The author and cook, Heather

R-Rated Onions (Caramelized Onions)

This Will Make It Taste Good

Recipe writers often lie about how long it takes to caramelize onions, which either leaves you with undercooked onions in your recipe or getting dinner on the table later than expected. Vivian Howard says you should just make a HUGE batch of caramelized onions (she calls them R-Rated Onions) and freeze them in smaller portions to add to recipes later. That's basically the premise of her book, This Will Make It Taste Good; you should have flavor bombs like this available to make getting other dishes done faster.

There aren't a lot of "real" recipes in the book to use these (though there are a LOT of suggestions for using them to make other simple things taste better), but I just HAD to make them so I could try one of the recipes. I can't wait for you to see what we made using these onions!

You can find the full recipe here:


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with heather today we are starting to
[00:09]: work from a brand new to us cookbook
[00:12]: relatively new i think it came back came
[00:14]: out last year sometime
[00:18]: and this is uh
[00:19]: from vivian howard the same as same
[00:22]: author of deep run roots which we've
[00:24]: worked from
[00:25]: a lot
[00:26]: but this is called this will make it
[00:29]: taste good and so see this is her book
[00:33]: i've had this for a while and haven't
[00:35]: actually cooked anything out of it
[00:37]: but
[00:38]: i
[00:39]: turned to
[00:41]: one of the recipes and decided i really
[00:42]: wanted to make it and so
[00:45]: we have to make another recipe before we
[00:47]: make that because this book is a little
[00:49]: bit different than deep run roots it is
[00:52]: um
[00:54]: a number of sort of
[00:56]: base
[00:56]: flavoring recipes
[00:59]: that you don't necessarily eat on their
[01:02]: own but you use them for sort of flavor
[01:05]: boosters i think she calls them
[01:07]: in other recipes so it sort of
[01:11]: helps you get
[01:13]: other recipes
[01:14]: done quicker by having these already
[01:17]: made
[01:18]: or or helps you sort of elevate a
[01:20]: standard weeknight meal by adding
[01:23]: something with a lot of flavor that
[01:25]: you've already got made and in the
[01:26]: refrigerator
[01:28]: so
[01:30]: the first thing that we are going to be
[01:31]: making
[01:33]: she calls r rated onions
[01:36]: these are basically just
[01:39]: very well caramelized onions so
[01:43]: the good thing about this is
[01:45]: they will last in the refrigerator i
[01:47]: think she says for a week so you could
[01:49]: keep these in the refrigerator for a
[01:50]: week
[01:51]: but she freezes them in these large ice
[01:54]: cube
[01:55]: trays like uh for cocktail ice cubes we
[01:58]: have
[01:59]: some of those and i've used them
[02:01]: for a while now but she freezes them in
[02:04]: about
[02:05]: half cup
[02:06]: portions which is what one of those
[02:08]: large
[02:10]: freezer
[02:11]: ice cube trays usually holds or at least
[02:13]: that's what mine holds when it's full to
[02:15]: the max it's about half cup
[02:18]: um
[02:20]: so that's my plan for whatever i have
[02:22]: left over when i'm done with this
[02:24]: because
[02:26]: caramelized onions
[02:28]: take a really long time
[02:31]: so
[02:35]: a big beef i have with a lot of recipes
[02:37]: is that they will basically tell you you
[02:40]: can caramelize onions
[02:42]: in 15 minutes that you can caramelize a
[02:45]: small
[02:46]: like less than an onion or an onions
[02:48]: worth of onions you can get that done in
[02:51]: 15 minutes now whenever i try to do that
[02:53]: i end up with
[02:55]: dried out two brown not
[02:58]: lovely sumptuous
[03:01]: sweet caramelized onions that i'm
[03:03]: expecting they're just not right
[03:07]: and so this recipe
[03:09]: [Music]
[03:10]: uh
[03:11]: makes a lot i think
[03:14]: it doesn't say exactly how many it makes
[03:17]: but
[03:18]: the point is that you make oh she says
[03:20]: it makes two cups you start with a lot
[03:22]: of onions let me show you
[03:23]: these are the onions that i'm going to
[03:25]: be caramelizing today this is a very
[03:27]: large bowl of onions it's not my biggest
[03:30]: bowl but it's probably the second
[03:32]: biggest of this of this shape that i
[03:34]: have and it is full to the brim and
[03:36]: these are sliced sort of
[03:38]: kind of thinly they're not
[03:41]: super uniformly sliced because i didn't
[03:45]: i i didn't stress about that too much
[03:48]: just um you want them sliced
[03:50]: thinly
[03:52]: uh long ways so from the root end to the
[03:57]: stem end if that's what you want to call
[03:59]: it whatever the part where the green
[04:01]: onion comes out
[04:04]: you slice them thinly that way
[04:06]: and this is
[04:08]: a lot of onions um
[04:11]: she says you cannot make this with a
[04:12]: smaller amount of onions do not try to
[04:16]: make this in a
[04:18]: small batch you need
[04:20]: all of this to create steam
[04:23]: that will initially soften them and then
[04:25]: the insulation to keep them from burning
[04:28]: so you need to make a big batch
[04:30]: so this
[04:32]: is supposed to cook down to about two
[04:34]: cups
[04:35]: i wouldn't worry about exactly the right
[04:37]: amount of onions
[04:40]: as long as you have a lot it'll be fine
[04:42]: like one less one more i mean like her
[04:44]: her measurements are all this four to
[04:46]: five or six to eight depending on the
[04:47]: size so you just want a lot of onions
[04:49]: for this
[04:51]: and
[04:52]: all we need besides this is a little bit
[04:53]: of oil and a little bit of salt and a
[04:55]: lot of time
[04:57]: time as in
[04:59]: on the clock not the herb
[05:01]: so
[05:02]: we'll meet you at the stove in just a
[05:04]: minute to get these started
[05:07]: so i have the largest skillet i have
[05:10]: that i have a lid for because the lid is
[05:12]: very important
[05:13]: um
[05:14]: [Music]
[05:15]: and i would assume this deep skillet
[05:18]: is the best you don't want the sort of
[05:20]: thinner fry pans because this will hold
[05:22]: more
[05:23]: um i've got a little bit of oil
[05:26]: that i measured i i'm using
[05:29]: my usual sort of olive oil that i cook
[05:31]: with and starting to
[05:34]: get hot so i'm going to put these in
[05:35]: there
[05:37]: um oh my goodness
[05:39]: um
[05:40]: it's it was heating over medium-high
[05:42]: heat
[05:44]: [Music]
[05:47]: a few
[05:48]: [Music]
[05:49]: i'm just putting all of these
[05:54]: in here even though
[05:57]: it is too
[05:59]: i mean wait looks like it's way too many
[06:01]: but they're going to cook down a lot
[06:05]: all right
[06:06]: that's good
[06:09]: [Music]
[06:10]: and now
[06:11]: we're going to add just a little bit of
[06:13]: salt
[06:24]: all right
[06:26]: so we're going to let these sit for a
[06:28]: couple of them a couple of minutes
[06:31]: so i'm not stirring them down to the
[06:33]: bottom right now i'm just sort of
[06:35]: making sure they all won't go flying out
[06:37]: when i start to serve so let that sit
[06:40]: for a couple minutes
[06:44]: before i touch them
[06:46]: that's hard for me it's been a couple of
[06:49]: minutes
[06:50]: busied myself so i wouldn't touch them
[06:53]: now we're gonna start to stir them
[07:03]: yeah i don't remember if i had the
[07:05]: chance to say because it was getting
[07:07]: really hot but it was at medium high
[07:09]: heat and we're keeping it at medium high
[07:11]: heat for right now
[07:17]: all right
[07:19]: so that's
[07:20]: sort of
[07:22]: a start and we're gonna now let it sit
[07:25]: for about another three minutes
[07:27]: before we touch it again
[07:33]: it's been about three minutes
[07:36]: so i'm going to stir this again
[07:39]: they wilted a little bit
[07:43]: more and now is going to be the hard
[07:46]: part
[07:48]: so because now
[07:52]: i'm supposed to not touch it
[07:54]: so i'm going to
[07:58]: turn the heat down to medium low
[08:04]: put the lid on
[08:06]: and come back
[08:08]: every few minutes to
[08:10]: stir it
[08:12]: and put the lid back on
[08:14]: for about 45 minutes
[08:17]: so i'm gonna
[08:18]: set a timer
[08:20]: so i don't forget she says don't go take
[08:23]: a walk don't
[08:25]: leave it because you don't want it to
[08:26]: burn in there
[08:28]: you do want to check on it every so
[08:30]: often
[08:31]: um
[08:33]: so
[08:34]: but we don't want to keep taking the lid
[08:37]: off and stirring and keep taking the lid
[08:38]: off the strings so
[08:40]: i'll be back in about five minutes
[08:43]: after the first five minutes
[08:48]: i'm just going to take it off and
[08:50]: stir
[08:51]: got a lot of water in there well juice
[08:55]: no water added so it's whatever came out
[08:57]: of
[08:58]: the onions themselves which is
[09:01]: kind of the point
[09:03]: of keeping the lid on and cooking them
[09:05]: in their own
[09:08]: so
[09:09]: another five minutes
[09:11]: all right ten minutes in
[09:28]: by the way
[09:30]: she doesn't say every five minutes that
[09:32]: was just my
[09:34]: deciding that's a good interval so
[09:37]: all right third five minutes
[09:40]: starting to get a little warm on the lid
[10:02]: another five minutes all right
[10:05]: fourth
[10:06]: five minutes
[10:08]: they're still really watery but that
[10:10]: will go away once we
[10:12]: leave the lid off which will happen
[10:15]: but not for quite a while
[10:17]: we're getting these i think i think
[10:19]: we're our aim is to cook these until
[10:21]: they're translucent and maybe a little
[10:22]: bit brown we'll see
[10:25]: five more minutes
[10:26]: okay i think this is the
[10:29]: sixth time so
[10:36]: a little bit more left
[10:40]: i think they're almost all cooked at
[10:43]: this point almost
[10:49]: i think just two more of these
[10:53]: so
[10:54]: very
[10:55]: very wet
[10:58]: but almost cooked through so
[11:05]: another five minutes
[11:08]: okay so after this one we have
[11:11]: so after this we only have five more
[11:12]: minutes
[11:14]: so
[11:18]: i
[11:19]: think this is what we're going for we're
[11:22]: just going for cooking them she said
[11:24]: when we're done they should be
[11:26]: a
[11:27]: light caramel color they're kind of
[11:30]: yummy um
[11:37]: but they will
[11:38]: definitely darken up as the
[11:41]: liquid evaporates
[11:43]: when we leave the lid off after the next
[11:45]: five minutes so
[11:47]: okay this is the last time it's been
[11:49]: about 45 minutes
[11:52]: and it is still very wet
[11:55]: very light
[11:57]: but we're going to leave the lid off
[11:58]: we're going to leave it at medium-low
[11:60]: heat
[12:02]: and uh we have to be much more careful
[12:05]: at this point we have to stir it more
[12:06]: often
[12:08]: we have to
[12:10]: not go away
[12:12]: so
[12:16]: see how this goes see how long this
[12:17]: takes
[12:19]: doesn't really give an indication of how
[12:21]: long this will be so we'll see
[12:25]: it's been 15 minutes and they are still
[12:27]: very wet i'm gonna turn my heat up
[12:30]: just a tad but
[12:32]: i have a feeling we're gonna be here for
[12:34]: a while
[12:37]: we are at a half an hour after we took
[12:39]: off the
[12:42]: lid and we still have quite a bit of
[12:46]: liquid in there so
[12:50]: keeping we're gonna
[12:51]: we're gonna keep cooking it
[12:57]: all right this is just driving me crazy
[12:59]: i'm gonna turn the heat up to medium
[13:03]: get the uh
[13:05]: liquid off but i need to i'm gonna watch
[13:07]: it i'm gonna watch it real good
[13:10]: we are approaching an hour after i took
[13:12]: off the lid and we are still
[13:16]: pretty moist
[13:25]: do
[13:27]: [Music]
[13:39]: on this episode of cooking the books
[13:40]: with heather you watched me make
[13:43]: r-rated onions
[13:45]: caramelized onions from vivian howard's
[13:48]: newer cookbook this will make it taste
[13:50]: good
[13:51]: so
[13:53]: um we followed the recipe as closely as
[13:56]: we could
[13:58]: but
[13:59]: oh my goodness it took forever so
[14:03]: um i
[14:04]: think all told i was working on this for
[14:08]: like more than three hours
[14:11]: which is kind of crazy
[14:12]: and mine ended up making um
[14:16]: a little bit less than the recipe is
[14:17]: supposed to so i feel like they cooked
[14:19]: down more than they really should have
[14:22]: uh but
[14:24]: there's a point in in here where you
[14:27]: know so you cook them you try basically
[14:29]: try to cook them through
[14:31]: uh
[14:33]: with the lid on and you get a lot of
[14:34]: liquid
[14:35]: and then you take the lid off but you
[14:37]: she tells you to turn
[14:39]: the
[14:40]: um
[14:42]: heat down i think
[14:45]: anyway at some point she tells you to
[14:46]: turn the heat down it's been a while
[14:48]: since i actually made this but she tells
[14:49]: you to turn the heat down and she never
[14:51]: tells you to turn it back up and
[14:54]: mine were just
[14:56]: not browning hardly at all it took a
[15:00]: long time for all of the liquid that the
[15:03]: onions released
[15:05]: to actually uh boil off and
[15:09]: then for them to start to brown at the
[15:11]: end i'm pretty sure i did turn it up
[15:14]: more than she she said to
[15:16]: um
[15:17]: so i think
[15:19]: i would probably do that i think the um
[15:22]: cooking it with a lid on to sort of get
[15:24]: them started cooking so they don't
[15:26]: immediately burn is probably a great
[15:28]: idea
[15:29]: but
[15:30]: at least for me with my pan and on my
[15:34]: stove
[15:36]: there was no way that this was
[15:38]: gonna take
[15:41]: any less than that if i followed the
[15:43]: instructions exactly so
[15:45]: [Music]
[15:47]: that said
[15:49]: um
[15:50]: i do often complain that most recipes
[15:54]: tell you you can caramelize onions in
[15:56]: like 20 minutes and it just doesn't work
[15:59]: so
[15:60]: i do believe there's a a medium point
[16:03]: here between 20 minutes and three hours
[16:05]: but i haven't found it yet
[16:08]: but
[16:09]: the end result was nicely caramelized
[16:11]: but i think it was a little bit more
[16:13]: um
[16:15]: of sort of a single mass sort of a pasty
[16:19]: thing
[16:20]: than i think it should have been
[16:22]: so
[16:24]: i'm not sure
[16:26]: i
[16:28]: i'm not sure i will make this particular
[16:31]: recipe again because i found another one
[16:33]: to try from another book so hopefully
[16:36]: we'll have that here soon
[16:38]: but
[16:39]: we and we didn't try these on their own
[16:41]: but we did use them for another recipe
[16:44]: and we'll let you know what we thought
[16:46]: of that in that video
[16:48]: and if you enjoyed watching me make this
[16:51]: give me a thumbs up hit the subscribe
[16:53]: button and come back and watch me make
[16:54]: something else
[16:56]: [Music]