Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cooking Through The Walla Walla Grape Vine

For the month of August (I missed July due to vacation - sorry) my guest gourmet and talented foodie is Kris Reed from Rare Finds in Walla Walla. Rare Finds, Inc. started out as an online store. Not only was it an outlet to discover and purchase unique and tasty artisan foods, but most of all it provided a year-round outlet for small artisan food producers to sell their products. The site was so successful, Kris took the next step and opened up a retail location on Main Street in Walla Walla. Kris has it all - appetizers, condiments and sauces, jams, cookies, candy, pasta, spices and more! Rare Finds is the source for artisan foods.

Kris told me that she gets constant requests for Walla Walla Sweet Onion products and she is adding products that feature our sweet and homegrown globes. In fact, the recipe from Kris features Walla Walla Sweet Onions! She says this onion pie makes a great side dish for a BBQ or picnics (equally good hot, cold or room temperature). She also suggests to add Walla Walla Sweet Onion sausage and says it is a wonderful main dish.

Walla Walla Onion Pie

1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 2 sleeves of crackers)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups Walla Walla Sweet onions, half moons thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Gruyere, shredded
1/2 lb sliced Walla Walla Sweet onion sausage (or other Kielbasa style sausage), browned (optional)

Combine the cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Press the crumbs into a pie plate to create the crust (use the edge of a large glass to help push the crumbs up the sides of the plate).In a skillet over low heat, saute onions in the butter until onions are translucent. Layer the onions over the crumb crust. If you're adding the sausage, arrange it in a layer over the onions.

Place the eggs in a medium bowl and beat by hand until frothy. Add the half and half, nutmeg, salt and pepper and beat to combine. Pour over the onions. Spread the grated cheese over the top. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the center is well.

So, what kind of wine-pairing for this pie? I would suggest any local white such as dry Riesling. Even an off-dry Riesling would pair very nice with the cheese and the sweetness of the onions. Of if you prefer to stay with a dry wine, Roussanne and especially Three Rivers White Meritage would be another suggestion. If sausage is added, I would go a little bold and pair it with some of the local Sangioveses like those from Mannina Cellars and Russell Creek Winery. By the way - Walla Walla Sweet Onions have a short life-span, but I noticed they're still for sale at local highway stands. Enjoy!

3 comments:

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe we tried it over the weekend and used the sausage it was good. Very good. We had it with Seven Hills Risling.

quick chick said...

Wow! what a great pie! easy to make but so elegant. We paired it with a salad of field greens that were dressed with a chardonnay-citrus dressing! Yum! to quote my mother "this one is a keeper!"
Thank you for sharing.
Quick Chick

Catie said...

It was a good recipe, wasn't it? I made it the spur of the moment and didn't have any Gruyere, but used Fontina instead. Turned out great. This is a recipe that you can add other savory goodies to and it works.