Taking the time to caramelize Vidalia onions accentuates their inherently sweet flavor and gives them a creamy texture that I love on crispy toast. This is great with or without the mushrooms but I love the earthiness the mushrooms add to the flavor. This is a great dish to make ahead of time and pop in the oven once your guests arrive. The perfect party food! 

 

Makes 6-8 servings 

 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 

2 Vidalia onions, or 8 cups, sliced ¼ inch thick 

2 Tablespoons whole butter 

10 ounces shiitake mushrooms diced small 

½ Tablespoon thyme, chopped 

¼ cup dry sack sherry 

½ cup heavy cream 

¾ Tablespoon kosher salt 

1 Tablespoon dijon mustard 

6-8 thick slices crusty sourdough bread, about 5 inches wide by ½ inch thick

6 ounces gruyere cheese or 1 ¼ cups, grated 

¼ cup parsley, chopped 

 

Method 

 

  1. Preheat an oven to 400F. Place a 14 inch cast iron skillet or saute pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and sliced onions and cook for about 30 minutes while stirring frequently until onions have turned a deep golden brown and are very soft.  Remove the onions and set aside. 
  2. In the same pan, also over medium heat, add the butter and mushrooms and let cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are caramelized. 
  3. Add the onions back to the pan with the mushrooms, along with the thyme, salt and sherry. Let cook until the onions and mushrooms have absorbed all the liquid. This should take about 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the heavy cream and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside. You can move onto the next step or chill the onions and mushrooms and finish the recipe at your convenience. 
  5. Distribute the onion mixture evenly over the sliced bread and place onto a baking sheet. Distribute the shredded cheese evenly on top of each slice. Place into the hot oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden, and the sides of the bread are crispy and toasted. 
  6. Slice each toast in half and serve. 

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