Simply Sensational Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are terrific on everything… pizza, burgers, hotdogs, chops, steaks, brisket and are delicious in scrambled eggs, quiche or mashed potatoes….they even make an interesting (and delicious) dessert when served on sliced apples with a side of cheese. In fact, they’re great all by themselves…I guarantee you’ll find yourself eating them right out of the pan.

I think that I first read about this technique for caramelizing onions in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine years ago and have been using it ever since.

When onions are cooked low and slow for an extended period of time, the natural sugars in the onions caramelize, imparting an intense sweet flavor and a beautiful deep mahogany color.

Caramelized onions can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Please click here for the printable recipe.

OXO Pop Up Vegetable (and Chicken Wing) Steamer

OXO Vegetable SteamerAlthough I did post a technique a while back for simply steaming a small quantity of vegetables, there are times when that method isn’t practical (like for prepping my Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings). For these times, I highly recommend the Oxo Good Grips Pop-Up Steamer.

All you have to do is press on the handle and it pops up to make it safe and easy to insert into and remove from a steaming pot. One of the best feature is that you can unscrew the handle and it’s then perfect for steaming larger items like fish fillets (or huge batches of chicken wings!). It has foldable feet to keep the basket above the boiling water and it also expands to fit just about any pot. It’s a really cool kitchen tool with multiple uses…a practical (and inexpensive) addition to any kitchen!

And, if you really want to steam a huge batch of wings this simple, Asian-style 3 Tiered Aluminum steamer is great…it’s also perfect for steaming a couple of different vegetables (or a variety of seafood) all at the same time for a quick, healthy dinner.

Grandma Molly’s Legendary Cole Slaw

Grandma Molly's Cole Slaw We all grew up loving this cole slaw that my grandmother made…of course, she never wrote anything down, so it was up to my mother to perfect it and record it for posterity. The recipe has been passed down and now it’s become an essential ingredient in the perfect Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwich that I wrote about awhile back. Although the cole slaw tastes great as soon as it’s made, the flavor definitely improves over time, so the best thing to do is to make it a day before you want to eat it. The slaw makes a great addition to any meal, but it’s really incredible on a sandwich of that leftover Thanksgiving turkey (or even store bought turkey breast) on a couple of slices of good Jewish rye bread, or even better, on my Sourdough Whole Wheat No Knead Pumpkin Seed Bread.

Please click here for the printable recipe.

One Dish Steamed Vegetables (with easy cleanup!)

This is a simple one dish, easy clean-up technique to steam a serving or two of vegetables. I’m using broccoli here, but it works with anything. Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces, place them into a microwaveable bowl with 1/2 cup of warm water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Take a knife and poke a few holes in one side of the plastic wrap. This is to let the steam out and, after microwaving, to strain the water through. Microwave on high for about 1½ minutes. Take the bowl out of the microwave (careful…it will be hot) and tilt it over the sink to drain the water out through the poked holes. Then just take off the plastic wrap, drop in a tablespoon of butter, some seasoning (I love a pinch of kosher salt and a shake or two of McCormick Lemon & Pepper seasoning), give it a stir and it’s ready to eat. Fast, simple, tasty and best of all, easy to clean  up!

Swiss Chard on Quinoa…Much better then it sounds!

One thing about Swiss Chard…it has to be really fresh for it to be really good. We picked this chard just hours before we prepared it using this recipe we found on Simply Recipes and it was exceptional. We served it on a bed of quinoa (keen-wah). If you haven’t tried quinoa, you should give it shot. It is a pseudocereal and is actually related to Swiss Chard and spinach. Quinoa is extremely nutritious and has a very high protein content (12%–18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians, vegans and athletes.  Unlike wheat or rice, which is low in lysine, quinoa  contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. We cook it like rice, using chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor, and add sauteed diced onions and garlic to it before serving.