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Baked Vidalia Onions (1) (800x533)

Local Flavor by Hope Harrington Oakes – Issue 1089

Staff Writer

Okay, I will be the first to admit it, sometimes, I can be such a goofball!  In last week’s column I tried to honor my two moms by sharing a couple of their recipes (Shrimp Etouffee and Loaded Potato Bombs).  Well, the day I was writing it, my house was in total chaos with the hubby and kids running around, being loud, and getting underfoot.  My stepmom, Sherean’s recipe for Shrimp Etoufee has always been a favorite of mine, but I haven’t been fortunate enough in many years to be around when she made it.  When I tried to reach her to get the recipe from her, she was out of pocket.  I remembered that their church, Faith Presbyterian in Aberdeen, put out a cookbook a few years ago, so I got my copy and found what I wanted.  Unfortunately, while copying it, I was interrupted a time or two (or six), so I got off-track and actually typed in the recipe that was underneath Sherean’s Shrimp Etouffee.  The recipe printed last week was actually a recipe for Shrimp Scampi by Kathy Lusby of Aberdeen.  When I made it, thinking it was Shrimp Etouffee, I thought “Wow that looks a little different from what I remember!” Still, it was absolutely delicious, and my family loved it.  I didn’t realize the mistake until Sherean commented about it looking wrong, too.  I went home, got the cookbook out and had a good laugh over my goof.  This week, I am taking the opportunity to correct the mistake.  With Sherean’s approval, here is the correct recipe for her Shrimp Etoufee.
The other recipe I am sharing is Baked Vidalia Onions.  I was given this one years ago, before I had picky kids, and a picky husband, for that matter.   I have never tried to make this for my family, but I do believe that tastes change as kids get older, so I thought it would be a good time to try it on them.  Actually, it’s the perfect time, since my friends in the Greater Columbus Civitans are selling ten-pound bags of Vidalia Onions as a fundraiser, for $10 each.  Of course, I got two bags, so I’m going to enjoy using them up.  The recipe was a hit with my family.  It is a really good alternative to a baked potato.  Leftovers can be used up in literally dozens of dishes (my favorite has always been French Onion Soup).  If you want to get your own bag, and help out a good cause at the same time, contact the Greater Columbus Civitans at 662-435-2222.   Enjoy!



Sherean's Shrimp Etouffee (1) (800x530)

by Sherean Harrington

1 cup Celery, finely diced
1 small Onion, finely diced
1 small Bell Pepper, finely diced
2 teaspoons Butter
3 cans (16oz. each) Tomatoes
1 small can Tomato Paste
1 lb. small Shrimp, deveined
2 cans Mushrooms, undrained
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Parsley, to taste
Cajun Seasoning, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Garlic Salt, to taste
1 lb. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Sauté celery, onion, and pepper in butter until limp.  Cook tomatoes until soft; smash with a fork.  Add paste and 1 can water.  Add shrimp and onion mixture, then pour in mushrooms.  Season to taste.  Cook covered for one hour.  Add cheese and cook until thick.


Baked Vidalia Onions (1) (800x533)


4 to 6 large Vidalia Onions
2 cloves Garlic, peeled & finely chopped
Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 Tablespoons Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a thin disk from the top and the bottom of each onion. Peel off the dry skins. Taking care to keep the outside of each onion intact, gouge out part of the center of each onion with a melon baller, making a semi-deep well in the onion.  Finely chop the onion that was gouged out and set aside.  Heat a sauté pan and add a little olive oil, the garlic, and the chopped onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic and onion have softened.  In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients, except butter, and add to the sautéed garlic and onion.  Spoon into the center of each onion.  Dot the tops generously with butter and wrap each onion in heavy aluminum foil.  Bake for approximately one hour.


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