We revisit a Southern icon again, Vidalia onions, because June Sassard of Mount Pleasant has sweet memories of a casserole made by a Georgia friend.
Just last July we enjoyed a trove of onion pie recipes here, and the column told the history of how the brand came to be.
Go to postandcourier.com and search under "Archive News" for "Vidalia onions" if you're interested in the Vidalia story and more recipes.
Anyway, the casserole June seeks included saltine crackers, mushroom soup and cheese.
Doris Tylee of North Charleston may have hit the bulls-eye.
She says this recipe appeared in this newspaper a number of years ago.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 medium Vidalia onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
15 saltine crackers, crushed; divided use
1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Melt butter in large frying pan. Saute onions over medium heat until clear.
Reserve 3 tablespoons of cracker crumbs for topping and place remaining crumbs in the bottom of a lightly greased 2-quart casserole. Remove onions from pan with a slotted spoon. Add soup and onions in alternating layers until full. Combine eggs and milk; pour over onions. Top with cheese and remaining cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
We'll stray a little bit, ingredient-wise, into other onion territory ... Pat Lindenmeyer of Summerville says this casserole makes a lot and is a great recipe for a covered dish event. I love that it includes rice, as well.
Yield 10-12 servings
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
6 large Vidalia onions
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup whipping cream
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Peel and chop onions. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, and cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in rice, parsley, and next four ingredients. Spoon mixture into lightly greased 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
Paige Rumph of West Ashley weighed with another "VO" dish. She got this from her mother many years ago, but forgot about it until this past holiday season. She made it twice for different occasions and says "it was received with recipe requests, so I know it's good!"
4 Vidalia onions, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
20 butter-flavored crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish. Saute onions in butter until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Spoon half of the onions into the baking dish. Sprinkle with all of the cheese. Add the remaining onions and top with the crackers. Drizzle two tablespoons of melted butter over the crackers. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.
Glenda Hawkins of West Ashley acknowledged that this recipe doesn't quite match the request either, "but it is a good one," she says.
1 cup saltine cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Combine crumbs and butter and press into an 8-inch pan. Bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees and remove from oven. Saute onions in oil until tender and put into shell. Mix remaining ingredients except cheese and pour over onions. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Who's got the recipe?
--Virginia Ellison writes, "The old Baker's Cafe on King Street used to have a wonderful Raspberry Rhubarb jam or preserve that my aunt bought in bulk every time she came to town." Does anybody have a recipe or a source for store-bought?
--With quail from South Carolina's Manchester Farms now widely available, a Charleston reader requested "tasty and interesting" quail recipes. Grilled, baked or braised, but preferably not fried.
If there's a recipe you've lost, have memories of or a dish you are just wondering about, let us know. Email Food Editor Teresa Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-4886.