Friday, January 25, 2008

Ask Mary: Caramelizing Onions

Dear Mary,
How do you caramelize an onion?
Thanks! Noah

After cutting onions for something like a yummy French onion soup, you’ll need to caramelize your onions. Caramelizing an onion is actually the process of slowly browning the onion all the way through to the center. This changes the flavor of the onion, making it more delicious and sweet – hence the term caramelizing.

Through trial and error, I have found that this takes a lot of time – more than you think to do it right. When done correctly, it should take about 25 to 30 minutes. Heat up your sauté pan with a little oil and throw the onions in. Then turn your heat to medium low and begin the caramelizing process. Stir frequently. You will find that on a higher hear, you will burn the edges and still have a raw onion inside, so be patient. Think of your onion as a piece of meat on a grill and take your time.

Happy Cooking! Mary

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