Caramelized Onions

I wanted to do something interesting with the bag of onions I had in the pantry this past week. Typically I would chop and dice these and use in a variety of dishes, or simply make delicious onion rings. As I wanted to make cheeseburgers, I decided instead of using raw onion on the burger, that I would caramelize them. This process only took about twenty minutes, and was fantastic.

Recipe for Making Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

  • 3 TB unsalted Butter, or you can use olive oil
  • Onions, you decide on how many you want; I used two small, two medium white onions
  • 1 TB sugar

First cut the onion in half and remove the outer skin. Then slice thinly to allow shoestring type length, making sure to separate all pieces. In the meantime, add the butter or oil to a medium sized skillet and cook on medium heat. Once the butter is heated through, add all of the onions.

Do not worry if the onions pile up high as over the course of the cooking time, they will cook down. Lower the heat medium-low and keep cooking the onions, tossing or stirring from time to time. Nearly twenty minutes later, you onions will turn from white to a deep brown. Once you begin to achieve this colorization, this begins the caramelization process.

Now I served these on top of a cheeseburger with monterey pepper jack cheese and smoked bacon, alongside a baked potato. I could have simply used these onions on top of the baked potato, served on the side, or placed in a big mug with a spoon.

These onions were so delicious, and waking up the following morning had the house smelling like a sweet, delicious onion. Sounds goofy regarding the smell, but it made me want to make them the next day. As my wife said, “why don’t we have these every night?!”.

Autumn’s Mashed Potato

Mashed PotatoThis past week, I decided it was time to make something that I truly love, however do not make that often, the beef tenderloin. As I could probably write about how delicious the tenderloin was, as it was marinated with course pepper, and a few course salts and herbs, I am not going that direction. Instead, I am going with a take on the side dish that went with the meat, the garlic mashed potato.

I cannot tell you how many batches of mashed potatoes I have made in my life, but I think I have it down. I used to use a mixer on the potatoes, then I found the potato masher, and love it. I like the masher utensil because you can create your own texture.

Let’s get busy. As always, the ingredients could not be easier than this:

  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Potato MasherI am huge fan of exploring your potatoes for mashing, and in this recipe I used the large baker potatoes and threw in a sweet potato. It rocked. Skins your potatoes, then quarter them. In a large pan of boiling, salted water, add the potatoes and cook them until fork tender, approximately 25 minutes. During this time, chop the tip off the bulb of garlic, add some olive oil to the top, and add salt and pepper. Foil this up and place in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Once the garlic is roasted, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Mashed PotatoWhen the taters are fork tender, drain the water, then return the pan back to the stove, on medium heat to get rid of the remaining water. This is a great time to add your butter. How much you say? I truly do not skimp on the butter, and this will also depend on the batch that you are making. I used about six tablespoons. Start mashing them down, and during this time, add salt and pepper. This will appear pretty dry to you, so get ready to add your cream. I add about 1 cup of cream, and adjust to the creaminess you are going for in your mash. Did I mention the garlic? Simply squeeze the garlic out of the bulb into the potatoes and mash some more.

As my tenderloin was on the grill, I placed these in a corningware dish, added another tablespoon of butter on the top, and placed in the oven for about 25 minutes. Enjoy and make it your own.

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber SaladThe summer garden is gone now. It is somewhat sad to see it go. We had an abundance of cucumbers this year, as my wife simply loves them. The cucumber was on the table throughout the summer in some form or another, typically sliced thick, with a bit of salt. As I am not that big a fan of the cucumber as my wife, I do enjoy it from time to time. A recent meal included barbecue meat on the grill, asian flavored to some degree, and I thought it needed a great, refreshing side. I decided to put together an cucumber salad, as we had many on the counter that day. This recipe is super simple, and yet ultimately fresh and delicious. Ingredients could not be any simpler:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Mix the vinegar, chili flakes, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Toss in the other ingredients and coat. Refrigerate for up to an hour, then plate and serve. As stated, this was a great side and would accompany bbq beef, chicken, or pork really well. Enjoy.

Pad Thai

Here’s the deal. Whenever we go out, or order Thai carry-out, there is always a dish my wife orders; pad thai. The other part of the deal is that when I know my wife loves something that much, I try to recreate it and make it better. 🙂

Here is my take on pad thai. For this recipe I used chicken because it was all I had at the time, otherwise, I normally throw in a about 7-8 medium to large shrimp for the meal. This dish is easy and takes about 30 minutes to prep/cook, depending on your chop and multitasking in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • Green onion
  • pho rice noodles
  • chopped garlic
  • Chicken or Shrimp, or both
  • Pad Thai Sauce (I’ve made my own as well), however store bought is easier
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Chopped shallot
  • 2 Eggs

I like to prep all the vegetables and meats ahead of time as this is similar to a stir fry. First I boil my chicken until cooked through, roughly 20 minutes. Let cool, and shred. Set aside. During this process, wash the vegetables and prep. Chop the garlic, shallots, and green onion.

I soak the noodles in hot water for nearly 15 minutes to soften them up. Careful not to overcook the noodles as they might get too soft and the texture will not be right.

Heat a pan or wok with few tablespoons of oil. I use olive oil, however you could use canola, or vegetable oil. Once heated (get ready) toss in the garlic and shallot, and cook for a couple of minutes. Enjoy the aroma! Add the chicken, then crack the eggs into the mixture and quickly scramble. Add the noodles and begin to toss everything in the pan. Add one jar of pad thai sauce, roughly 20 ounces, I believe. Heat through. Garnish with bean sprouts and green onion. Add chopped peanuts if you desire. Simple, tasty, and fun.