Cooking With Vidalia Onions
The number one mistake most home cooks make is thinking that all onions are more or less the same. Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is that all of the major onion varieties add something special to a dish. Some are wonderful cooking onions; others are best used raw. A rare few can be used either raw, sautÃ©ed, or baked. The Vidalia Onion falls into this final, most versatile category. It is no wonder then that is a favorite of professional chefs.
How to Prepare Vidalia Onions
There's a great scene in the award-winning sitcom Seinfeld where the character George Costanza bites into an onion he mistook for an apple. The tears immediately start streaming down his face as he continues to eat, rather than admitting he couldn't tell the difference between the two because he can't see. Well, if that had been a Vidalia onion, George could have consumed it without crying!
Far milder and less pungent than most white and yellow onion varieties, the Vidalia is one of the few onions, along with the red onion, that can easily, painlessly be eaten raw. Here are just a few simple, delicious recipes and preparation suggestions for these subtle, mild onions.
Because they have much lower sulfur content than most other onions, the Vidalia won't make you sob when you chop them up on your cutting board. You can even add them to salads like red onions and they will not overpower the dish.
As a mild onion, the Vidalia is one of the few that can be sliced and added to sandwiches and burgers without being cooked. In fact, raw Vidalia onions can give any sandwich, whether hot or cold, a sweet zing.
Of course, when you choose to heat them up, this unique onion variety adds something special to any meat. When used as a topping or to create a gravy or sauce, Vidalias impart sweetness, texture, and flavor to any main dish.
Want a dish that tastes like French onion soup but won't take hours or make your kitchen a mess? Simply peel a large Vidalia and cut off the top and bottom so that it sits flat on the baking pan. Next, core the middle and add a tablespoon of butter inside. Baking the onion for around 45 minutes, or until tender, will produce a dish you can't resist.
Technically, you can caramelize any onion. But Vidalias are arguably the best for this common culinary task, since they are much sweeter than most other varieties–and sweetness is what you're going for when you caramelize onions!