Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Vidalia Onion Season!

I always know that summer is here when the sweet, delicious Vidalia onions arrive in the grocery store. FINALLY I can make my grandmother's oh-so-easy but sinfully delicious Vidalia Onion Dip that I've been craving since last summer. We have it at practically every family get-together. In fact, I'm making it at our lake house this weekend for her 91st birthday (Happy Birthday, MaMa!). My family will be lucky if I don't eat the whole dish...

You can find a great recipe almost anywhere, but MaMa's comes from an old favorite--the Good as Gold cookbook, courtesy of Ashland Place United Methodist Church. No self-respecting Southern woman should be without it (or at least in my family).

The great thing about this dip is that there is room for experimentation--use a different cheese, add another spice, etc. Just don't take it too far and mix in something like artichokes and ruin the whole thing. The onions deserve all the glory.

Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or even veggies. I like to spread mine between two layers of french bread and make a Vidalia Dip Sandwich. Don't knock it 'till you try it--I'm talking "weak-at-the-knees" good. I wish I had a great picture for you but once again, my insatiable appetite overpowered my need to take pictures.

Vidalia Onion Dip

3 large Vidalia Onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar (sometimes I add a little more--I love cheese)
1 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. fresh minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce (adjust this to your liking)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and saute until tender.
2. Mix together the shredded cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
3. Add onions to cheese mixture; blend well.
4. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes; let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Eating!