I was paging through the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine (May 2011) and came across a recipe for Sweet Onion Casserole. I’m always interested in trying out some new side dishes since I can easily get tired of the same ones over and over. I figured that I’d check out the reviews online to see what people had to say about it. I like to do that to see if the recipes needs to be worked with a bit or if they are perfect the way that they are. There weren’t many reviews at all for the recipe, but out of the few that commented, they said it has some potential. So I wanted to try to enhance the flavors.
The recipe calls to only saute the onions for 5 minutes or so. That doesn’t seem like enough time in my opinion. I decided to caramelize the onions before adding them in. I love the flavor of caramelized onions so I was so excited to see how it turned out. I also added in a bit of garlic that I used to make some garlic olive oil. There are many recipes I like to use garlic olive oil in and I think homemade tastes so much better than the store bought stuff. I also used the garlic olive oil in place of the canola oil in this recipe.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil (I used 1 tablespoon of homemade garlic olive oil + 1 tablespoon of butter)
- 4 cups chopped sweet onion (about 1 3/4 pounds) (I caramelized the onions a bit first)
- 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice (I used medium-grain rice and it worked fine)
- 2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Place onion in a large bowl.
3. Cook rice in a large pot of boiling water 5 minutes. Drain.
4. Stir rice and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) into onions. Spoon onion mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 325° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Top with parsley, if desired.
This was good – but it was still missing something. It definitely needed more salt. When I added a little bit more salt to my serving and mixed it together, it was better. So I would bump up the salt amount if you make it. I was hesitant to put too much in there because there is salt in the cheese, etc. This still needs something else to make it really stand out. I’m thinking that some Panko bread crumbs mixed with a little butter and fresh thyme would provide a nice crunch and add a little bit more pizazz to the dish. Maybe a little bacon would help? Doesn’t bacon make everything better?
Another note…when I took the foil off after it baked for 40 minutes covered, I kept it in there for another 10 minutes at 325 degrees and then I put my broiler on low and broiled it for 3 minutes or so to get some more color.
So all in all this does have potential. I would make it again in hopes of figuring out what the missing ingredient is.