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The recipes posted so far haven’t involved much in the way of prepared ingredients, but I’m going to take one step back today and show you how to make roasted garlic and caramelized onions. These prepared ingredients will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and help give your food an extra bit of flavor.
Heating up a head of garlic breaks down the chemical responsible for that pungent odor which allows you to use the flavor without overpowering your dish. Up to four times milder than raw garlic, roasted garlic can be used in any dish that calls for raw garlic. Other uses include pizza toppings, spreads (it’s great on toast) and dips.
To roast the garlic, simply put a couple of heads of garlic on a pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake until the insides are soft and can be poked out with a fork. This takes about 20 minutes with a 430 degree oven. For better results and if you have time to spare, bake at 325 degrees for about an hour.
You’ll know the garlic is ready when the insides can be squeezed out of the clove with your fingers. Be careful though as it’s hot! I usually do about 2-3 heads at a time and use the garlic in dishes for a week. Keep in mind that having the milder flavor also allows you to use more than you normally would in a recipe.
As its name would indicate, the sugars in the onions are caramelized over a medium to low heat which results in a sweet aroma. You can use caramelized onions to top pastas, sandwiches and pizzas.
To make them, slice up a few onions into 1/4″ slices – try to get the slices as even as possible as it helps with the cooking. In a hot pan with a generous amount of olive oil, cook the onions uncovered over medium to low heat. Unfortunately, you can’t just crank up the heat as with the garlic as the onions are more susceptible to burning.
Stir every couple of minutes until the onions are a nice rich brown as shown. You could even cook them further until they clump together in an indistinguishable mush, but I like my foods to have a little bit of texture.
That’s it! With these two simple ingredients, you’ll be able to kick your cooking up a notch. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting recipes in the next few weeks that will make use of these ingredients.