Just a quick post today– we have been under the (freezing cold, gray, rainy) weather here and I have barely cooked a thing this week besides rice, spaghetti (which tasted so good) and oatmeal. Boring, easy, quick comfort foods for folks who have no real interest in lifting a fork or spoon and can’t taste what they’re eating anyway… But enough of that. I’m back! I can smell! I am ready to cook again and build up some nutrients and eat foods with color, and texture, and nutritional value! And I have the perfect ingredient at hand for some killer meals: onions caramelized in the slow cooker. That’s right, this time it worked; 10 hours in my slow cooker on High transformed 3 1/2 lbs. of Spanish onions into gooey, sweet goodness and we are going to eat them in everything. I mean everything I can think of– my brain is in overdrive imagining what I can do. How would they be with eggs? What about Brussels sprouts? I must put some on pizza… and of course there will be a soup. It’s going to be all caramelized onions all the time here for the next week or so, to a degree. There’s only so much rich deliciousness one couple can take. When R & I had our wedding reception, my parents got so much lobster* that we had leftovers for days, and were soon all begging for chicken, please, just for one meal, no more lobster bisque or lobster rolls, please, we need a break, maybe a hot dog?– which I never thought would I would say/think in a million years. So, I don’t want to go there… but I am going right to the edge of there. (If you really have a lot, you can freeze them! Who knew?) Here’s how you, too, can go there– it’s unbelievably simple. Impress your friends, astonish your spouse, outdo your neighbor, and then spread the word. Caramelized onions for all.
Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onions
- 3-4 lbs. Spanish or Vidalia onions
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- 4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- salt to taste (1-2 tsp.)
Slice the onions thinly; put them in your slow cooker with everything but the salt and cook on High for 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally to ensure even browning and keep them off the sides as much as you can; they tend to burn when allowed to touch the sides for too long. After about 6 hours, when the onions are uniformly golden, add the salt and continue to cook until they are done. Because the cooking time seems to vary based on your slow cooker model and the type of onions you use, start this process in the morning to allow for any extra time needed– and also be prepared for them to be finished in less time, if you have a particularly powerful machine, or are using the smaller amount of onions to start. There are pictures on the cook.can.read Facebook page showing how my onions looked at various points of the cooking process. Keep an eye on the process, every hour or two to begin and every 30-40 mins. near the end and you’ll be good to go. Have fun!
*Before you think that we’re all “Caro, get Popsy and meet me at the yacht club for polo”, let me say that lobster at your wedding reception is another very special, happy perk of growing up in Maine with parents whose good friends are generous, hard-working lobstermen. Another huge smile for and thank you to Mom, Dad & Goat.