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Can I/should I pour the liquid off my caramelizing onions?

It doesn't give any hints about what to expect from the onions, hence my fretting. The only hint is to deglaze the onions with red wine before adding to the stock. But as an onion-burner, I'm not familiar with having much in the way of liquid left with caramelized onions. If this is normal, I'll go with it.

Oct 03, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking

Can I/should I pour the liquid off my caramelizing onions?

I've got a skilletful of onions on the stove to make french onion soup. My recipe recommends a slow, low-medium heat, four-hour caramelization process, covered. I'm an hour in, and there is a ton of liquid in the pan--probably a cup's worth. I noticed the liquid after about half an hour and pulled the lid off the pan. The liquid doesn't seem to be evaporating. Or rather, more liquid is sweating out of the onions than is evaporating off. I am concerned that they will just boil/steam in the liquid instead of getting brown. On the other hand, I don't want to burn them, which is what I usually do when I caramelize in >1 hour.

Can I/should I pour the liquid off?

Oct 03, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking

Halibut ok to eat?

Yep it's fresh, that's how we roll in Seattle... I gave it another sniff after setting it on the counter for a few minutes, and I guess it was just the initial opening of the paper that released the fishy smell. Which makes sense after being in the fridge for a few days, I suppose.

I do know better than to buy fish that I'm not intending to eat within 24 hours, but I was getting salmon for dinner and spied a tiny, single gal-sized piece of halibut...it was the end of the day, seemed a shame to waste it, etc, etc.

It is in the oven and smelling good. Thanks all.

Jun 27, 2012
mejohnst in General Topics

Ricotta not coagulating?

When I went to cheese making class, the instructor told us not to let the milk actually bubble, but kill the heat and add the acid just before it begins to simmer. Stir gently, pulling away from the sides of the pot to encourage curds to form in the center. I've had success with this method at home. But, I used citric acid and lemon juice, not rennet.

Also, we often had to add a fair bit more acid than the recipe called for. It all depends on the milk--every milk is different. A couple of times we had to give it both more heat and more acid to get it to form curds.

Jun 27, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking

Halibut ok to eat?

I bought a small piece of halibut filet on Sunday evening. Is it safe to eat tonight (Wednesday)? It smells a bit on the fishy side...

Jun 27, 2012
mejohnst in General Topics

Improving veggie stock

Hmm fennel sounds nice, I'll try that next time. My recipe actually calls for tarragon, but I just tasted the new shoots on my tarragon plant and they don't have a flavor yet. I'll throw in some dried dill instead. I hate January...

I know I can't "remove" the orange color, but I thought perhaps some additions might tone it down a bit. I think I'm just going to trust the snowy whiteness of the potatoes and cream to even things out.

Jan 24, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking

Improving veggie stock

Well it is pretty carroty stock, I guess I'm looking for ways to make it milder. In color and in flavor. I'm thinking I may water it down.

Usually one cooks the leek, adds the potatoes and stock, boils until cooked... I'll use an immersion blender and then stir in the cream.

My desired end effect is Not Carrot Soup. Whatever, I'm the only one eating it, not like it really matters what it looks like. Just thought that enhancing prepackaged stock was an interesting idea and was wondering if there were ways to change the color characteristic.

Jan 24, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking

problems with caramelized onions

They always brown better for me when I use butter, for some reason. Also, an Italian told me once that you must add a pinch of sugar at the beginning--that something about the sugar helps the onions' sugars start to come out and caramelize. I have no scientific backing for this, but it does seem to help start the browning process sooner.

Jan 24, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking

Improving veggie stock

Alright, it's potato-leek soup for dinner. I have a box of Trader Joe's veggie stock I need to use. I hate this stock because it is violently orange. (Why??) A review of my recipe suggests "dressing up" prepackaged stock by "simmering with carrots, celery, onion, leek, bay leaf, parsley and thyme for 30 minutes." Umm, okay, but carrots, celery, onion, and leek are the main ingredients of the stock, and it smells pretty good, so I'm not sure it needs a further vegetable infusion...

I'm going to simmer some herbs into it, but any other suggestions? Any ideas on how to tone down the hideous color?

Jan 24, 2012
mejohnst in Home Cooking