it into the soup or stew. When the dish is done, just fish the tea ball out. Really easy and I don't have to tie up any packages of cheesecloth. Plus, the tea ball gets used over & over again.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 5:46PM
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Yup, just for easy retrieval. A whole onion is less likely to fall apart than a stalk of celery or a potato. As said, though, a tea ball or cheese cloth or straining works as well.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 9:13PM
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In most instances a cheesecloth bag or tea ball would work just as well, but I have beans soaking for Boston Baked Beans. Sure enough, the recipe calls for studding an onion with cloves. I guess I COULD put in a cheesecloth bag, but I cook beans until they are thick and sticky and so I think the onion is a better option.

I agree, it's for ease in removing the cloves.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Okie dokie. I've now got a good supply of whole cloves, but I figure if I'm out, and have on had ground cloves, a dash into the dish I'm making would suffice.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 12:01PM
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