There is a running joke in our house between me and my husband about onions and it goes something like this..."what is the count up to now?" Sometimes I feel like Julia Child in the movie, Julia and Julia where she is practicing cutting onions. Just in the last 48 hours, I have prepared and we have eaten 6 pounds of onions! I am not complaining, nor is anyone in my family. We love our onions.
This dish is a favorite for our Sunday dinner appetizer. I sometimes make a big batch to have leftovers for sandwiches--onions, cheese, bread, and maybe a slice of meat--yum! The onions are tender, sweet, and caramelized. The cheese is warm, gooey, and tasty.
The only trick to this recipe is in the cooking of the onions. I like onions that are deeply caramelized--not just sautéed. It requires a bit of time in the kitchen stirring the onions so they don't burn. That is a good time to enlist some help. The nice thing is that the onions can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Top the cheese with the onions and bake. Serve with crostini or your favorite cracker ( I like Carr's Water Crackers). It is delicious straight from the oven and equally good at room temperature.
When my son found out what we were having for appetizer he shouted, "Yeah!" One of my daughters claims this as "the best dish ever!" With all those onions, may they live a long and healthly life.
Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions
4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter
8 cups of sliced onions (about 4 large)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 8-inch diameter French Brie, about 32-36 oz
crackers, baguette slices or crostini to serve
In a very large skillet with a heavy bottom, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté just until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the salt and sugar. Cook stirring every 15 minutes, scraping any brown bits on the bottom, for about an hour. Regulate the heat to keep them mixture barely bubbling. Add 1/4 cup of the wine and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine stirring until the liquid is completely evaporated. Season with the black pepper and cool. (The onions can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Unwrap the Brie and cut off only the top rind of the cheese, leaving the sides and bottom intact . Place the Brie, cut side up, in a round ceramic baking dish slightly larger than the Brie round. (A 9-inch deep dish pie plate works well too.) Top the Brie evenly with the onion mixture. Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any cheese drips. Bake just until the cheese melts, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a heat-proof platter. Serve with crackers, baguette slices or crostini. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Bon Appétit