Saturday, November 12, 2011

How To: Caramelize Onions

There's nothing better than a plain old cheeseburger sometimes. The soft yet toasty sesame seed bun, the juicy meat with just a touch of pink for me (I'm the weirdo that loves my steaks black and blue but my burgers have to be at the very least medium), melty sharp cheddar, the crisp of the lettuce and the soft, satisfying bite of an almost sweetly acidic of the tomato. Perfection... almost.
The only thing missing to take it from good to absolute carnivore deliciousness is the onions. No, not raw (which for some reason give me a headache), but those lovely, browned, sweet with a hint of char, caramelized onion. Not just the perfect accompaniment for a burger, but for steaks, dips, soups, pastas, omelettes... I could go on, but you get the idea. It's a little time consuming, especially if you're making a bunch, but it's so worth it. 1 large onion will yield about 1/4 cup so you can judge from there how many you should use.

Caramelized Onions
1 large yellow onion- I like to slice mine thin- but it's at your discretion
1 Tbl olive oil
Pinch of sugar (optional)
1. In a saute pan over medium heat add oil. Once oil is hot add in the onions. Stir to coat as much onion space as possible with oil.
2. Stir every few minutes. They'll start to give up their liquid and steam a bit, and after that is when the sugars start to come out to create the caramelization. But just keep stirring every few minutes, don't let them burn.
3. They'll continue to shrink up and get more and more golden. Just keep stirring- they aren't there yet. At this point if they get too dry you can add a touch more oil or some water. You can also add in a pinch of sugar, which helps bring out the natural sugars.
4. These above are still about 5 minutes away from being done. You'll know when they're all limp and a lovely  light brown color. 

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