Basic Caramelized Onions
- Prep Time 0:05
- Cook Time 0:47
- Estimated Cost $4
- 21 Comments
Good caramelized onions require two things that we as a culture are not particularly good with:
Regarding the first, I stand by my belief that butter is your friend in the kitchen. Certainly, it has the potential to be a foe at times. It can burn easily, it can be unhealthy in some preparations (particularly when battered and deep-fried). That said, when cooked over a low heat (and in moderation), it can be one of the most wonderful flavor-deepening agents you can employ in cooking. Many people choose canola or olive oil to caramelize onions in. I will pick butter every time. It’s a very inexpensive way to give incredibly rich flavor to lowly onions.
As for the second item, unlike most recipes on BrokeAss Gourmet, caramelizing onions requires a fair amount of patience. This is obviously fine if you are talented at waiting. If you, like me, are impatient by nature, it can be more of a challenge. The best solution I’ve found is to cook whatever else I’m serving while the onions caramelize—that way I’m distracted and less tempted to turn the heat up just a pinch. It’s imperative that the onions cook over low heat the entire time to thoroughly and evenly draw out their sugars, yielding a sweet, soft caramelized result.
Serve on burgers, sandwiches, grilled meats, etc.
- 3 tbsp salted butter $1 for a stick
- 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings $1
Recipe Serves 4
- Melt butter over medium heat in a medium frying pan.
- Reduce to low and add sliced onions. Stir well to coat onions with butter, then leave the pan unattended for the bulk of 40-45 minutes (use a spatula a few times to scrape up the brown bits on the pan and stir them into the onions while they cook).
- The onions are done when they are very soft (to the point that you could almost spread them on toast) and very sweet.
- Makes enough caramelized onions for 4 burgers.