Stuffed Vidalia Onions


From Savannah Seasons: Food and Stories from Elizabeth on 37th by Elizabeth Terry

6 medium onions (Vidalia, Walla Walla, or Texas Sweets)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 cups minced reserved onion centers (see instructions) 1 pound bulk spicy sausage
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
3/4 cup grated white raw-milk Cheddar cheese

Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced shallot (optional)
1/4 cup white drinking wine or dry white vermouth
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons cubed, cold, unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Peel the onions, cut 1 inch from each end, and scoop out the centers with a sharp-edged spoon. Mince and reserve the centers for the stuffing.

3. Place the onions in a shallow baking dish, and drizzle with the melted butter and salt and pepper. Pour boiling water into the dish until it is about halfway up the onions.

4. Cover with a lid or foil, and bake for 30 minutes, until the onions are tender. Remove carefully from the water so the onions do not come apart. Drain, and set on a buttered baking sheet.

5. In a medium skillet over high heat, combine the minced onion centers and the sausage. Stir and saute to break up and brown the sausage, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard the fat, and then toss the sausage mixture with the orange zest, herbs, and 1/4 cup of the cheese.

6. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of each onion, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and return to the oven to heat and melt the cheese, about 5 minutes.

7. To prepare the Lemon Butter Sauce: In a small saute pan over high heat, combine and simmer the olive oil, garlic, shallot, white wine, lemon peel and lemon juice. Reduce to about 2 tablespoons, add the cream, and reduce again to 4 tablespoons. (This happens very quickly, so do not leave the pan.)

8. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, until all the butter is melted and the sauce is thick. This will take no longer than a minute.

9. Strain the sauce. This sauce must be kept warm until used or it will separate. Keep it in a Thermos or over a pan of hot water for up to 2 hours before serving.

10. Serve with Lemon Butter Sauce spooned onto each plate.

Serves 6.