Friday, August 27, 2010

Homemade...Onion & Cheese Casserole

About five years ago my mom gave each of her three kids a family recipe book she compiled for Christmas (a great gift idea, by the way - especially for those of you whose chicks have recently flown the coop). Filled with all of our family favorites growing up in Virginia, these classics have now become favorites for my children. And yes you read that title right - Onion Casserole has become an oft-requested dish by my kids! You know it must be good! I swear to you my almost-10 year old just called out "Can you make this for me for my birthday?!?!" And she's serious!

I'm going to give you my slightly modified version because that's what I made. With the addition of Swiss Cheese, it almost tastes like French Onion Soup. I like to call it "French Onion Soup on Imodium." You could even throw in a couple of dashes of white wine if you really wanted to up the French Onion Soup flavor. It's so simple and tastes absolutely fantastic. Enjoy!

Onion & Cheese Casserole

1 Tbsp. butter
8 slices buttered toast (we use whole wheat), each slice cut into 4 strips
1 large white onion, 1 medium Vidalia onion, and about 3-4 small red onions - all thinly sliced
2 small-medium handfuls Cheddar cheese
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup Feta cheese
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. celery seed

Butter a 7.5" x 11.5" x 2" baking dish. Line baking dish with toast. Cover with a layer of onions (all 3 varieties mixed together), 1 handful of Cheddar, and 2 slices of Swiss, torn into pieces. Repeat with another layer of toast, onions, and 2 cheeses. Sprinkle top with the Feta.

Beat egg slightly and add balance of ingredients. Pour over contents of dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve at once. Serves 6-8.

A few notes:
  • The original recipe calls for a flat, 2 quart baking dish, but I didn't have that.
  • It also calls for only 4-5 slices of toast, but we like it with more.
  • The original specifies using 9-10 sliced medium-sized onions (and boiling them after slicing until just tender, then draining), but that many won't remotely fit in my dish. Plus it is so much faster and tastes just as good to use raw onions.
  • And hey - cheese is just as delectable no matter what kind you use. So experiment! Some Monterrey Jack or even a bit of Blue Cheese would taste great, too.
  • While I am not one to use absolutes when it comes to cooking, one thing I would highly recommend including is the celery seed. I oddly enough don't use it in anything else, but can't imagine this dish without it. -Carrie

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