by Debra on January 24, 2011

Musical pairing – Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Here’s the deal . . . when Virginia Willis says that you need to buy a particular cookbook, pay attention . . . pay close attention and do exactly what she’s telling you to do.  Why? Well, because she’s Virginia Willis and she just knows these things. When she recommended this book, I high-tailed it to my nearest Sur La Table and bought a copy.  Can I just say that Virginia was right?

This book is fast becoming one of my favorites, not just for gift-giving ideas but also for recipes I’ll be making for me and The Professor throughout the year; I already have jars of this fabulous curd stored in my cupboards and there’s also a very large bottle of Limoncello perking down in my basement pantry – I’ll let you know how it goes in about 60 days or so.  These 8-hour Butter-Braised Onions caught my eye because I’m a big, big fan of caramelized onions . . . and this recipe my friends, is made in a slow cooker . . . yes, you read that right!

I’m starting with this basic recipe and then over the next week or so, I’m going to show you several ways to use them. You can thank me now or better yet, thank Virginia.

So – without checking any musical references, who else has covered the musical pairing???

Gifts Cooks Love, Sur la table
Makes two (6-Cup/1-1/2 liter) jars of butter-braised onions
10 Large (about 8-1/2 pounds) Sweet Onions, such as Walla Walla (imagine that, I’M from Walla Walla!), Vidalia or Maui
½ Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  1. To prep the onions, trim the stem end, cut in half lengthwise through the root and peel each half.  Leaving the root end intact, cut each half lengthwise in ¼-inch-thick slices. Trim to remove the root.
  2. Scatter the butter in the bottom of a 6-1/2-quart electric slow cooker.  Add the onions and sprinkle the thyme over the top.  Place the lid on the slow cooker, set the cooking mode to high and set a timer for 2 hours.
  3. After 3 hours, use a silicone spatula to stir the onion mixture. Set a timer for 6 hours, continuing to cook on high. (As tempting as it might be, there is no need to stir the onions during this long cooking period.)
  4. Turn the power off, remove the cover, give the onions a stir and let cool in the ceramic insert for 1 hour.
  5. Ladle the onions into the jars through a wide-mouth funnel, dividing evenly. Cool completely and then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
SMITH BITES NOTE: I happen have a slow cooker with a built in timer and temperature settings for high and low; I set the first time for 2 hours, stirred, then reset for the additional 6 hours required. It also has an automatic shut-off so I could even make these overnight and wake up to perfectly caramelized onions in the morning – total time saver!!