How-To Tuesday: Caramelized Onions

 Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

One good recipe to have in your cooking arsenal is caramelized onions.  Sounds simple however, onions, when you cook them low and slow, pack quite the flavor punch.  They truly transform from crisp and white to incredibly soft, dark brown deliciousness.

Ever notice how much better burgers taste in a restaurant? Very often, when you order a burger in a nice restaurant, caramelized onions are piled high on the meat.  They blend into the burger and provide juiciness and a depth of flavor that really compliments red meat.

The same can be said for a Philly cheesesteak.  If you caramelize the onions instead of cooking them with the steak, the flavor develops and takes your cheesesteak from good to great.  I also love them in omelettes.  The best part is you can make a large batch and store them in the fridge.  Everyday, you will find reasons to add it to one of your dishes -- on a pizza with goat cheese and mushrooms, in a quiche or even on your sandwich. 

So, grab a cast iron skillet and a handful of Spanish onions and you will see how a little work creates the most delicious condiment. So good you’ll cry! (Ok, this might also be from slicing so many onions, but still!)

Caramelized Onions


3 large Spanish onions, sliced thin, preferably on a mandoline

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup water

kosher salt, to taste


In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and unsalted butter on medium heat.  Add onions in an even layer.  Sprinkle with salt.  Allow onions to sweat, without moving them for ten minutes. 

After ten minutes you will begin to see a little browning.  Give them a quick mix and add 1/8 cup of water.  The water will help accelerate the sweating process.

Allow the onions to cook for another ten minutes and mix them again and add another 1/8 cup of water.

For the last ten minutes of cooking, mix occasionally to create even browning of all the onions.  Avoid letting them stick to the bottom of the pan and getting black.

After 30 minutes the onions should be dry of all water and a dark, brown color.  Serve or store for up to seven days in the fridge.

Buon Appetito!

 Caramelized Onions, step by step.

Caramelized Onions, step by step.