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Fabulous Vidalia onion casserole


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

I've been making this recipe for over 35 years, after first spotting it in the little newsletter that came with our electric bill some time in the '70s.
 
If you aren't familiar with Vidalia onions, they're grown in a specific area, one of 20 Georgia counties designated by the the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986. Just like with champagne in France, it is illegal in the US to sell an onion as a "Vidalia" unless it is grown in that area. For many years, it was not known why onions from the greater Toombs County area were so sweet, but research has shown that the soil in that area has a very low sulfur content and it is that element that is responsible for the 'bite' that most onions exhibit.
 
How sweet are Vidalias? A lot of folks love Vidalia sandwiches, just thick slices of the onion with lots of softened butter on sandwich bread.
 
Because of their high sugar content, Vidalias don't keep well and they have a short season, April to September, although the recent technique of storing the onions in a nitrogen atmosphere has extended their availability.

The classic way to store Vidalias is to take old panty hose, drop an onion in each toe, and then tie a knot. Alternate onions and knots, so the onions don't touch, and hang in a cool, dry area like a garage or basement.

Vidalias are typically big onions, often softball size or larger. I've got two I need to use and I'll be making reduced size version of the recipe below later today. This recipe tastes way, way better than one might think from its simplicity, escpecially if one uses genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


EASY VIDALIA ONION CASSEROLE

PREP TIME: 25 mins
TOTAL TIME: 50 mins
SERVES: 4-5

ABOUT THIS RECIPE

"This is a delicious side dish to any meal, even people that do not like onions like this recipe! Also, this can be prepared a day ahead, and baked when ready."

INGREDIENTS

6 large Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced very thinly
salt and pepper
1/2 cup butter
30 Ritz crackers (use one sleeve of crackers, coarsely crushed)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Set oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
In a large saucepan, melt butter.
Add onions to pan. Over high heat, saute until soft and just starting to brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place half of the onions in the baking dish; cover with half the crackers, and half of the parmesan.
Repeat to make another layer of onions, crackers, and parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until cheese on top is lightly browned, about 25 mins. Serve warm.

Note: if made a day ahead, let cool, and keep refrigerated until time to reheat for serving.
  • Pablo, Rob Voska, Jaeger Team and 1 other like this

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 Zippity

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 12:55 AM

I had to Google Vidalia as I didn't know what you were talking about.

 

They look very similar to the Brown Onions (or Pukekohe Keepers) that we grow out here in abundance.

 

Does this recipe produce flatulence on a big scale?  :laugh2:  :laugh2:  :laugh2:


Ron Thornton

#3 Cheater

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 02:34 AM

Ron,

 

Actually, no. The low sulfur content seems to prevent that problem.


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#4 Zippity

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 05:31 AM

:)



#5 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:00 PM

Bought a bag of Bland Farms Vidalias and they went bad after a few days. I became acquainted with onions grown in Valdosta County GA by Dave Moody, the former county engineer in Valdosta. These are the best onions but you have to use them right away.

 

Jess Gonzales



#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:53 PM

The Vidalias I buy for salads, I keep in the fridge. They last a week or so, sometimes a couple weeks. I don't cook with them, so if I bought a small bag of them, they'd rot before I used them all.


Bill Fernald
 

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#7 Cheater

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:06 PM

Bill,

 

I find they keep better not in the fridge, but then living so close to where they're grown, the ones I buy maybe a lot fresher than the ones you buy.

The two near softball-size Vidalias I used for the last casserole I made were just starting to show the tinest bit of black mold spots on the first layer after more than two weeks on my kitchen table (not touching each other, of course).


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#8 Bill from NH

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 06:47 AM

I know you don't refrigerate most onions and we don't, but it seems to work with these vidalias I get. Who knows how long it takes them to get to NH once they've been pulled. We once had Clark's Farm that grew local produce for this area and had for several generations, everything from flowers, to fruits, to corn and other crops, but the owners retired a couple years ago and sold most of their acreage to a local college. Now cukes, radishes, lettuce, and others come from around the country, Canada, Mexico, and South America.


Bill Fernald
 

I intend to live forever!  So far, so good.  :laugh2:  :laugh2: 






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