Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Author Cooks: Mini frittatas with caramelized onions and bacon

If you've never made caramelized onions before, you haven't lived.  They're very easy to make, but they require time, so make sure you allow plenty of time for them to develop their sweet goodness.  You can also make the onions ahead of time and freeze for later use.

Basic caramelized onions:

1 large sweet onion (or more, if you want some leftovers)
2 tablespoons butter (or you can use slightly less olive oil)
1-2 tsps. sugar (entirely optional)

1. Chop the onion into strips.
2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute until just soft and just beginning to change color.  Reduce heat to low.
3. Add salt, pepper, and sugar (if using), stir to combine, and cover the pan.  You may need to use a little water just to ensure the onions don't stick or fry.
4. Let cook for 30 minutes to an hour, until dark brown.  Stir occasionally.

Mini frittatas:

1 recipe caramelized onions
6 strips of bacon (use really high quality bacon--thick cut, applewood smoked is amazing)
1.5 cups shredded gruyère or Swiss cheese
8 eggs
1/2 cup cream (heavy or light) or milk

1. Prepare bacon and allow to cool slightly.  Crumble bacon.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Coat a muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Divide caramelized onions, bacon, and cheese amongst the 12 cups.
4. Whisk cream or milk and eggs together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Pour egg mixture into muffin cups, filling to about 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set (poke a toothpick into one of the cups--if it comes out clean, they're done).  Allow to cool for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cups to release the frittatas.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  They also make great leftovers.