I recently came across the idea of chipotle caramelized onions and it immediatly caught my attention as I am hopelessly addicted to caramelized onions! After reading over the recipe, it reminded me of the balsamic caramelized onions that I like to make, only with smoky chipotle chilies. Once the idea of combining sweet caramelized onions with spicy chipotles got into my head there was no denying it and I had to make it.
One thing that I do not like about making caramelized onions is that it can take some time to properly caramelize all of those onions. One of the tricks that I have picked up over the years is using the widest pan that I have to increase the surface area of the onions touching the heat. Another trick is to add some water to the pan which allows you to cook the onions at a higher temperature, say medium instead of medium-low, as the water helps prevent the onions from burning. Incidentally, water also conducts heat better than air so it also helps bring the heat to more of the surface area of the onions. Even so, it still takes a while to caramelize a lot of onions, just not nearly as long so I have definitely been making them more often these days.
These chipotle caramelized onions are pretty amazing and I found it really hard to restrain myself from finishing the whole batch off by the spoon before getting to use it in something! The sweet and spicy combination is definitely a winner and the touch of balsamic vinegar adds a nice extra layer of flavour.
Chipotle Caramelized Onions
Sweet, spicy hot and smoky caramelized onions.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups onion, sliced
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions, chipotle chili, vinegar, sugar and water and cook, covered, until completely tender and caramelized and golden, about 40-50 minutes, adding more water as needed.
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