New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CrockPot Sweet and Sour Caramelized Onions

Day 300.

It is the 300th day of the year, and the day my youngest turns 4. If it wasn't for writing the day of the year each morning, I'd have no idea that every leap year her birthday falls on the 300th day. That's kind of neat.

She was awake at 5:51 this morning, hopping on her bed. Thankfully her older sister continued to sleep. She and Adam are in the living room playing with her birthday request: a toy barbecue. It has wheels, a little rotisserie complete with plastic chicken, and 'realistic' cooking sounds.

She couldn't be happier.

I made these onions last night on a whim because I had found this recipe in one of the Cooking Light magazines my mom brought over, and I liked the picture. They tasted fantastic and would be great paired with a nice juicy steak.

The Ingredients.
adapted from Jan. 2008 edition of Cooking Light, page 164

--2 pounds tiny onions (sometimes called boiler or pearl onions)
--1/2 cup raisins (one box)
--1 T butter
--2 T balsamic vinegar
--1 T sugar
--1/4 tsp kosher salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/4 cup pine nuts

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart crockpot, but anything 4 quarts and up will work.

Cut the top and bottom off of all of the onions and peel away the skin. If you get some of the onion and peel that off an outer layer, that's okay. It takes a while to peel the onions; make sure you're in a good mood.

Put the onions in the crockpot and toss with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the pat of butter and the raisins. Toss in the pine nuts.

Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so. I cooked ours for a bit more than 3 hours, and stirred 3 times. I wanted the onions to get brown and caramely on all sides.

The Verdict.

Adam and I liked this a lot. This would be a great accompaniment to a holiday meal, or to bring as an addition to a potluck dinner.

It looks fancy, and tastes fancy, but is easy to throw together. The raisins plumped and took on the vinegar flavor, and the pine nuts added a bit of crunch and some smokiness.

I'm off to eat a plastic chicken. I can't wait.
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SaraK said...

I think I can smell those just from the picture!

Happy Birthday to your kiddo :)

Damsel said...

I'm so impressed that you peeled all those onions... wonder if it would work with the frozen ones? (I refuse to peel that many, myself! lol!)

fairyflutters said...

So what did you eat w/ these onions?

I love this blog by the way. Great ideas! :)

Oh, and happy birthday to your daughter!

heather said...

damsel, i used the frozen ones in the crockpot when i made pot roast in there and was elated because i know how aggravating and time consuming peeling them myself is. however, the onions tastes very dry and i didnt not enjoy eating them as i usually do. i honestly wont buy them again. as much as i hate to peel them, i wont bother eating the frozen ones again.

fatima said...

I am truly amazed at how u have been able to come up with a creation with your crock pot every single day!

I tagged you

See my blog tag i'm it for details!

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

This reminds me of a french onion soup for some reason. Wonder what that would be like to add some beef stock?

Either way, it sounds REALLY good!

gerberdaisie said...

Humm... your daughter enjoys food and cooking, but didn't ask for a play crockpot? Maybe she'll be the grill365 girl? ;)

Crystal said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CROCKPOTBABY!!!! Enjoy your BBQ, and have a fun exciting day:)

Clio said...

OK, while this recipe holds no appeal for me, I wanted to comment.

I just stumbled across your site (literally, using StumbleUpon). I currently have some chicken and cream of chicken soup in the crockpot right now. In about an hour I'll be adding frozen veggies, and half an hour later, spooning this mixture over biscuits.

Anyway, I'm in love with crockpot food and I am now in love with your site.

Are you going to be doing it again next year?

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Those sound divine!

I've tagged you for a bloggy award over at my place, Free 2 Be Frugal.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to your daughter (and to you, of course....) My twins asked for paper and clipboards for their birthday (they're 6! now), and it felt a little like child abuse to actually get them what they asked for.... but I also got them the clicker-color change pens.... enough about that. If peeling the onions is a pain, I've found boiling the tiny onions for about 2 minutes allows one to cut off an end and squeeze them out of the peel (I bbq the pearl onions all summer). This looks so good!

Amie said...

I TOLD you you need to go BBQ next year!!!

lawremc said...

When Vidalia onions are in season, I buy 10 or 15 pounds and slice them up and toss with a little olvie oil. Throw in my 6 qt crockpot on low overnight with the lid ajar. In the morning, I have perfect carmelized onions. I pack in 2 cup portions for quick French onion soup or to use in other recipes.

Love your site. Made the crockpot lasagna this weekend. Big hit at my house!

CherylBCT said...

Does this totally stink up your house? I love onions but the smell of them cooking just takes over my house and doesn't go away for days!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Cheryl!
The onions smelled good while they were cooking, but I did still smell them in the air the next morning, and opened the windows to air out the house. I do that a lot, though---I am bothered by food smells more than the rest of the family. I've never made onions in the oven, so I don't know how the smell compares. This wasn't unpleasant, but it was there. eek. I'm not being very helpful, I'm sorry!


Emily said...

I made this for our Children's Ministry PotLuck last night...and everyone RAVED over it! I have requests for the recips (which I am going to post on my blog this weekend!)...thanks for is going to our Thanksgiving dinner with us!

Ruthie said...

I made this for a First Thanksgiving feast, used regular-sized onions, and cooked all night on low, and then turned them over in the morning, and cooked them until about 12 on low! Worked great.

Anonymous said...

Linked over the Thanksgiving post, and realized I have the same birthday as your daughter! Only, I'm 26 years older! ;-)

Valerie said...

Thanks for this recipe, I just got a new crockpot, so will try this one.

My mother used to use these onions to make pickled onions. She poured boiling water over the onions and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Makes the onions easy to peel.

Nic said...

Thanks for this great, easy, and delicious recipe. I love onions and balsamic so was eager to try this. Made for Thanksgiving and was really pleased with the result, was yummy with the turkey and am struggling to leave the leftovers for tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering how many people this would serve as a side dish?

Prazsong said...

I love the smell of onions baking, so I'm afraid if I were to put these in the crock pot overnight, it would keep me awake, drooling! :o/
Sounds delicious. I, too, plan to use this as one of my sides for Thanksgiving this year. Thanks for sharing!

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