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How to Caramelize Onions

What to use them for?  Serve them on?  Blend them into?...EVERYTHING.  Taking time to brown onions brings flavor depth to any dish.

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, cut into thin half moons
Pinch of salt

Heat butter in cast iron skillet until it starts to sizzle but not burn.  Add onions and salt and move them around until the onions are coated.  Now, itís all about time.  Let the onions slowly cook down. Continue to stir the onions. After a minute or so, you will notice that they might have begun to stick to the bottom of the pan and turn dark in color. This is okay--in fact, it's what should happen. Turn the heat down a tad.  Continue stirring and watch as the onions' color turns darker and darker.

If you feel that the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan too much, add a very small amount of water, broth, or wine to the pan and stir vigorously; this is called "deglazing." The water will evaporate almost immediately while loosening the onion slices.

Continue until the onions have reached the color, flavor, and texture you desire. It usually takes us 20-30 minutes.  An opportunity for slowing down, being in the present moment.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Makes 1 Ĺ cups


12 Comments:

Alma Schneider
I JUST caramelized a ton of onions and they store really well. Perhaps an onion tart for a meeting on Friday. Thanks for the great site-you guys are hilarious! Alma www.takebackthekitchen.com
October 27, 2010, 6:46 pm

Kate
That was hilarious. And truly, I had no idea caramelizing was that easy. It just SOUNDS hard. Thanks! (By the way, the dog barking--priceless.) Kate in Boston
October 27, 2010, 7:51 pm

Rebecca
What level of heat do you cook them on?
October 27, 2010, 8:06 pm

Connie Clifford
Now that's reality TV! Bravo!!
October 28, 2010, 6:36 am

amanda Schaer
Matt- stop touching and moving the onions around. You gotta let the sugar develop in the pan. You guys are great!
October 28, 2010, 11:15 am

Juliana Caton
That looked just like my husband- while I am running around making the whole dinner he slowly finishes one job. At least he helps in the kitchen though, good job guys!
October 28, 2010, 4:06 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Rebecca, the level of heat depends on the pan you are using. With cast iron (as shown in the video) the iron really holds the heat so you can start on a medium level and once it is hot lower the heat. A skillet made from carbon steel or stainless steel may require that you make small adjustments throughout the process to maintain the very low sizzle sound you want.
October 28, 2010, 5:59 pm

Julia
These look yummy! How long can you store them? Can they be re-heated?
October 29, 2010, 7:09 pm

Cynthia Lair
Julia, They can be stored and reheated. Should last a few days.
November 1, 2010, 8:30 am

Gary
Cynthia, I was just curious; do you know approximately how many subscribers you have world wide? BTW, I love your site and your videos. And I can relate to Steve, lol...
February 23, 2011, 10:07 am

Riza Riza
Thank you Jeanette! I wneatd to make some sort of bean salad and you came through! I'll be making bulgar and beans' tonight. I'll let you know how it turns out!
February 16, 2012, 1:16 pm

Bernadette Lenzo
Hi Cynthia and all. I love this site and weirdly, learn better! with the interruptions. Bernadette in Perth
April 13, 2015, 3:12 am

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