Onions are part of nearly every savory dish (or they should be) and part of decades of cooking culture. Crisp and raw alongside tangy, spicy barbecue, caramelized and hot on a sizzling fajita griddle, diced on to-go burgers, chopped to meld into soups and stews, sweet and crunchy as batter-dipped rings—the uses and recipes for onions go far and wide. (Even this odd folk remedy about onions strapped to the bottoms of your feet to help with a cold.) But there is one famous onion, around for over 50 years, that popped up in Georgia as an accidental crop of not-hot onions: The Vidalia, named by and for the town from whence they sprouted. There are Vidalia festivals, markets, and one farm stands true to its history with this deliciously sweet and robust onion: Shuman Farms, grower and shipper of sweet onions year-round.
We were tickled "yellow" to partner with the RealSweet brand of Vidalia onion. We got to know RealSweet ambassador chef Shannen Tune, Food Network’s 2016 Chopped champ, and taste his sweet and savory Vidalia recipes, like Fresh Onion Dip and slider-worthy Sweet Onion Jam. We headed west to meet with him in person for the grand opening of the new mega grocery store H-E-B out in Hudson Oaks, Texas, where we did indeed find a nice big box of RealSweet Vidalia onions for sale inside.
Inspired by Chef Tune, we were tasked with coming up with our own Vidalia onion recipe. We pondered. How about that potato casserole dish we love at Christmas time? Hmm, maybe not the right season. What about a chicken tortilla soup? Always good, but the onions aren't the hero. We are on a grilling spree as of late, and we decided to try our hand at not just grilled onions, but WHOLE GRILLED ONIONS. Can we add bacon? Check. How about butter? Check! And garlic?? CHECK! What does it go with? STEAK on the grill, yessirreee! And we made three batches to perfect the recipe so that we could share this visually appealing AND delicious side dish of Bacon-Hugged RealSweet Stuffed Onion!!
For this recipe, you will need your oven AND your grill, but I promise the delectable flavor of sweet, succulent and soft Vidalia onion with the smoky bacon and garlic butter “sauce” in the middle will make any steak you throw on the grill SING. The time it takes to get this cutting board to table is SO WORTH IT.
- 2 whole RealSweet Vidalia Onions
- 4 strips of thick, high-quality bacon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced OR 1 T of minced jar garlic
- 4 T butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat up the oven to 300 F.
- Prep onion: Carefully peel the sweet onions of outer skin and tough first layer. Slice off bottom of onion in order to create a flat “seat.” Carve out the center of the onions in order to create a bowl within the whole onion. Set the insides aside to use later.
- Peel the garlic cloves and mince.
- Stuff onion: Stuff each onion with 2 T of butter and half of the garlic clove. Dust the onion with salt and coarse fresh pepper.
- Wrap onions with 2 strips of bacon each.
- Wrap each onion individually in aluminum foil. Place foil-wrapped onions on the pan.
- Bake the onions in the oven for 1 hour.
- Then preheat your grill on high. Remove pan from oven. Using hot pads or a towel, gently open the foil like a flower. So far, the bacon has not stuck to the foil for us, but be gentle so the bacon stays in place around the now-juicy and soft onion. Move the flower-foil-onions directly onto the grill grate. Grill onions for 25 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Don’t move or adjust the onions on the foil; shift the foil on the grate if the bacon is burning.
The two whole onions look great on a dish whole, but this will really serve three or four people as a side to a nice grilled steak or chicken plank.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 303mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
The team at CookingChew.com was paid a stipend to visit with Chef Tune and to come up with a recipe that uses RealSweet Vidalia onions!