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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't Stand So Close to Me

Let's talk about onions.

Wait.  Are you still with me?  Look, I know onions aren't sexy.  And onion breath is especially not sexy.  But you're going to want to stick around for this one.  Trust me.

Caramelized onions combine the spikiness of onions with sugar and a little acid to make something meltingly better than the sum of its parts.  They also keep in the refrigerator for a week and make a great addition to an otherwise blah meal.  Also, these babies are so mellow that they won't even give you onion breath.

And let's face it, it's Wednesday and we all want something easy.  I've spent the last three evenings casting a show I'm directing and dealing with a stage mom to end all stage moms.  I'm not ready to make a terrine after all that.

First, the basic recipe, then I'll give you some uses:

Perfect Caramelized Onions
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, September 1995

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 onion, either white or yellow
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the onion, brown sugar and vinegar and sauté for approximately 25 minutes, or until the onion is golden brown.  Stir every couple of minutes to ensure that the onions don't stick.  You'll know the onions are done when they are limp and have a deep caramel color.  Don't take them off too soon.

  • On crostini with a dab of melted goat cheese on top.
  • On a grilled steak with blue cheese.
  • Folded into a quesadilla with shredded smoked gouda cheese and a smattering of parsley.
The third option disappeared at my last party just as fast as I could make them. 


  1. Oooh, sugar? I bet they were amazing! Honey Bunny and I decided on our first date that we LOVE onions and garlic so we decided to eat them together (married 28 years now). He'd LOVE these!

  2. What a way to enjoy onions :) caramelized onions Wow!! sounds delish.

  3. Onions are so important for me, its added in almost everything I cook and its a great outcome with this ingredient I can see you have made.

  4. I love caramelized onions - these look delicious!

  5. Mmm, I love onions and these look delicious!

  6. Great recipe! I love onions...there are so many foods you can cook with onions. But boy, they always make me cry!

  7. These onions look so good. Love the idea of adding them to quesadillas!

  8. I usually use brown sugar, but never vinegar. I will give this a try. LOVE onions this way.


    i iwsh i knew how to fry up onion strings. I always fail miserably :(