Monday, April 16, 2012

Toombs County's Finest

Vidalia Onions are one of my favorite things about early summer. The onions come from Middle Georgia, Toombs County. The soil there is particularly suited for growing onions. They're mild and slightly sweet. Some say (and I have tested this theory in my childhood) you can eat them like an apple. 

Vidalia's are a finicky addition to the pantry. They are very soft skinned, and don't hold up over time. One way you can preserve them is to tie them up in the legs of pantyhose and tie a knot at each onion, so they don't touch one another (vital). Then, you hang the pantyhose legs in a dark, cool closet. That way, you can get a couple of months out of your onions. Otherwise, they're a blink-and-the-season-is-over kind of vegetable. 

This is my number one favorite way to cook Vidalias.

Veggievangelist's Baked Vidalia Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes in the oven


Four medium sized Vidalia onions, sliced into 1/2 inch slices, separated
2 Tbsp. butter, plus 2 Tbsp. (optional)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
Approximately 20 butter crackers (e.g., Ritz Crackers)

Cut onions into 1/2 inch slices and separate the rings. Heat large skillet over medium heat with 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add onion , stirring frequently, as the onions begin to caramelize. Add salt and pepper. Cook approximately 8-10 minutes over medium to medium-low heat. Onions should look lightly browned, and will start to look translucent. Remove from heat. Transfer cooked onions to a baking dish. Crush crackers over the onions, add extra butter to the top (optional) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.

Vidalia Onions

Slice into half inch slices and separate rings.  Sorry if the photo's a bit blinding. 

Casserole pre-oven

Casserole ready to eat

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Name that Veggie!

A lot of the local farmer's markets open this coming Saturday. I'd like to challenge you to go to one of your local farmer's markets, wherever you may be, and buy a vegetable you don't normally prepare and give it a go. Widen your repertoire.

Do you know what this purple lovely is? It's got a mild taste, very crunchy, and is a great addition to a tasty salad. Boy #1 describes it as a "white carrot."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring's Here, Bake a Lemon Pound Cake

I love lemons and springtime. This is one of my favorite go-to cake recipes. In part, for its simplicity, and also because it's so delicious. It's a caloric splurge. And, as a bonus, it also freezes well.

Veggievangelist's Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 60 minutes (give or take a few)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees


6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1 Tbsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 cups cake flour (King Arthur and Swans Down make fine cake flour)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Place oven rack in the center and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 inch fluted tube pan (or bundt pan). Tap out excess flour.


Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Break eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until fluffy. Add sugar, beating on high speed, and then add butter. Continue by adding lemon extract, lemon zest and sour cream. Mix until smooth. Reduce speed on mixer to low and gradually beat in the sifted flour. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour batter into prepared cake pan, spreading evenly. Take both hands to hold the cake pan and gently tap it on the counter five times, to settle the batter. Bake in preheated oven for one hour (60 minutes), or until a test knife comes out clean.

Syrup for Cake:

1 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup 10x powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. softened butter

Combine lemon juice, powdered sugar and butter in a bowl. Beat with a wire whisk until smooth.

When cake is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan. Invert onto serving platter and slowly drizzle with the lemon syrup covering completely; allow it to cool further before serving.

Egg Fanatics

We tried natural dyes last week to test out, but these work really well too.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. 

Veggievangelist's Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake

Thursday, April 5, 2012