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Onion's tasty any way you slice it

Vidalia onions are one of summer's delights. They can be used in a multitude of ways. This relish recipe, which makes a quart, is a delicious topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. A spoonful of this tangy condiment adds a special touch to any meal.

If you are looking for a different vegetable dish, here are two recipes to have handy. The first, onion casserole, is rich with cheese and cream. Chopped green pepper and pimento add an attractive touch of color. The second combines sweet onion with cornbread stuffing mix and mushroom soup for an interesting taste blend.

Swiss Steak is an old favorite. It takes a bit of time to put it together, but then you can put it in the oven and forget it.

For: Penny Atkins of Crystal River.

From: Anne Lee of Holiday.

Recipe: Vidalia onion relish.

Vidalia Onion Relish

2 pounds Vidalia onions, chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

} cup cider vinegar

\ cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon celery seeds

\ teaspoon salt

Saute onions, celery and red pepper in butter in a small Dutch oven for 15 minutes or until tender. Add vinegar and the remaining ingredients to the mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Cool; store in refrigerator in a covered container. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes 1 quart.

For: Evelyn Snyder of Holiday.

From: Dee Vitello of St. Petersburg.

Recipe: Sweet onion casserole from Dasher Brothers' Farm, Glennville, Ga.

Sweet Onion Casserole

6 cups chopped onions

\ cup chopped bell pepper (optional)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil or margarine

3 cups grated Cheddar cheese

1{ cups heavy cream

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon chopped pimento (optional)

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Paprika for garnish

Saute onions and peppers in oil for 15 minutes on medium heat. Place half of cheese in a buttered 2-quart casserole. Top with sauted vegetables. Top with remaining cheese.

Combine cream, eggs, pimiento and salt to make custard sauce. Pour sauce over cheese layer. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in preheated oven of 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer. Serves 8.

From: Doris Herbert of Clearwater.

Recipe: Sweet onion-cornbread stuffing casserole.

Sweet Onion-Cornbread Stuffing Casserole

4 cups sliced sweet onions

{ cup butter or margarine (1 stick)

1\ cups cornbread stuffing

mix

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

{ cup sour cream

Saute onions in butter until onions are transparent. Combine with remaining ingredients. Put in casserole and sprinkle with some additional stuffing mix. Bake in 300-degree oven until thoroughly heated and browned on top.

Note: Doris notes that the original recipe calls for Vidalia onions, but any sweet onion will do. She prefers to use Stovetop Stuffing in the package that allows measuring out the desired amount.

For: Florabel McCombs of Brooksville.

From: Elaine Moreland of Dunedin.

Recipe: Oven swiss steak.

Oven Swiss Steak

1{ pounds round steak, }-inch thick

\ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons shortening (such as Crisco)

1 16-ounce can stewed tomatoes

{ cup chopped celery

{ cup chopped carrots

2 tablespoons chopped onion

{ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 ounce shredded American cheese, optional (\ cup)

Cut steak into four portions. Combine flour and salt; pound into meat, reserving remaining flour for sauce. Brown meat in hot shortening. Transfer meat to shallow baking dish. Blend reserved flour mixture into pan drippings in skillet. Add tomatoes, celery, carrot, onion and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Pour over meat. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle cheese over meat. Return to oven for a few minutes to melt cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe requests

Two cake recipes from the mid-1980s are on the wish list of Stephanie Lyons of St. Petersburg. Better Than Sex Cake and Sock It to Me Cake are two favorite recipes that have been misplaced over the years.

A chocolate cake called The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford made the recipe rounds in the early 1980s. Bill Williams of Clearwater hopes you have the recipe in your files and will send it in for him.

John Chasas of New Port Richey writes that his mother used to made Meatless Stew with eggplant during World War II. John would very much like to have the recipe.

You Asked For It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked For It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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