Thursday, April 28, 2011

Find your Caramelized Onion Zen


Caramelized onions are bliss.

Making them is not.

It takes one long torturous hour.

Do not be tempted to turn your heat up to high.

Your onions will burn.

Do not walk away from the stove to put a load of laundry, or feed he fish, or wash the dishes.

Don’t daydream.

An hour is a blessed eternal long time to stand in front of the stove. So get a stool and sit.

Dig your heels in; find your inner Zen or whatever, just don’t get so lost in your thoughts that you forget to turn the onions every couple of minutes during that hour.

An almost homogenized, glossy, melting mess of sweetness will be your reward.

So tell me what do you do with your caramelized onions?

Sometimes I make these fabulous Texas Steakhouse Hot Dogs but check back with me next week to see what I did with this batch of crave worthy, sweet, onion relish.

caramelized onions

Caramelized Onions
Quantities depend on how the amount of caramelized onions you wish to make. Average two large onions per person because the onions reduce a lot when cooked. If I'm coming to dinner I suggest you average four onions:-)Some recipes add a bit of butter and some use sugar. Cooking the onions releases the natural sugars in the onions so I opt not to add additional sugar.

TIP: To chop onions without the tears, chill them for 10 to 15 mins in the freezer before chopping.

Several medium or large onions
Canola oil
Salt to taste


Peel and chop the onions. You can cut the onions in half. Lay them cut side down and slice the onions lengthwise to desired thickness. I find it's quicker to just chop the root and top end off then slice into rings.

Use a wide, heavy duty sauté pan. Too thin a pan will cause the onions to burn. Coat the bottom of the pan with oil, or a mixture of oil and butter. Heat the pan on medium high heat. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle some salt over the onions.

Let cook for 40 minutes to an hour more, stirring every few minutes. Let the onions brown a little and then turn. You have to let them brown enough before turning but not so much that the burn. You may want to turn the temperature down a little if your pan is not thick enough and you find your onions are almost burning. Cook until the onions are a lovely brown colour. The caramelized onions can be stored in several days in an air-tight container in your refrigerator.



  1. YUM!!! I cheat and add a bit of sugar to the pan and cook for 10 mins. I'm sure these are much better -but I've never really considered spending an hour on them. WOW! That is dedication!

  2. I love these.Havent made them ever but eaten a lot at buffets.You are right-they are bliss :)

  3. Caramelized onions are wonderful, totally worth the effort of making them!

  4. Delicious....but I'm not sure that I have the patience to make this magic happen. Now if only I could convince the hubby he needed to be the one to monitor the stove. ;)

  5. Hello Wizzy,
    You have got an amazing space here...really beautiful and yummy blog!I can't help but complement your excellent photographs...lovely!
    Thanks so much for stopping by at my place!


  6. I love them but like you I find it's a real process (SOOOOO much crying for so little turnover; but yet again WHAT a turnover!). I make some when I serve Socca (a chickpea-flour-base crepe that we all love).... or just to serve on a plain salad with mushroom, peppers. Delicieux!

  7. onions are no good to me unless they're caramelized, and i'm serious about that. raw? absolutely not. sauteed? eh, i can eat 'em, but i'd rather not. caramelized? YES, PLEASE! it's amazing how different they become!

  8. Love this - we use these with a fine potato roast and along with other veggies and especially over pulaos or biryanis that lend themselves nicely to the yumminess of caramelized onions :)

  9. carmelized onions are always worth the effort. Although I usually make them for pulled pork or steak leftovers are great on toast!

  10. Oh, caramelized onions are perfect to add to just about anything! Yours look superb.

  11. i burn them all the time !! :( I know I should just forget everything and give complete attention to it. I really didn't know that you could store them ... will try once again :)

  12. I love caramelised onions. I keep meaning to cook up a dozen - never make it that far. Thank you for the reminder!

  13. mmmmhmmmmm...

    in my "more mature" age, i have developed an uncanny love of onions...and i could never get this right...they always end up being burned. I'm going to try again - that's for sure!

  14. I'm glad you love caramelized onions too! They're my favorite pizza topping with balsamic reduction, goat cheese, and sauteed mushrooms and spinach...mmmm.

  15. YUM, I love caramelized onion…I have an Onion jam recipe on my site with Thai flavours, so delish! Very umami!

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