Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baked Vidalia Onions

Sweet Vidalia onions, stuffed with garlic and butter and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, wrapped in bacon and placed in individual packets to be cooked on the grill or oven.
Sweet Vidalia onions, stuffed with garlic and butter and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, wrapped in bacon and placed in individual packets to be cooked on the grill or oven.

Baked Vidalia Onions

If you're a lover of Vidalia onions like I am, isn't that just a thing of beauty? I mean really! How I love these sweet Vidalia onions in the summer, and I cry, quite literally, when they are gone until the next season rolls around and I have to use those stronger yellow onions. Sometimes I have to step outside just to clear my eyes, but that never happens with my sweet Vidalias.

Take that same sweet onion, stuff it with some goodies, wrap it in bacon and bake it, and it makes a terrific side dish for backyard barbecued chicken, grilled steaks or even burgers. These onions have been everywhere in some form the past few years and I love them as an addition to the cookout menu.

These are inspired by "Uncle Wilson's Baked Onions" that were found in Trisha Yearwood's first cookbook {affil link}. I was more recently reminded of them on Trisha's new Food Network show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, although Paula Deen has a pretty good recipe too. Uncle Wilson doesn't use the garlic or balsamic vinegar, but I think they are nice touches, and just a bit of a creamy cheese like Gruyere is excellent too. Just stuff the cheese in first or add a bit to the top a few minutes before they are done.

If you enjoy sweet Vidalia onions but haven't gotten around to trying them baked like this yet, get them in while you can, because honestly, Vidalias will be gone before we know it. While they're absolutely perfect for those cookouts, they really are a great side dish for just about any main course.

Some of the Vidalia onions are gargantuan in size, but for baked Vidalias, I like to choose the smaller ones because they work great for individual servings. Any variety of sweet onion from your region will work too of course, but don't try to substitute a regular yellow onion. It will be far too harsh and you'll be disappointed, even if you're an onion lover like me. (Ask me how I know) I am convinced that Scott Conant, one of the judges on the Food Network show Chopped, who despises raw onion in anything, has surely never tasted a sweet, authentic Vidalia onion.

I wrote the recipe per onion, so figure 1 small sweet onion per person or 1/2 of a larger one, depending on the size of the onions, and adjust ingredients accordingly. Here's how to make them.

If preparing in the oven, preheat oven to 350 degree F. Trim and peel the onion but leave the root intact. Cut a very thin sliver off of the root end if you need to level the onion so it will stand upright.


Cut about a 1 inch core out of the top of the onion. Throw the scraps into a freezer bag and freeze to use for something else!


Peel one clove of garlic and cut into slivers;


Stuff as much as you can into each onion.


Place the onion onto a square of foil large enough to wrap around the onion and enclose the top. Double wrap if cooking on the grill. Drizzle the top with balsamic vinegar.


Place about 2 teaspoons of butter into the center of each onion.


Season lightly with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.


Wrap onion with one slice of thin bacon, then another slice, securing with a toothpick if needed.


Bring the sides of the foil up and twist the tops to seal. Place onto a hot grill or bake on a tray in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 1 hour.


Carefully open the tops of the packets and return to the oven for 20 minutes to crisp up the bacon. Serve as is in the packets, one per person, or use a spatula to remove onion to a serving platter, pouring the juices over the top.


Dig in. Oh my gosh, so good!


{Southern Style Hissy Fit Warning...} As with just about anything since the internet has entered our lives, there is a lot of misinformation and conspiracy theories out there about aluminum in our lives and particularly the use of aluminum foil in cooking. This debate has been ongoing for decades, with no settled science on it to date, and just like any other subject, will likely continue to go on for many more decades. Many of us have been using aluminum foil for that long and more, with zero ill effects, but if you personally have concerns about using foil in cooking or food storage, then I have one piece of advice for you.

If you are fearful or uncertain, just don't use it. But don't lecture the rest of the world about it either. We're all adults and very capable of reading, analyzing and making our own informed decisions about things in our lives. You can also wrap your food in parchment paper and then enclose it in foil for packet cooking, so that the food isn't touching the foil, but don't be surprised if you hear one day that parchment paper is a no-no too. {tucking away soapbox...} Sources 1 2 3

For more cookout sides, check out my bbq page on Pinterest!



If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Yum

Recipe: Baked Vidalia Onions

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 20 min

Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Yield: Varies

Per Onion:

Ingredients
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), to taste
  • 2 slices of bacon
Instructions

If preparing in the oven, preheat oven to 350 degree F. Trim and peel the onion but leave the root intact. Cut a very thin sliver off of the root end if you need to level the onion. Cut a 1-inch core out of the top of the onion; reserve scraps for another use. Peel the garlic and cut into slivers; stuff into the onion.

Place onion onto a square of foil large enough to wrap the onion and enclose the top. Double wrap if cooking on the grill. Drizzle onion with the balsamic vinegar, place the butter into the center of onion, and season lightly with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Wrap onion with one slice of bacon, then the other, securing with a toothpick if needed. Seal foil tightly around the onion.

Place onto a hot grill or bake on a tray in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 1 hour. Carefully open the tops of the packets and return to the oven for 20 minutes, to crisp the bacon. Serve as is in the packets, one per person, or use a spatula to remove onion to a serving platter, pouring the juices over the top.

Cook's Notes: Any variety of sweet onion from your region will work, but don't try to substitute a regular yellow onion. It will be far too harsh and you'll be disappointed. Okay to use larger Vidalias - just check for tenderness as you'll just likely need to go a little longer on time. Serve one per person, or can also cut larger onions into halves or quarters and place sections on a serving dish. Just a bit of a creamy cheese like Gruyere is excellent too. Just stuff the cheese in first or add a bit to the top a few minutes before they are done.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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