Cheese and Onion Bread



I am in full comfort food mode. Even though it’s the time of the year for chilled soups and salads and all things light and green and lovely, I’m craving mac and cheese and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.

And we won’t even discuss my craving for a dish of real fettuccine alfredo. With crab. Or maybe shrimp. Preferably made by someone else. Really, I’m not picky.

But, I like to keep things in balance and real. If I’m going to make a cream sauce, it’s gonna be with real cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano and I will happily eat salads for the rest of the week. And it’s the same with macaroni and cheese, which just happens to be on the menu for this weekend. Really good aged cheese, whole milk, butter and the kind of pasta that doesn’t fall apart if you look at it the wrong way. Mueller’s, I’m looking at you.

I made this bread last night to go with the kind of soup I like to make when I have a bunch of veggie leftovers in the fridge. It’s an unwritten recipe and I just go by feel, adding what I like as I go along. A chopped onion browned in olive oil, carrots and celery, garlic, some dried herbs and spices. A can of plum tomatoes, broth and veggies and fresh herbs added along the way.

The soup was my take on a summer minestrone; lots and lots of veggies and beans, but very low in fat. I thought this would go well with it, and it did!

This recipe comes from the late Dom DeLuise’s “Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better!” cookbook, which is one of my favorites. It’s a bit, ahem, “dishy” (Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson carve a turkey! Dinah Shore’s moussaka!), but it’s a really terrific read as well as a great source for old-school Italian-American recipes, which seems to be the ones that we all remember and crave.

Try his “Red Clam Sauce for Dino” since it’s the best clam sauce you’ll ever make. And don’t forget the garlic bread…or the breath mints.

Cheese and Onion Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp.(1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • pepper (I use freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 cups of flour (I use unbleached white flour, but you could probably use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp.(1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (a smoked Cheddar might be really good in this), divided
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used skim and it was fine)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or oregano or chives)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  2. Saute the onion in 2 Tbsp. of butter until it’s soft and golden. In a bowl, combine the onions with the egg, sour cream and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Put the flour and the baking powder in another bowl. Run a whisk or a fork through it to blend it.
  4. Slice the butter in small chunks, and rub the butter in with your fingertips until it’s crumbly and looks like bread crumbs. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Stir in half of the cheese.
  5. Add the milk to make a soft dough. This is going to be a very crumbly dough, almost like a biscuit dough. Don’t overwork it, because…
  6. Pat the dough into a buttered 9″ square pan, making sure it’s even all way around the edges and into the corners. Spread the sour cream mixture on top.
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and the herbs. Bake in a 425° for 25 minutes. Your kitchen will smell divine, which alone is a fabulous reason to make this.
  8. Try to let it chill out on a wire rack until it’s cools off a bit (I couldn’t!) since it’ll let the topping set.
  9. Enjoy!




2 responses »

  1. This. Sounds. AMAZING. I will try this tonight! Oh, and I love the whole soup from leftover veggies idea. I’m trying my darndest to make room in our freezer for the onslaught of veggies from our garden, which means we’ve been eating a ton of zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes (I’m saving the okra for gumbo when it gets cooler). So glad I found your blog! ❤


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