Spring Taste Treat–Vidalia Onions

Friend Jeff (Leader’s husband) was selling Vidalia onions to raise money for Shriner’s Children’s hospitals benefit.  They were the REAL DEAL! and came in 10 pound bags.  I bought a bag–actually I thought they were a bargain ($10 per 10 pound bag).

This is a large amount of onions for only two people and a ravenous dog who is not supposed to eat onions! (poisonous to dogs).  I gave some away; I stored a few for a few days in the refrigerator like this:

  wrap in paper towels and store in vegetable bin–but only for a few days!

And I decided to cook some up.

These are a taste treat of late spring–sweet onions flavored in various ways, sautéed and served on top of steaks, on a salad, with burgers or brats or hot dogs–delicious!

To caramelize/sauté:

Peel about 8 onions (these were small), slice and place in a pan with a bit of olive oil and, since I had some basil butter, a bit of that as well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often.

  Be sure to save the peelings for your compost bin!

About half-way through, I added about 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and a sprinkling of Thyme (dried)–the Thyme smelled awesome, giving off its aroma in the kitchen as it heated up in the pan with the onions!

  

  

I cooked over medium heat, stirring often–some people actually want some burned particles in their caramelized onions, but I prefer them just well cooked.  Here they are, all cooked down and done!

If you want some other flavorings in your caramelized onions, try adding chicken stock, different herbs, or even a bit of beer.

Roasting Onions:

I still had quite a few onions, so decided to roast some in the oven like this:

Peel, cut a small hole in the top of the onions, place in some butter (I used basil butter again), drizzle a bit of olive oil and top with some brown sugar.  Pour in about 1/2 bottle of beer!–Jeff’s suggestion!

(or not.  Or use chicken stock/chicken stock cube or just plain water.  But if you use beer, only use half the bottle.  Drink the rest, but not if it is 8 a.m.  Or maybe even if it IS 8 a.m.  After all, it’s Memorial Day.)

Roast at about 425 for maybe 60 to 90 minutes.  (check with a knife for doneness)

Check for doneness and add more beer/liquid if the pan goes dry.  When they are done, you may serve immediately or reheat later.  Store in refrigerator, covered with aluminum foil.  (Or you may wish to cool and then cover with plastic wrap before you add the aluminum foil so the whole refrigerator doesn’t smell like onions.)

Freezing onions:

Oh my yes, I freeze them all the time!  Cut up the onion, chop and place in plastic bag.  Double bag these or your freezer will smell like onions.  Excellent for sauces, casseroles, egg omelets, any dish you use regular onions in except you likely would not like them served raw (they have been frozen and when thawed are a bit mushy).

Enjoy these onions!  They are a simple and delicious side for a variety of meals.

What did you ask?

Oh!  You want to know how to make basil butter?  Could not be simpler!

Remove two sticks of butter from refrigerator and place in a bowl to soften–I do this generally the night before.  Now, pick some basil from your herb garden.  I have both purple and green basil, so I used both.  Wash and pat dry, pull off the leaves (discard stems into your compost bin).  

Chop up the herbs finely.  Mash the herbs into the softened butter with a fork.

Place in a dish and cover; place in refrigerator.  It is best if you allow it to sit for a day or two so the flavors are able to ‘marry’ together.

Have a pleasant and reflective Memorial Day.  Remember those who have served, who have given so much for the rest of us and the many who are still serving home and abroad.

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