We don’t usually associate rice as being an integral part of the South. However rice is an essential part of the South just as sure as grits is and is found in many low-country dishes such as jambalaya and a myriad of casseroles. And then too, is the Vidalia onion. Mix the two together and you have a delicious recipe for a casserole. This dish has graced many of our family meals. I’ve also included a favorite dip.
8 TBS BUTTER – unsalted
SALT – to taste
3 1/3 cups Vidalia onion – roughly chopped
1 CUP HEAVY CREAM
1 CUP GRATED CHEESE – Swiss or your favorite
FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER – to taste
PINCH OF NUTMEG – or to taste
2 CUPS LONG GRAIN WHITE RICE
3 TBS FRESH PARSLEY – finely chopped
SWEET PAPRIKA – for garnish, optional
PREHEAT OVEN TO 325º
BUTTER A 9X13-INCH CASSEROLE
In a large skillet, melt the butter over low heat. When foamy add the chopped onions and a generous pinch of salt, or to taste. Cook stirring occasionally just until softened and turning a deep golden brown and lightly caramelized – about 25 to 35 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and boil for about 5 minutes., stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Drain well.
When the onions are caramelized, remove from the heat and stir in the cream, nutmeg and grated cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in the parsley and slowly add the rice. Mix well to totally combine all. Transfer to prepared baking dish, sprinkle with paprika, if using, and bake until the casserole is browned and the top is crisp – about 55-60 minutes. Serve hot.
VIDALIA ONION DIP
I have made this easy dip so many times that I
know it my heart. It always is a favorite and goes quickly
so I usually double the recipe.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º.
2 cups Vidalia onions thickly chopped, 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 cups fresh mozzarella, shredded. Mix all ingredients and bake in a lightly sprayed 2-3 quart baking dish. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Serve with a hardy cracker or toasted baguette round.