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Caramelized onions, Part 3

February 6, 2009 | 10:13 am

Caramelizing onions from Simply Recipes on Vimeo

You really like your caramelized onions.

This Food section story was a hit with readers, quickly ranking as one of the most viewed, most e-mailed and most commented-on stories of the week. Thanks to all who wrote to offer up their tips for putting an end to all those tears while chopping onions.

We also noticed that one question came up again and again: Could you make this process easier by doing it in a slow cooker?

Well, we haven't tried that, so we cannot give a definitive answer. But several readers said they'd had great results by using a slow cooker, over eight to 10 hours. Some readers advised high heat, while others, like Madeline O, advised keeping it low, low, low:

Put the onions in your food processor. Bam! Minced. Put the onions in your SLOW COOKER! (I have a 5 qt Westbend, that adjusts to VERY low. Leave the top off, and stir about every 15 minutes once they start to brown up...

If you try it, please let us know how it turned out.

In the meantime, check out the mesmerizing video we found over at one of our favorite blogs — Elise Bauer's Simply Recipes. And click below for two recipes from Leslie Goldenberg of Woodland Hills, who kindly passed along her favorite ways to use caramelized onions:

— Rene Lynch

At Chez Goldenberg, we are nuts for caramelized onions. Here are a couple of our family favorite recipes using this ingredient:

Blue cheese with caramelized onions dip

1.5 cups sliced onions

3/4 cup mayo

3/4 cup sour cream

4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

Using a tiny bit of oil, caramelize the onions. Cool. Whisk together mayo and sour cream. Add blue cheese and mix well. Stir in onions. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco if desired. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Onion and potato tarts (this is a recipe from Saddle Peak Lodge)

1 russet potato

1.5 pounds onions, sliced

1/2 c. chicken broth

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 T olive oil or melted butter

1/2 c. parsley, chopped

Peel potato and, using a vegetable slicer, cut lengthwise into thin slices 1/16-inch thick. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the potato slices 1 minute. You want them to become flexible but still sturdy. Immerse in cold water and make sure the pieces are not stuck together.

Put onions, broth and cream in a pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until onions are golden brown and taste sweet, 20-30 minutes.

Use butter or oil to grease cups in a muffin tin (or you could use ramekins). Line with potato slices, overlapping to cover interior of each cup and extending over rims an inch or more.

Mix onions with parsely, salt and pepper. Spoon into potato-lined ups. Fold edges over tops and pat gently. Brush tops with butter or oil.

Bake at 375 until well browned, 40-50 minutes. You can do the whole thing a day ahead and then bake just before serving.