Bacon Roasted Vidalia Onions…and a Huge Giveaway

Sometimes in life, the simplest recipe is the best recipe.  No need to gussy it up, no need to use some new fangled technique.  No need for an exotic ingredient.

Nope, just simple and insanely delicious can be the exact same thing.

Vidalia-Onions-Roasted

Take for example, these Bacon Roasted Vidalia Onions.  Gorgeous Vidalia onions, thickly sliced, sprinkled with nothing but salt and pepper, filled with a little butter, and topped with bacon.

The end.

I dare you to try them and not love them.

Double dare you, even.  Do people still Double Dog Dare?  I can’t rightly say I even know what that means, but go on…I double Dog Dare you, come what may.  I’m that confident.

You will curse all the previous meals where you have NOT been making these.  I know firsthand, because I, too, am ruing the days.

Rue.

I love that word.  Rue.  Rue the day.

I digress, as I am wont to do.  So sorry.

So let me tell you how this recipe came to be.

I was invited to Vidalia, Georgia a couple of weeks ago, to see the onion harvest in person.  I know, I know…I am spoiled.  You have no idea.  Getting hauled through vast Vidalia fields on shiny green tractors with my girlfriends, eating deep fried fresh onions, going to amazing dinners, and then a concert featuring Parmalee and Uncle Kracker?

onions-friends

Yeah, be jealous.

The Vidalia Onions folks are about as sweet (no pun intended) as you can get, and hosted a fabulous tour.  We visited the Vidalia Onion Museum, the Vidalia Onion Festival, ate a meal in which every single dish features onions (even cheesecake!), met tall bartenders with nice smiles (okay, that was me, not everyone), and overall, learned so much about this amazing vegetable.  I knew I loved onions, especially sweet onions, but now I am a true fan of everything Vidalia.  There’s just nothing quite like them.

onions-assorted

Did you know there is only ONE Vidalia Onion Season?  There is.  And it’s NOW.  Late April through the end of summer, if they last that long.  There’s no warehouse full of Vidalias – once they are gone, they are gone.  So get them while you can!

While there we toured an amazing family farm – McLain Farms.  The owners are young and hip, and run one heck of a business.  Vidalia Onions are their main priority, but because the Vidalia season is so short lived they also process onions from other parts of the world in the off season.  I made friends with Melissa, the wife of Rusty McLain, and let me tell you – she’s a hot ticket.  Spunky, feisty, and willing to drive up to Atlanta a few days later to hang out with me?  See?  Good stuff.  Even GOOD-er?  When she came up, she brought me some fresh off the farm Vidalias to cook with on my Daytime Blue Ridge segment.

onions-belt

Cook with them I did.

WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

 

susan-wsls-bacon

I took this basic recipe I am sharing with you today, but placed the onions on squares of puff pastry.

Holy Bejeezuz. I can’t even tell you how good that is.  The flaky, buttery goodness paired with the sweetness of the onions and the saltiness of the bacon?

Heaven on a plate, I tell you.  Sexy sexy.

Vidalia-Onions-Roasted

Bacon Roasted Vidalia Onions

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 Vidalia Onions
  • 4 tablespoons  butter
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into pieces

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400.

Remove tops and bottoms of onions, as well as outer layer of skin. Slice each onion in half and remove core. Place each half on a baking sheet.
Fill center of each with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Top with bacon pieces.
Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, or until onions are tender. Serve hot.

 

The Giveaway

Courtesy of the Vidalia Onion Commission, I have a great $250 Visa Gift Card to give you!  Just enter via the Rafflecopter Widget below!  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The Vidalia Onion Committee sponsored my trip to Vidalia and the accompanying giveaway. Recipe and opinions are my own..

Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Popovers with Goat Cheese Crumble

Yes, yes, I know.  This sounds way fussier than I typically am.  Butternut Squash & Caramelized Popovers sound like something on a menu somewhere.  Somewhere…fancy.

And yet here we are.

butternut-popover

Why the change?

Well, because sometimes, I just like to throw you a little curveball and see what happens.

Kidding!

Really, these popovers aren’t fussy at all, in fact, they take no longer to whip up than any of my other 547 popover recipes.  A little caramelized onion, your basic, non-sweet popover batter, and something new – Veggie Blend Ins Butternut Squash puree.

I was sent this new product (along with their carrot and spinach varieties), and asked to sneak it in to a recipe.  You know, to add some veggies in places we don’t typically see them, so that we get our fair share of the good stuff without even realizing it.

Popovers are one of our staples here in my house, sweet or savory, so I decided I’d give the butternut squash a go in a batch one afternoon.  Paired with sweet, caramelized onions and a topping of goat cheese crumbles, this is one savory popover that really packs the flavor.  And so, so easy.  The packets of pureed veggies are small enough to be convenient, and large enough to make a great add-in to so many things.  Like mac & cheese, for example.  Or pasta sauce.  Or brownies?  Yep, even brownies.  Veggie Blend Ins teamed up with cookbook author Jessica Seinfeld to develop a bunch of clever recipes using the purees, so, if you’ve got a picky eater that turns their nose up at anything vegetable related, this is a great way to slip some in on him.  Who can turn down a brownie or mac & cheese?

NO. BODY.  That’s who.

Until then, here are the popovers…Give them a try!

veggie-blend-in-popover

Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Popovers with Goat Cheese Crumble

makes 12

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Butternut Squash puree (I used Veggie Blend Ins)
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced and caramelized
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese or Feta, to top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a large, evenly divide the butter into a 12 cup Mini-Popover Pan. Place the pan in the oven for 3 minutes to melt the butter. Remove when melted. Spray each vessel with cooking spray to prevent any sticking.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk. Add in the flour, salt and puree, stir to combine. Fold in the caramelized onions. Pour batter evenly into the popover pans. (I poured mine almost to the top of each vessel.)
  3. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until all are puffed and golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven, top with Goat Cheese or Feta, serve and enjoy!

Veggie Blend Ins

Do you have trouble getting your family to eat more veggies?  Luckily, I don’t, but you can NEVER have too many!  I’m really impressed with the quality, flavor, packaging sizes – just all around convenience…I can see us using these in so many ways!

You can purchase Veggie Blend Ins here.

  • Contains 9 puree pouches – 3 carrot pouches, 3 spinach pouches and 3 butternut squash pouches
  • 100% vegetable puree, just one ingredient
  • No additives or preservatives
  • Easily add veggies into your favorite meals, snacks, smoothies and desserts
  • Blends right in so your favorite foods still taste delicious

Have a great Sunday!

Fusilli Pasta with Peas

 

rhine2While I was at the Culinary Institute in New York, I had the absolute privilege of staying in Rhinecliff, at the Rhinecliff Hotel.  It’s a newly restored historic hotel right on the edge of the Hudson River, and my suite had a balcony that captured that view.  I would like to tell you I spent lots of time gazing at the view, but honestly – I was leaving each morning before 6, running back long enough in the afternoon for a quick shower, and then heading back to campus for dinner.  By the time I returned after our evening meal, the sun had disappeared and there was nothing to see…but I knew it was there.

That’s okay – my suite was fantastic.  As was the hotel restaurant, and it’s chef, Brian Kaywork.  Chef Brian is so passionate about the food he prepares, and it truly comes across in each and every dish he creates.  On Sunday night, Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny joined me for a wonderful tasting menu prepared just for us at the restaurant.  We had everything from a cheese course, to salad, to soup, venison, pasta, entrees, and dessert.  While all of it was amazing, I think pea1Brandy would agree – that pasta was phenomenal.  It was so fresh, it screamed of spring.  Chef Brian called it Trofie di Puglia al Prosciutto e Piselli – which translates as Spiral Pasta with Prosciutto and Pea.  He was also kind enough to pass me the recipe he used.  I had the ambition to make it myself, as is – but I’ll be completely honest – I just couldn’t.  For one, the recipe confused the bejeezus out of me. I’m not sure I can even read it properly. Perhaps there is some secret chef code – but – I just couldn’t figure it out.  However, I took his recipe and created a wonderful adaptation, minus the prosciutto, as my husband isn’t a fan of it, and it’s also pretty difficult to come by here in town.  What resulted was a very flavorful, fresh pasta dish.  Unusual flavors, especially when compared to the typical tomato based pasta dishes we tend to have around here.  Seven has asked for it repeatedly…so moms, take note.  If MY kid will eat it, I bet yours will, too.  Give it a go!

pasta1

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Bruleed Carrot Soufflés

 

Have you noticed a bit of change around here?

Awesome, right?  For the first three years of Doughmesstic, you watched as I learned to make the basics.  You saw me go from simple muffins and cupcakes to a few pasta dishes,  some ice cream, some side dishes, and then on to things a little more involved or out of the norm for the typical working mom weeknight dinner.

Of course, there will always be really ridiculous, fattening deserts here.  I never lose sight of the goods.

But it seems that everything inspires me now.  Sure, I love regular green beans, down home corn on the cob, and mac and cheese.  I’ll never turn good food down.  It’s just that I am trying to broaden my horizons in the realm of dinnertime foods. And believe it or not, my family, especially my three year old – is welcoming the change.

carrotsou1

Take these Carrot Soufflés, for example.  Seven loved it so much the first time, he had it again for breakfast.  We had a similar dish for Easter Sunday, that Jon’s cousin brought to the family dinner, and both Sev and Jon really liked it.  Getting my guys to eat vegetables, and really enjoy them is something I try hard to do – so recreating this recipe on my own was a no-brainer!  A little sweet, a little savory, a nice light texture topped with a crunchy bite of caramelized sugar – delish.  Easy to make, too.  Just cook the carrots in one pot, combine everything together in a food processor, and toss it in the oven to bake.  Convenient and a nice break from the norm.  Give them a try!

Bruleed Carrot Soufflécarsou3

makes 4 -  7 ounce ramekins

  • 1 pound carrots, cleaned and cut
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Sugar, for topping, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray 4 ramekins and set aside. (I used PAM.)

In medium pot, cook carrots in water until fork tender.  Drain and set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined.  Add in cooked carrots and continue to pulse until smooth.

Divide carrot mixture into prepared ramekins and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until done.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with sugar, if desired, and caramelize with kitchen torch or place under broiler.  Serve and enjoy!

carrotsou2

The sugar brulee is optional, of course, but to me, that’s the best part.  It adds a bit of crunch to the dish, and really makes it a little more special.  Give it a try!

Teriyaki Sesame Steamed Broccoli and a ManPans Giveaway!

 

Happy Tuesday, folks!

As you read this, there is a good chance I am in the middle of the Culinary Institute classroom kitchen, weeping over a tagine, because I am completely clueless as to A) what a tagine IS, and B) How I have managed to survive in the food world I’ve found myself living in for the past couple of years without ever needing to use a tagine. What’s wrong with me?

Luckily, though I haven’t used a tagine before, I’m in good hands at the C.I.A., and they’ll teach me everything I need to know.  Until then, I DO know what a Steamer pan is, and now, I know what an AWESOME Steamer Pan is.

A ManPans Steamer Pan.

brocpan

Doesn’t this bad boy look HEAVY?

Wrong. It’s so lightweight.  In fact, if I had to use it as a weapon against culinary intruders, well, they’d win, as it just isn’t weighty enough to take anyone out.  Muscle though? This pan has it in spades.  Add to that it gets the job at hand done quickly and precisely, and you have yourself one heck of a go-to dinner maker.

I’ve pretty much used it exclusively since it arrived on my front porch, because of it’s ease and the great results I get with it.  Plus it’s just plain gorgeous to look at.  I’ve made potstickers, stir-fry, rice, chicken, and now, this teriyaki steamed broccoli. With or without the steamer insert you have a very functional pan, and I think you’ll LOVE it.  I know I do!

Now, broccoli.

brocWe aren’t huge broccoli eaters around here.  I mean, we weren’t.  But this take on the greenest of green veggies is absolutely fantastic  I could make a meal of it!   I steamed the broccoli using the ManPans insert, then poured out the water in the base pan,  and added the steamed broccoli to the pan itself. The steamed broccoli is then lightly stir-fried with a bit of butter, garlic,  and teriyaki sauce, then sprinkled with sesame seeds.  It’s so easy and so delicious!

Of course, you COULD make this without a ManPans Steamer Set.  But why would you when you can WIN a 10 inch ManPans Steamer Set of your own?image

Here!

You can!  All you need to do is visit the ManPan Website and check out their incredible line of products, then come back here and tell me, other than the steamer, which piece really floated your boat?  The skillet? What?

As long as you comment here, you’re entered to win!  Contest ends on April 22 at 11:59pm EST, and is open to US addresses only.  MSRP is $136.97, and prize is supplied and shipped by ManPans.  Word to the wise?  Follow me on Twitter and Fan me on Facebook, as I often throw bonus entries opportunities out to my friends there.

I also recommend following ManPans on Facebook and Twitter – but only because they are a great company and their employees are a PLEASURE to do business with.  I dig companies like that, don’t you?  Know what else?  ManPans are Made in the USA, AND Eco-Friendly. True, True, True.

Great stuff!  Good luck everyone, and wish me luck with the tagine.

No. More. Tears.

Cinnamon Gingered Baby Carrots…and a Le Creuset Giveaway!

 

It’s okay…you can admit you clicked over because you read the words "Le Creuset Giveaway”, and not because you have a hankering for carrots.  I get it.  But trust me, the carrots are fantastic in their own right.  The addition of cinnamon and ginger to a simple sweet glaze makes this side dish a nice break from the humdrum of standard dinner accompaniments.carrot1

imageOver the weekend we pulled together an amazing meal after spending a family day together shopping.  We started with one of those new Dole Salad Mixes – the Asian Island Crunch.  When I attended the Dole Summit back in November, this was hands down my favorite of their new products.  Included in the salad bag is a nice Asian dressing, almonds, dried pineapple chunks, and sticks, according to Seven.  It is a very flavorful and refreshing salad, and I nearly danced in the middle of Kroger when I saw that they had it.  I’d been looking for months!

We followed the salad up with the baby carrots, steamed sesame broccoli (which will be in another post with another giveaway, hint hint!), rice, and a most delicious goat cheese stuffed garlic chicken (which will ALSO be in another post, with another little giveaway!).  I can’t get enough carrots in my diet these days…I LOVE them, and even better, so does Seven.  Slowly but surely I am winning Jon over to the vegetable, but it’s been a long road.  it’s not too often though, that we don’t have a bag or two of carrots hanging out in the fridge at the ready.  They’re so easy, flavorful, and good for you…why not?

carrot3I used my new Fennel colored Le Creuset 2 1/4 quart Saucier.  I’ve got to tell you, this is a great sized pan for making side dishes, like the carrots.  It’s also perfect for making mac & cheese, heating cream for ganache, and even scrambling eggs.  Not too big and not too small, it’s a great addition to the cookware line up.  It’s very versatile piece as well, since it can go from the stovetop to the oven in one fell swoop – perfect for adding a layer melted cheese to that pasta!

Did I mention the color?  I did, didn’t I?  Fennel is the latest color available from Le Creuset, and though it doesn’t match my Caribbean LC, it’s a gorgeous color and compliments it so well!  if you are a fan of green at all, this color is for you.  I can see it being one of those colors that stands the test of time.  Nice, nice, nice.

Maybe I should tell you about these carrots before I start daydreaming about adding more pots and pans to my Le Creuset collection.  I still don’t have the 9 quart French Oven.  Or the wok. Or…oh, nevermind.  Some day, some way.

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By: ifood.tv