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25 April 2012

Made of win, now with cheese So I caramelized onions in my slow cooker last night for the first time. I'd been wanting to try this since someone over at MeFi mentioned it. Oh my goodness, the delicious! Even better? I took some of the fresh, warm onions and stirred in Gorgonzola crumbles. And put it on a roast beef sandwich. Oh yeah...[More:]

Details: about 4 pounds yellow onions, sliced, and tossed with about 1/4 cup olive oil. Cooked in a 6 quart slow cooker for 10 hours covered on low, then almost another hour uncovered on high. I'm not sure that last hour was really necessary. I think these are probably pretty hard to screw up...

I'm going to freeze portions, and add them to stews, pasta, whatever food isn't moving. So easy and so tasty.
Sigh... Sorry, new at this, didn't mean to put the whole post on the front page...
posted by booksherpa 25 April | 13:07
Oh wow, that sounds amazing.
posted by Senyar 25 April | 13:52
That sounds awesome!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 25 April | 14:02
onions + cheese = double win

posted by youngergirl44 25 April | 14:55
You're a genius. I tend to caramelize onions in big batches and freeze 'em, but it doing it in the slow cooker is a great idea!

I've been wanting a slow cooker for a long time, but really couldn't justify devoting precious cupboard space to it; I don't cook much meat and I've seen very few vegetarian slow cooker recipes other than plain ol' soup --- but this alone is plenty of reason to buy one. Thanks!
posted by Elsa 25 April | 15:02
That sounds absolutely scrumptious. *drool*
posted by deborah 25 April | 16:17
Elsa, I get a lot of vegeteriana stuff out of my slow cooker. I really do like it. And it has the trick of making those long-cooked flavors happen that you just don't get if you don't have stuff sitting on the stove for hours. I have a biggiant PDF file of 700-some slow cooker recipes - some are junk (involving cans of soda, etc) but some are good bean-based soups and stews, cassoulets, jambalayas, squash dishes like ratatouille and butternut things, and other non-meat-intensive dishes. I can try to dropbox it to you if you're interested. If not, you can Google up tons of veggie slow cooker uses - and other prep uses like caramelized onions - because there are loads of bloggers who use them and share their results. You can even do improbable things like make cakes and baked potatoes in them.

One of the best tricks for slow cookers is one I learned from another MeFite - making stock. It's a thousand times easier than making stovetop stock, and the result is better. I just save all my veggie scraps in the freezer, and when there's a critical mass, throw them in the slow cooker with some water and set on low for 8 hours. Delicious flavors happen. I usually have chicken bones in the mix, and this seems by far the best way to get all the goodness and nutrition out of the bones, because that stock turns out richer and fuller-tasting than any I've made on the stovetop.

I only got my crockpot a couple years ago, and I'd say it's definitely not one of those useless kitchen gadgets that just takes up space. It really earns its keep.
posted by Miko 26 April | 21:08
Well, this post definitely tipped me over from "I would like a crockpot" to "I AM BUYING ONE THIS MONTH!" If nothing else, I need one because I have a Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup party planned and the soup needs to stay hot. But caramelizing onions is enough excuse to buy it, finally.
posted by Elsa 27 April | 13:12

A. Miko, I'd love that PDF of recipes if it's Creative Commons or otherwise free to share! If not, I'll just Google up some ideas.
B. What size do folks recommend? I'm thinking 4-quart is probably plenty big for a two-person household.
posted by Elsa 27 April | 13:33
I'm in a 2 person household and ours is a 5.5 quart. I'd go bigger rather than smaller, because there's no reason that I know of (granted, I'm a newbie at this) that you couldn't cook smaller quantities of stuff in a bigger slow cooker, and it's a perfect vessel to cook large quantities of freezable meals - chilis, stews, soups. I have a friend who cooks lots of chicken breasts until they're easily shreddable, then freezes the shredded meat in portion sizes to add to salads, enchiladas, all kinds of dishes.

Also, slow cooker sites I've discovered or been told of:
posted by booksherpa 27 April | 20:03
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