Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vidalia Onion Pie


First of all, I want to apologize to all that do not have access to these southern gems. Though this produce is shipped widely throughout the states, many of you will never know the reward of this sweet, succulent allium. Vidalia onions have a trademark and are easily identified by the Vidalia sticker on each onion. Of course, its taste is proof alone. I can eat one almost like an apple, just peel and enjoy; it is that sweet.
Vidalia’s are only grown in twenty southeast Georgia counties. The area’s sandy, low sulfur soil, exclusive seed varieties, and precise farming practices make this original sweet onion mild and flavorful. Farmers in the 1930s were disappointed with results from traditional row crops like cotton and tobacco. Looking for a new “cash cow,” they planted onions. Imagine their surprise when the fledgling crop turned out sweet instead of hot like regular onions.
There are other sweet onions like Washington’s Walla Walla, the Supasweet from Texas and Hawaii’s Maui. I have tasted the first two and in my opinion, they do not come close to the sweetness of a Vidalia. In the winter months, I find the South American sweet onions to be useful although the water content is much higher and it tends to be grainy.
I love to grill Vidalia onions on the grill by slicing off the top, peeling off the outing thin skin and scooping out a small cavity in the center. Add a tad of salt and pepper, a pat of butter and give it a wrap in foil. Grill for about 30 minutes. (I also like to pour about a quarter cup of beer into the foil pouch too.)
vidalia onion pie

2 lb. Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
½ stick butter
3 large eggs, beaten
1 c. sour cream
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. Creole seasoning
1 -9 inch deep dish pie shell, uncooked
Grated smoked Gouda or pepper jack cheese to taste
Sauté the onions in butter until soft but not brown, set aside. Combine eggs, sour cream and seasonings until smooth. Fold in the onion mixture and pour into the pie shell. Sprinkle with cheese to lightly cover top. Cover edge of crust with foil to prevent burning. Remove the last 10 minutes.
Bake at 450. About 18 minutes or until center is set. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
Chef’s note: Add a little seeded tomato, chopped cooked bacon, or broccoli florets with the onions for a varying taste.

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