» Jump to recipes using Onion as an ingredient
That’s right my Springdell friends, today we caramelize. Adding heat to fruit and veggies brings out the natural sugars and carbohydrates within and the browning of those sugars is called caramelization. They become a beautiful deep brown with a sweet taste to them. The key to this is that they take time. You can’t rush, you can’t take shortcuts to get that beauty. Trust me, it’s worth it.
People often think caramelization and they think onions. Well, the onion family loves to be deep brown in color and nutty in flavor (as well as fill your house with the Rolls-Royce of aromas). I happen to have a surplus of onions from my Springdell winter share so let’s begin. Start by slicing your onions about 1/8 inch think, or thicker if you like. Some people think the thinner the better, but that’s not the case here. Giving a slightly thicker cut will prevent your onions from drying out, they have a long cook they need to hold up for. You are not going for mushy onions are you?
You should add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan when you toss the onions in. People love the buttery taste and texture but don’t add any butter at this point. Butter has a higher burning point, so we will add some a bit later.
Your burner should be on as low as possible and let them go, stirring every few minutes.
Don’t crank the heat up to try and speed up the process, it doesn’t work like that. Be patient, this process takes 40-60 minutes, sometimes longer! You can add a bit more oil if they start to stick.
At about this point you can add a dab of butter. You should have a nice brown build up on the bottom of the pan, that’s a good thing, a very good thing. Flavor is building up on the bottom, this is called fond. Add a touch of red wine to the pan scrape up the bits into your yummy mixture, this is called deglazing the pan. It makes any dish more flavorful!
There you have it, caramelized onions. Our favorite uses are on baked potatoes, sandwiches or on top of a nicely seared steak.
Recipes Using Onion
Baingan Bharta is a dish that involves grilled and mashed eggplant with yummy spices. You can choose the spice level that works for you by varying the amount of hot peppers used, and whether or not you choose to include the seeds. If you’re short on time, grill the eggplant ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook up the rest of the dish. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, I found this dish is even more delicious the next day. Thanks to NYT Cooking for this adaptation, who adapted it from chef Julie Sahni!
Nan’s famous cabbage roll recipe with a few tweaks for modern day convenience. Adapted from the “Taste of Home” magazine, this one fuses lasagna with galumpkis in a satisfying way! The non-cabbage lovers in my household can’t resist it… A can of Campbells tomato soup is one of Nan’s secret ingredients, and doesn’t live on the “Staples” list in Veggiescope so you’ll have to make a trip to the grocery store, but I’m willing to bet it’s good without it, too.
This recipe has many flexible ingredients, what you put in as a filling is up to you! A mandolin slicer is great for slicing the sweet potatoes evenly, making for a tastier crust.
A great comfort food to get you through the winter doldrums (or a depressing Superbowl). This is a very flexible recipe. Turnips, small diced sweet potatoes, and carrots would also work as your primary veggies. Substitute the beef for ground pork, chicken, goat (chorizo!), turkey or tofu (though I’d recommend adding the latter about 30 minutes from the end of cook time). As always, make it your own!
This is a lovely way to prepare cube steak, a true “meat and potatoes” meal, and the final product is so tender and delicious. The mushrooms and onions in the gravy are optional but highly recommended. Roasted acorn squash and mashed potatoes make great set of sides for this one.
Lacos, or “lettuce tacos” can be an easy way to go gluten-free or paleo with your dinner. It’s also fun and delicious, the ingredients are very flexible, it’s more of a concept than a recipe… Next time you get that big leafy lettuce in your garden or your CSA, consider if it’ll make a nice alternative to a tortilla, and if so, prepare your taco ingredients!
This is a very flexible recipe, wonderful with charred poblanos or jalapeños, add some ground beef for an even heartier version. Tomatillos also work, but can be left out as well. With the base of the squash and the black bean, the rest is pretty negotiable depending on what you have on-hand to work with. Make it your own and enjoy!
This one is from Bon Apetít and was quite a lovely use for those ripe red tomatoes and head of cabbage. It’s a seasonal trifecta as the mint in the PYO herb garden is usually at peak just as these ingredients are rolling through the share boxes. It can be adjusted easily for gluten free or paleo diets.
Got tomatoes? This one is great for that influx of ripe heirlooms! A homemade or store bought pie crust will be needed, but the rest is simply simple. You’ll need some time (a few hours) to allow the tomato slices to lose their liquid, so plan for some prep in the morning and things should be ready for baking by dinner time.
This one was shared by fellow Springdellian Dawn DeMeo a great one to use up the last of the seasonal corn, peppers, jalapeños and onion. The source is Cooks Illustrated, a fabulous local test kitchen. It’s a wonderful recipe as it’s very flexible in its ingredients, and easy to make your own. Check them out and try this one today!