February 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm #715
First post in this forum! Yay! This is all so exciting :). But I actually DO have a cooking question, that I’m hoping someone will be able to answer!
I have a practical final for one of my culinary classes tomorrow (short notice, I know) and my caramelizing onions is not really going that well.
I’ve never really done it before, which is weird since I love to eat them a lot. But anyway my first attempt to make them burned, and my next attempt tasted exactly right but was too dried out/crispy.
So, for my last and mostly successful attempt, I started out with butter and oil on medium-high, then added the onions, and moved them around until they started to get soft and translucent. About then I added some brown sugar dissolved in water (I was told a small amount of water keeps them from drying out and getting crispy), and I turned it down to medium-low. I moved them around so they didn’t stick or anything, but didn’t move them constantly so they could brown, too. At one point things were getting a bit too dry and the edges starting to crisp in a pre-burn type of way, so I added a little oil and a little more water. In the end they tasted exactly right and were the right texture, but could have been darker in color. I didn’t add salt until they were done since I didn’t want to disrupt the browning by drawing the water out. I concluded that the onion was julienned too finely, and that was not helping the drying out, so I will make them a bit bigger next time.
So, my question is this: Am I doing this right? Is there something I should be doing differently?
I only really have one shot to get it right during my final, and I can’t spend a lot of time on it. We have 2 hours total and by the end we have to have done:
-A grilled cheeseburger, cooked to medium, with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. With french fries on the side.
-A grilled chicken breast with sautéed zucchini and roasted potatoes.
-Classic/Precision knife cuts which include: Diced onion and julienned onion. And then 1 carrot julienne, 1 carrot brunoise, 1 carrot batonnet, and 1 carrot macédoine.
I’ve got the rest covered, but I’m just kind of stressed out about how much needs to be done in a short time, and the fact that I can maybe not replicate the onions.
Not all who wander are lost.
- This topic was modified 2 years ago by samanthak.
February 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm #718
This is what I have used in the past and have been successful — (see link to website below) Use a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan for maximum pan contact with the onions. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter (about 1 teaspoon per onion). Heat the pan on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. 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. Depending on how strong your stovetop burner is you may need to reduce the heat to medium or medium low to prevent the onions from burning or drying out. After 10 minutes, sprinkle some salt over the onions, and if you want, you can add some sugar to help with the caramelization process. (I add only about a teaspoon of sugar for 5 onions, you can add more.) One trick, by the way, to keeping the onions from drying out as they cook is to add a little water to the pan.
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