Cooking On A Budget: Caramelizing Onions

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Caramelizing Onions

Vidalia Onion
Depending on what you are making, choosing the right onion is key. For instance, I like to use a sweet onion like a Vidalia or Texas or Spanish onion for many of my dishes. The smaller onions tend to be more harsh tasting and they impart more sulfur which is what makes for teary eyes. The yellow sweet onions are great for making French Onion Soup and in most soup and stew recipes.
In the last few years I have come to love the "red" onion. In its' raw state it has a sharp flavor. The red onion is great in salads, and in some salad dressing recipes like Thousand Island Dressing.  If allowed to cook down and caramelize, the red onion becomes sweeter and imparts a wonderful taste. The red onion pairs well with some balsamic vinegar added and gives depth of flavor to the dish. They are great grilled.
The Baby Pearl Onions become sweet and delicious when softened and caramelized. I always use the frozen baby onions as they are good tasting and a huge time saver.  I like to use them in recipes like Chicken Marsala, Chicken Cacciatore and I like them with baby sweet peas (also frozen) to name a few.
To make caramelized onions, trim the ends off the onions, cut them in half vertically and peel. Remove the core and slice the onion vertically. Use a heavy bottom pan and melt a combination of butter and oil over moderate heat. Once hot, add in the onions. Cover for a few minutes to help bring out the natural juices of the onions.
Cook covered for about 4-5 minutes, uncover and add in pinches of salt and some sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low at this point. Stir frequently so they brown evenly.
This will take 20 - 30 minutes or longer to get them really caramelized. If the onions are browning unevenly, add a touch of water to the pan.
Caramelizing Pearl Onions

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...