The Powerful Onion
The Powerful Onion
“She was cryin; cryin’ onion tears”… verse from an oldies country western song that I heard recently on a country station. I remember hearing it when I was a young girl when I visited my aunts on the farm in North Carolina. They had a transistor radio tuned to the country station, and amid static, it was always playing. Onion tears – who hasn’t experienced them when peeling and slicing a pungent onion? This is due to the release of a gas called propanethiol-S-oxide found in onions. One way to bypass that is to use sweet onions, and when in season, especially Vidalia onions. They are the nectar of the onion world, and are sweeter and milder than the other varieties of onions (yellow, white, red, shallots, etc.). Sweet onions are available in the stores all year, from the United States (Walla Walla’s are a great sweet onion from Washington State), Mexico and Peru, but the true Vidalia Onion is from Georgia and only available for a short time.
Vidalia onions are grown in South Georgia, and were first marketed at a Farmer’s Market in Vidalia, Georgia, hence the name. Their mild, sweet flavor is unmistakable, and I sure miss them when they are gone! Like other summer produce, I use them in everything while they’re available, but my very favorite ways are to bake them and to use them in a dressed-up version of the French Onion Dip. Here’s my version:
Baked Vidalia Onions ala Twink
Simple, but good
- 6 medium Vidalia Onions
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins)
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Thyme
Grease or spray a small baking dish. Cut the ends off the onions, and peel. With a spoon, cut out a tiny bit of the top of each onion, and place in baking dish. Pour a dash of Worcestershire sauce in the indent on each onion, dot each with a tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper. Sprinkle fresh thyme over each one. Wrap with aluminum foil, and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. Great with steak or hamburgers.
Grownup French Onion Dip
My sister-in-law and dear friend, Gail, and I love to sit down with wine and a bag of potato chips (Ruffles) and a container of French Onion Dip. Although we love the grocery store variety, I’m dedicating this one to Gail! Cheers!
2 Vidalia Onions, peeled and sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper
Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream – can use more if you like
In medium skillet, melt butter and sauté onions, brown sugar and vinegar until golden brown and caramelized. Add salt and pepper and a dash or two of Frank’s Hot Sauce. Set aside. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream until well blended, add onion mixture. Can be eaten warm or refrigerate and eat cold. You must eat this with potato chips!
Enjoy – and no cryin’!
Until next time, be kinder than necessary, and make something fun happen today!