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“How to Caramelize Onions”

On Friday when I was showing you my adventures in thin crust pizza, one of the ingredients that I unloaded onto the crust was caramelized onions. And then it dawned on me that maybe not everyone knows how to caramelize onions…

Do you know how? Do you want a quick little demo? Hm…

I’ll take your silence as a yes.

If I were to just go about my life throwing things onto the top of pizza crusts without explanation I couldn’t sleep at night. It’s not the kind of person I want to be in this world.

Every onion is different you see. Some are juicier than others. Some need a little more help than others depending on their age. Kind of like humans.

The younger your onion, the easier it will be to caramelize well.

And the color of the onion doesn’t really matter, it’s all about the age.

I’ll admit it, my onion was rather old. I was emptying my pantry after all and so it was a “use what you’ve got” kind of situation. But it still worked. Ingredients don’t have to be perfect to fulfill their purpose.

You’ll cut the root and top ends off, then cut the onion in half from root to top, then slice thinly.

One medium onion yielded about 1/3 cup of caramelized onions. More than enough for one pizza. But also great for a quiche, onion soup, an ice cream sundae…

Then guess where they go next?

My skillet.

My best friend.

My would be fiancé.

The only thing I can truly count on in this world.

There’s nothing better than a heavy bottomed skillet.

You want to get it nice and hot before you drop in the onions. Add a little olive or grape seed oil in there.

And when it’s ready drop those babies in there and give them a quick stir. The sudden heat will release their juices rather quickly (assuming they are young enough to have juice).

And you can add a little salt to help it along. You can also add a little sugar if your onions are too old. Or some balsamic vinegar.

But the idea is that you are going to slowly cook them over a long period of time so that their natural sugars come out and caramelize.

So now you’ll turn your heat way down, give them a stir, and let them go for 30-60 minutes, depending on how many you have in the pan.

Just rember, low and slow is your mantra. And they will become golden and then a nice dark caramel. If they become too dry, add some butter along the way.

And before too long…

You will have a little pile of caramelized onions for your chocolate ice cream… or whatever else you like to put caramelized onions on.

What do you like to put caramelized onions on anyway??

“Caramelized Onions”

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 medium onion makes about 1/3 cup caramelized onions

“Caramelized Onions”

Ingredients

  • Onions
  • Olive oil or grape seed oil
  • Salt
  • Butter (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel the onions and cut them at the top and root ends. Cut them in half from root to top and slice thinly.
  2. Heat a skillet or wide saute pan until quite hot with a bit of oil.
  3. Drop in the onions and stir rapidly as they release their juice.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and lower the head to the lowest setting. Cook for 30-60 minutes depending on how many onions are in the pan. If the onions are old, add a pinch of sugar and a drop of balsamic along the way. Add some butter if the pan becomes too dry.
  5. Cook until the onions are a uniform dark caramel color.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2010/03/08/recipes/how-to-caramelize-onions/

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Comments

  1. Grandma says:

    I like to mix them into home-made apple sauce to serve with pork chops

  2. thank you for this!! I love caramelized onions but have never made them. there is a local restaurant that makes delicious steak tips and they smother them with these babies. I am going to try this myself.
    we also like them on hot dogs, like at the ballpark. I know this recipe will be much better than the quickly cooked ones there!