Vegetable Caramelized Onion Gratin by luvcookin

posted by luvcookin 04-28-99 4:51 PM

Caramelized Onion Gratin

1 1/2 pounds onions, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
2 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 loaf French bread, warmed, if desired, and sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Caramelize the onions, in batches if necessary. (See directions in accompanying story.)

Toss onions with flour; set aside.

2 methods for
caramelizing onions

Here are two procedures for caramelizing onions that you will need for the recipes in this column:

Method No. 1: Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the bottom of a skillet.

Place onion slices, in a single layer, on top of the sugar and cook over medium-low heat.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Take care not to scorch the onions.

Method No. 2: In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil until smoking.

Lay onion slices in a single layer and cook 1 to 2 minutes, without turning, until onion starts to caramelize.

Then cook, tossing them occasionally to break into rings, until caramelized and golden brown.

If needed, add another teaspoon of oil if the pan becomes dry and the bottom begins to scorch. Reduce heat slightly if onions begin to burn. The onions should caramelize in 6 to 10 minutes.

Note: When I tried this method, I burned the first batch of onions during the initial searing step.

For subsequent batches, I peeked at the underside of an onion slice to determine when the caramelization had started.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in onions and half of cheese. Pour mixture evenly into 9-inch pie dish coated with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and dot with butter.

Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes, until gratin is golden brown and puffed. Serve immediately. Pass bread. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 333 calories, 45g carbohydrates, 12g protein, 12g total fat (7g saturated fat), 96mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 409mg sodium. Calories from fat: 32%.

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