Friday, October 1, 2010

Caramelized Onions

I love onions.  They are a staple in my kitchen - I always have them on hand and I use them in almost every meal.  They are relatively inexpensive - they used to be really cheap, then got really expensive, and are now on their way back down again - and they add a lot of flavor.  There are several ways you can use onions in meals: raw, sauteed, caramelized, boiled, grated, dried, powdered, and the list goes on and on.  Then there's all the different types of onions: green, red, white, yellow, brown, sweet, Vidalia, etc.  I usually buy brown or yellow onions because they're typically the cheapest.

One of my favorite things to do with onions is to caramelize them.  It brings out their sweetness and adds a ton of flavor to dishes.  It's a simple process, but it takes time.  If you try to rush it, you'll end up with sauteed onions, which are good too, but they're not caramelized onions.

To caramelize onions, I usually slice the onion into rings and then cut the rings in half.  If you're planning on making a lot of onions, you may want to use a mandolin slicer.  In a skillet, melt enough butter to just cover the bottom of the skillet (if you're doing a lot of onions, you'll need more butter).  When the butter is melted, add the onion.  Keep in mind that the onions will shrink down, so cut more than you think you're going to need.  Cook the onions over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until they turn a nice caramel brown.


You can cook them even longer than I did and allow them to get more brown, but this was caramelized enough for the recipe in which I was using them.  We'll give you ideas as to how to use caramelized onions in future posts, so keep an eye out!


Crystal Malek said...

I loooove caramelized onions. So delicious. Do you think they could be frozen? I might experiment with that someday. Would be great to be able to just thaw some out when the craving hits.

JRM said...

This gave me a craving for caramelized onions, so guess what I had for dinner last night? They were awesome.

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