Indeed an excellent way to use the leftover cooked rice.. Very interesting flavours: sweet onion, smoky chile, gentle cheese, somewhat North African spices.. The interesting balance of power: it is to be the onion casserole with rice, not the rice casserole with onion..for 2-3 people, as a light meal, you will use:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 kg)
- about 300 ml cooked rice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 chipotle chile en adobo, diced really carefully – you want to make sure this piping hot smoky flavour is evenly distributed throughout the whole dish
- 200 ml sour cream
- 200 ml shredded Gruyere (about 250g), divided; i did once replaced the gruyere with the Gouda basic edition; the result was not as refined, but quite acceptable to a hungry palette – and infinitely cheaper for the budget..)
- Salt to taste
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- In a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, on low heat melt the butter.
- Add the chopped onion and while occasionally stirring cook for 10 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile, stir together the cooked rice, cumin, allspice, cayenne, garlic, chipotle chile, sour cream and 1/2 of the Gruyere cheese.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, then add salt to taste. Do not skip this step – make sure the salt is at a desired level – this id your only chance -otherwise you end up with spicy – but somewhat flat offering.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C .
- Add rice mixture to the skillet and stir until onions are mixed well with the rice.
- Top with the rest of the Gruyere cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling.
- Serve topped with cilantro, if you like.