Late July but it’s forty-five degrees and raining. It feels like snow is on the way. Even the bears have taken cover. We are huddling around a fire in front of a primitive cabin on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. For a fire pit someone long ago hauled rocks up from the shore. There is a blackened grill balanced on the rocks, and on the grill are six aluminum foil packages looking like giant Hershey’s Kisses. Chuck is roasting onions.
When we were making the list of things to buy for that fishing trip to Alaska oh so many years ago, Chuck, the camp chef, (not me) included five pounds of onions. As the new guy in the group, I asked whether five pounds might be more than we needed. The gang told me that we needed at least that many. “Chuck is a genius with onions. You’ll see.” And I did.
Here is how Chuck cooked onions on the grill on Afognak Island.
Onions (about 3 inches in diameter are best)
Plan on one onion for each hungry fisherman. Cut off the tops and bottoms and peel the outer layer from each onion. Make two right angle cuts in the top of each onion; don’t cut the onion in quarters, but cut deeply enough that you can open the top of the onion about a half inch. Put about two teaspoons of butter in the opening and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Wrap the onions in aluminum foil, finishing off the wrap by twisting it into a “handle” on top. Set on the grill over moderate heat. Cook about 20 minutes.
NOTES: If you have used enough aluminum foil, you will end up with onions that look like big Hershey’s Kisses. We like onions on the grill when we have hamburgers or steaks. I put the onions over the edge of the coals about ten minutes before starting the meat and use the “handles” to rotate the onions so they cook without burning. Larger onions need to cook longer.