Thursday, November 6, 2014

Family Favorites - Memommie's Onion Casserole





(my dad, my grandmother & my dad's cousin and aunt) 
What's your favorite kitchen item? Is it a gadget or a tool or a pot or a dish? I hope you have something special that every time you use it you're transported back to another time and  place and flooded with memories. For me, that item is a small orange dutch oven that belonged to my grandmother. She had a whole set of them, but this was the only one I was able to bring home in my suitcase. Those suckers are heavy. 





After a bit of research and digging I have discovered that this dutch oven is part of the descoware line that was made popular by Julia Child in the 1960's and at that point every home cook had to have their own. Their most popular color was this orange to red gradient called 'flame.'


Because of the memories associated with this particular piece I try to find ways to use it regularly. It only seems fitting that it's debut on the blog be in one of my grandmother's favorite recipes.  

If you're from the south, especially Georgia, you probably grew up eating Vidalia onion casserole. You remember it, right? Vidalia onions, lots of butter and topped with crushed ritz crackers. Not from Georgia? Then, you don't know what your missing out on and you need to get your hands on some Vidalia onions as soon as possible. Vidalia onions, they are an amazing sweet onion grown in the area around Vidalia, Georgia and thereby a staple in the Georgia diet and are officially the state vegetable of Georgia.


This casserole was one of my grandmother's  specialities and was served at almost every major family dinner and I can remember it being served in the larger dutch oven. 

How could I dream of recreating this dish without the butter or crackers? There must be a way. While thinking about it and staring at the dutch oven, I mindlessly started eating some toasted coconut and thought, what does this coconut remind me of??? Oh yeah, it reminded me of buttery cracker crumbs.

That taste memory was all I needed to begin the process of recreating Memommie's Onion Casserole, and there is no doubt this will be on my Thanksgiving Table this year.




Memommie's Onion Casserole

Serves - 2 (can easily be doubled or tripled)
Time - 45 minutes

Ingredients:
- 2 T beef fat or lard
- 2 medium- large yellow onions (Vidalia if you can get them) - sliced thinly
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 3 T toasted coconut

Method:
- pre- heat over to 350F
- heat the fat in a heavy bottomed pan
- add the onions and salt
- cook over a low to medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. You want the liquid to cook out and the onions to soften and release their sugars, but don't want them to brown.
- transfer to a small baking dish
- top with toasted coconut - to toast coconut, heat it in a dry skillet over a medium heat until it browns
- bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until the dish is bubbly and the coconut has gotten crunchy


 

This recipe is shared on this week's AIP Recipe Roundtable.
Check it out for more yummy AIP dishes.