What’s in a name? that which we call an onion
By any other name would smell as pungent.
- Big Bill Shakespeare (with edits)
I love me some onions. I think as a child I may have shied away a bit, but for most of my life I cannot get enough of them. Red, white or yellow, they find their way into many of my dishes. Early on I found the sweetness of Vidalia. For a number of years I used that type of onion almost exclusively. As my palate progressed, I started to understand the complexities of each onion and when I should use each. For those who still have some question, here is a quick guide:
- Yellow – Also known as a Spanish onion, this is the workhorse onion. If a recipe calls for onion, this should be your default choice. The flavor is relatively mild and will it caramelize and bring sweeter flavors to a dish when cooked long term.
- White – These onions have a much stronger flavor profile. You take a bite and cannot mistake it for any other ingredient. I use these for Mexican dishes and if I want the onion flavor to not get lost.
- Red – Some will say these have the strongest flavor. I love these for raw uses such as salsa or salad. A little will go a long way, so slice or dice thin. Their color is great for salads and other raw uses but will quickly fade to clear when cooked.
- Shallot – A milder flavor. I use these both raw (salads) and cooked. They bring a slight onion taste in conjunction with some sweetness.
- Green – Also known as scallions, these are good both cooked and raw. Great for a quick cook as they tend to disappear in long cooking dishes. I will use these in Asian dishes. They are good for garnish as well.
- Pearl – These small guys are a pain in the &$$ to peel (unless you learn the water trick). Long cooking stews are the right place for them.
- Sweet – Also known as Walla Walla or Vidalia, these bring such a sweetness to a dish. They carmelize well and are good when you are not looking for such a bite.
These sweet onions pair well with the creamy, tart blue cheese.
I had some Gorgonzola on hand so I used that in place of true blue.
Making the onion packet.
On the grill.
It is like a present to open.
Creamy and delicious.
Blue Cheese Vidalia Onions
Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 55 mins | Makes: 8 servings
- 2 large Vidalia onions or other sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
- 1/2 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut up
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed
- Grilled burgers topped with bacon or grilled steaks
Fold a 36×18-inch piece of heavy foil in half to make an 18-inch square. Place onion slices in center of foil. Dot with butter. Bring up opposite edges of the foil; seal with a double fold. Seal remaining edges with double folds to completely enclose the onions, leaving space for steam to build.
For a charcoal grill, place the packet on rack of covered grill directly over medium coals. Grill for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are just tender; turn packet once or twice during cooking. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Grill as above.)
In a large bowl combine crumbled blue cheese, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and dillweed. Use a slotted spoon to add onions to the cheese mixture; toss to coat. Serve on grilled burgers topped with bacon, or with grilled steaks. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: Calories 130, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Sodium 273 mg, Carbohydrate 5 g, Total Sugar 2 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 5 g. Daily Values: Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 10%, Iron 3%. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet