I was delighted that members of the Sylacauga Civitan Club invited me to serve as one of the judges at this year’s annual Vidalia Onion Palooza!
I joined Donna Rentfroe, Victoria Hill, and Linda Hatchett, and what a grand time we had!
The contest was held Saturday evening, May 31, at the home of Sam and Stacy Septer on Miller Drive in Sylacauga, and club members presented eight of the most scrumptious dishes you’ll ever taste – all with Vidalia onions as one of the main ingredients!
Out of the eight, our task was to choose three winners, and believe me – we had our work cut out for us! After a lot of tasting and more tasting, debating and observing, we came up with three winners – but I can guarantee you, every one of those dishes was a winner!
First place went to Beverly Murphy, whose entry was an onion pie, with the very catchy name, “South in Yer Mouth Vidalia Onion Pie!”
The combination of the juicy Vidalia onion, butter, wine, Gruyere cheese, and good helpings of a few herbs and seasonings, made for an “absolutely, out-of-this-world combination!”
Charlie and Louise Septer, parents of the hosts, took second place with their presentation of “Saturday Night Vidalia Onion.” The simplicity of something so good, wowed us all, as well as the attractive presentation. No matter how elegant or simple your menu for the evening meal may be – this will be a great side dish!
Laura Dix introduced us to her creation, Vidalia Onion Pie. The original recipe was a Paula Deen recipe, and Laura added her own personal touches in several places. The resulting dish was a scrumptious creation, and Laura was declared third place winner. This pie is so good, it’s hard to stop at one serving!
As I said before, every dish presented was a winner in my book, and next week we will continue to share recipes!
SOUTH in YER MOUTH VIDALIA PIE
First Place - South in Yer Mout Vidalia Pie
- 2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed fine
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened for crust
- 1 stick unsalted butter for filling
- 2 cups Vidalia onions, coarsely chopped
- º cup Madeira wine
- æ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Dry spice mix:
- ½ teaspoon Basil
- º teaspoon Thyme
- º teaspoon Cilantro flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients for the spice mix in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
To make pie crust:
Grease an 8-inch Pyrex pie plate with a non-stick cooking spray. Place the crushed crackers and stick of softened butter in a medium sized bowl.
Using your hands, mix the crackers and butter. Press the cracker mixture across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Place the pie crust in the refrigerator to set while you make the filling.
To make the pie filling:
In a small pot, melt the º stick butter over high heat.
Add the onions and stir well, working the onions with a spoon as they cook. Cook for 3 minutes and add the wine. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Cook the onions until they turn clear. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
To bake the pie:
Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Using a slotted spoon, place the onions in the middle of the crust.
Discard any liquid left in the pot. Spread the onions the crust to achieve an even height. I (n a small bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and salt until frothy. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the onions.
Place pie in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese over the top and return pie to the oven to cook for 10-15 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let pie rest for 1 hour before cutting into wedges.
Second Place - Charilie and Louise Septer
Saturday Night Vidalia Onion
- 1 large Vidalia onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- Salt and pepper to taste
Trim slice from top of onion and peel without cutting off the root end. With a potato peeler, cut a small cone-shaped section from the center of the onion. Cut onion into quarters from top down, stopping within half-inch from the root. Put bouillon cube in the center of the onion and slip slivers of butter between each section.
Salt and pepper.
Wrap onion in double foil and cook on grill or in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve in individual bowls because the onion produces a lot of broth which tastes like French Onion Soup. Serve 1 onion per person. (Options: serve grated cheese and croutons on the side.)
Third Place - Louise Dix
Vidalia Onion Pie
- 2 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 9-inch prebaked deep-dish pie shell
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ cups sour cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until lightly browned.
Put the pie pan on a sheet pan.
Line the bottom of the crust with the onions. In a small bowl, beat eggs and flour to combine.
Add milk, sour cream and salt.
Mix well and pour over onions.
Garnish with crumbled bacon and bake until firm in the center, about 30 minutes.
Transfer to serving platter.