How To Make Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are a marvelous flavor component that can be added to a huge variety of dishes. From burgers to pizza, they're sure to bring a lot of sweet and savory flavor to the party.
The term caramelized gets tossed about rather casually these days, often referring to onions that are softened and browned, but may not be truly caramelized, so we thought we'd provide a little insight into the true process. Making true caramelized onions takes a little time, but not a lot of effort.
The following instructions should yield about 1 cup of caramelized onions. Double or triple the quantity as needed.
Get two large onions, about 2 pounds total. Peel them, then slice them thinly and separate into rounds. Heat 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, cover the pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times during the process.
Remove the cover, raise the heat to medium and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of sugar. Continue cooking, uncovered, for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring frequently and loosening any browned bits that may accumulate on the bottom of the pan. If the onions are sticking to the pan, try adding some liquid (water, broth, wine), one or two tablespoons at a time.
The onions should turn a deep golden brown color and have an almost marmalade-like consistency. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days in a tightly covered container.
Here are a few tasty ways to use caramelized onions ~
- Top a grilled burger with some caramelized onions and melt a slice of cheese over the top.
- Add a few caramelized onions to a grilled cheese sandwich, along with a strip or two of crispy bacon.
- Top a grilled or broiled steak with caramelized onions, then sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.
- Toss some caramelized onions with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and use as a dressing for a baby spinach salad.
- Combine caramelized onions with sautéed mushrooms and use as an omelet filling.
- Top a pizza with caramelized onions, chopped thick-cut bacon, roasted red peppers and muenster cheese instead of mozzarella.