(CBS News) I hate onions. If there is an onion somewhere on my plate, I will find it. I knew it would be a problem in culinary school. I mean, what isn't cooked with onions?! I decided I would go in with an open mind, and try everything, even if there are onions in it.
On day one, I came face to face with a caramelized pearl onion that I needed to try. So, I said a little prayer and went for it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought. We used a technique called "glacer a brun," which basically just means cooking your onions until tender and then caramelizing them. I figure that if I ate them and didn't mind the taste, then anyone who likes onions will love this technique! It can be used with any kind of vegetable you'd like.
Watch the video to learn how to cook your vegetables "glacer a brun."
Here is the recipe for caramelized pearl onions. You can caramelize your onions in one of two stages with the same recipe: "glacer a blanc," a colorless glaze, or "glacer a brun," a darker glaze created when the sugar caramelizes.
Adapted from The International Culinary Center
Directions: Glacer a blanc
1. Place cleaned vegetables in saute pan with straight sides large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Cook one type of vegetable at a time so they cook evenly. NOTE: Try to cut your vegetables in even sizes. This will ensure that every piece cooks evenly.
2. Add water to come a little less than halfway up the side of the largest vegetable.
3. Add a pat of butter, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar.
4. Cover with a parchment paper lid cut to the size of a pan with a small hole cut in the center (watch video to learn how to do this correctly! If you don't have parchment paper, use your lid to partially cover the pan. You want some, but not all, of the steam to escape)
5. Bring water to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the vegetables are tender and lightly glazed with butter.
5. Season with salt and pepper
Directions: Glacer a brun
Use the same technique as glacer a blanc, but once the vegetables are tender, remove the lid and continue cooking over medium heat until the vegetables are lightly caramelized. This should take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes. Keep moving them around, and add water if the caramelization at the bottom of the pan gets too dark. The water will pick up the caramelized sugar from the pan, and glaze it on the onions. You'll know when they are done when the water doesn't wash the dark glaze off the onions.