Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Why My Wife Is Better Than Your Wife
The above is my fathers day present (my wife has a self confessed problem with waiting to give people gifts). It is a 12" stainless steel fry pan from All Clad (read: as awesome as it gets).
I felt the insatiable urge to use said pan immediately upon opening it. The only proper thing to do in the Meeks household to christen a pan of this nature? Caramelize onions.
I decided I would bring you all along for the ride and let you in on the experience as well.
To begin with, you will need butter. Don't be afraid. It is real food and it is (moderately) good for you. While it is hard to gauge exactly how much you will need a rough estimate is a tablespoon for every onion.
If the very mention of this makes your left arm go numb thinking about the heart attack that is on its way remember...this is a powerful flavoring ingredient...not a main course.
Caramelizing onions takes a long time. Not a lot of work, but you are going to have to dedicate some time to love these natures of wonder if you want the real deal. Therefore make it worth your effort and do a bunch at one time. This batch was used today on a bunch of pizzas, but I often will make more than I need and let them sit in the fridge, tempting me to get creative. Being good (or at least decent) in the kitchen often depends on whether or not you have good stuff laying around to use. Have these and you wont be sorry.
Once the butter is melted over medium heat and it has stopped bubbling add the onions. In this case I added five. Immediately toss them to coat them in the wonder that is rendered fat from milk. Then toss in a few hearty pinches of kosher salt. This will help draw out water.
Dont worry about the pan to much. Stir whenever you feel like it, but not constantly.
Ten minutes in or so you should have something like this. Onions are just turning translucent. If they are sticking to the bottom the heat is to high or you got scared and skimped on the butter. Slap yourself in either case and correct the problem. the heat now goes to low and you continue to chill with the Food Network wanna be chef routine of whipping the pan frantically like you are making meringue.
Get a beer and go outside.
This is going to take a while.
Now we are getting somewhere. Nice and brown. You could stop right here, but you shouldn't.
Sneak a taste.
Don't drop the fork.
I told you the butter would be worth it.
Here is the final product. The onions are so rendered out that they are almost forming a paste. This stuff could be spread on bread and you would faint.
What is it good for?
- French onion soup (do the diligence and get them this dark, use good stock and you will be in heaven.)
- Pan sauce pasta (think a little white wine, some stock, add the cooked noodles, hit with fresh herbs, Parmiggano, mouth.)
- Burger or pizza topping (used in small quantities it can turn around even your horrible decision to buy the 3 for 5 dollar Tostinos...almost.)
So how was the pan? Something to behold. It was better than I expected and I am stoked to have it.
I have the best wife in the world.
I am sure yours is great...mine is just better.