Caramelized Onions Many Ways

Monday, May 01, 2006
Thanks to the incomparable Indira of Mahanandi I have been making my own soy milk for a couple of weeks, at a cost of approximately fifty cents a litre (which will go way down when I begin buying soybeans in sacks). When I noticed the deals on gorgeous in season strawberries in the grocery flyers this week I had ambitions for strawberry soy smoothies in the mornings and was scheming how to spend approximately ten dollars on strawberries and still keep my food expenses below twenty for the week. Then among the dollar specials at Superstore, there it was - a 5 lb bag of onions for a dollar.

Caramelizing, which transforms the bite and assertiveness of raw onions into sweetness and complexity, is easiest to do in a slow cooker. Just slice the onions in about three millimetre slices and put them in the slow cooker on low with a couple of tablespoons of butter. Eight to ten hours later, or when the onions are deep brown, they are done. You can also do this on top of the stove in a heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven over medium heat, with the occasional stir. The key is patience; it will take at least half an hour to forty minutes to caramelize a pan full of onions and you don't want them to burn.

My favourite thing to do with the caramelized onions is to toss them with cooked whole wheat spaghetti and herbs like rosemary, oregano, or thyme and then top with shredded cheese. They can also be stirred into chicken or beef stock to make soup. With the beef stock, add croutons and a good strong flavoured cheese for French onion soup. They can also be mashed into mashed potatos and mixed into equal parts sour cream and mayo for an excellent dip. They are also going on top of the veggie burgers I am going to make with the okara - leftover soybean pulp from making soy milk.


Anonymous said...

Years ago, I was invited to a friends home for supper. She survived the depression years, and her husband loved her fried onions. She sliced them as thin as yours, added the butter, put a lid on it to simmer. Just before dishing it up to serve, she would add a scant teaspoon of sugar. Delicious!