Onions rock my world. They are inexpensive, delicious, make other foods delicious, and are good for you. They are chock full of allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure (high blood pressure can be dangerous to both moms and fetuses); they are also a great source of vitamin C, fiber and folate. But, most of all, onions just taste amazing, raw or cooked, sliced or chopped. I put them in everything. And you should, too.
|I channeled the Dutch masters for this photo, right?|
Even if you're not President of the Onion Admiration Society, you will like caramelized onions. They somehow make every dish both earthy and gourmet. They are sweet and rich and you can put them in (or on) practically everything: steaks and burgers, soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, mujadarrah. Kids who are picky about raw onions will surely chow on sweet caramelized onions when they're in a meatloaf or scrambled eggs or on pizza.
The only problem with caramelized onions is that they can be a bit of a pain to make. They're not difficult, exactly. You basically fry them low and slow, with a lot of tending. But if you cook them a bit too long or don't tend them quite enough, they can easily burn.
But if you cook them in a slow cooker? No burning. Just loads and loads (more than you could make in a standard frying pan) of gorgeous caramelized onions. Most recipes call for a stick of butter. I found that a bit of extra virgin olive oil worked wonderfully.
First I greased my crockpot with a bit of EVOO. I then quartered and sliced four pounds of onions (that's the amount of slices that fit in my crockpot):
Set on low and cook for 12-14 hours (or until they are at the level of caramelization you prefer), stirring every couple of hours or so.
|About seven hours in...|
|About 10 hours...|
|Balsamic caramelized onions|
Looking for more ways to use your slow cooker? Try our Crockpot Applesauce!
UPDATE: Lisa's Dinnertime Dish featuring our slow cooker caramelized onions in her recipe for French Onion Soup. Thank you, Lisa!