Caramelized onions bring sweet, pungent flavour to sauces, soups, and savoury dishes. Caramelizing requires a slow steady heat and frequent stirring. Don’t try to caramelize with high heat. The slow heat brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables, and then removes the water — just like making candy.
1. Thinly slice onions, the thinner the better. Thinner onions release their water sooner and reduce the cooking time.
2. Saute onions in a pan with butter or coconut oil until translucent.
3. Continue sautéing as onions brown, stirring frequently.
4. Evaporate all liquid from the onions until there is no more liquid in the bottom of the pan. Stir to prevent sticking. Should the onions stick to the bottom of the pan, glaze the pan by adding 1/2 a cup of water. This will loosen the onions. Continue cooking until water is evaporated and onions are fully medium brown. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
Use caramelized onions as a vegetable, as a base for sauces or gravies, as a base for French Onion Soup (tip: if making French Onion soup, stop caramelizing just before you begin to press the onions. You’ll need a bit more liquid in the onions to make the roux.)
Caramelized onions are a gourmet treat that is perfect with sandwiches, hamburgers, meat dishes, and casseroles. Learn to make your own in this easy step by step video.
When deciding how many onions to caramelize note that the volume decreased by about 1/2. 2 onions cooked down to about 1 cup of caramelized onions.
How to use caramelized onions:
Cook them till they are crisp. Use them as a topping for mashed or baked potatoes.
Top a casserole with them, instead of bread crumbs.
Add them to a grilled cheese sandwich.
Top a hamburger
Top grilled fish
Serve as a side dish
Once you master caramelized onions you will expand your taste repertoire. You can also caramelize shallots, and garlic.
Or try oven roasting garlic.