Skip to main content

Featured Post

My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:  

Slow cooker caramelized onions

Caramelized onion plays a major role in the Persian cuisine. It is, therefor, very common for Persian recipes to ask for a certain amount of caramelized onions, instead of raw onions. Since the preparation of caramelized onions is an arduous and time consuming process, Persian ladies often prefer to make them in large quantities in advance and then freeze the product for the gradual use. Furthermore, the slow caramelization process generates intense onion odor in the household, the onion smell that lingers and does not fade away immediately.
One of my most favorite methods of making caramelized onions involves my beloved slow cooker. Using the slow cooker, the need for constant stirring is eliminated. The aforementioned onion odor is also minimized by setting up the slow cooker outside or in other open areas. 
Unless the reader possesses some exceptional knife skills, I recommend using a Mandoline as uniformity of the slices matters. Also, unlike the above picture (This is an update to an old post), do not use red onions to cook! Red onions taste sulfuric when cooked and are best served raw or pickled. White onions are also bland and low in the sugar content. That leaves us with one and only: yellow onions.
For each very large (rather huge) onion, I use one TBSP of each brown sugar and red wine vinegar. A few stems of aromatic herbs (such as thyme or fenugreek) can also serve very well (optional). The most delicate matter is the added amount of oil. I do not recommend submerging the onion slices in a pool of oil. During cooking period, onion loses moisture and hence the horizontal level of the onion mass recedes significantly. Some Canola oil, the amount of which covering half the onion column's initial height, will suffice. However, you can go ahead and add more oil and completely submerge the slices. The excessive oil gets deeply infused with onion;  it can be skimmed from the caramelized onion and used as your general cooking oil. 
Set the slow cooker on high and cook for 5 to 6 hours. Make sure the onions are stirred once every hour. Otherwise, some of the onion slices in the corners might get over-browned, preventing  uniformly caramelized onions  this is not an overnight operation.
Store the final product in small silicone molds and freeze. Each cube can serve for making of a meal. I recommend stuffing 1/4 cup in each cell.  You can also store them in glass jars and put in the fridge; in such case, make sure onions are submerged in oil.