Caramelized Onions, slightly burnt

Okay, this post is not necessarily about a dish per se.  While I can eat a plate full of caramelized onions and be quite happy (especially if there was a little garlic thrown in with it), most people would not consider this a meal.  Fair enough.

But caramelized onions are such an integral part of Middle Eastern food that they get their own post.  There are, of course, many ideas for the best method and I think it all depends on your equipment to discover which will work for you.  It also requires patience and, I think, a little practice.  I always seem to end up with about 1/3 of my onions undercooked, 1/3 perfectly done, and 1/3 burnt.  (See picture above for evidence.)  Oh well.

The basic process is such:

Cut your onion, sliced or chopped.  One important thing is to not make the pieces too thin or too small, because that will make them more likely to burn.

Heat your butter or oil (Arabs tend to favor oil, I think, sometimes vegetable and sometimes olive, depending on the country).  Add the onions in and turn the heat down to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly brown and a little sticky-looking.  Once they start turning brown, pay close attention because it only takes a few seconds to go from brown to burnt.

A few other people’s instructions for caramelized onions:

Butter and Onions

Rachael Ray

Real Simple

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