I have always loved baking and cooking. From a small child I would help my Mum to make cakes on a Sunday, (I always got to scrap out the bowl!!) and in the Summer Holidays we’d make pink and white Coconut Ice! Main meals were usually cooked from scratch, with the exception of an occasional Vesta Curry or Fish and Chips on a Friday.
Although I do like simple food, such as sausage, eggs and chips, or a bacon sandwich, it’s nice to experiment in the kitchen, and create my own recipes, or put a twist on a usually simple meal.
My most recent creation has to be the addition I made to a pasta salad. We have been having salad quite frequently during lock-down, so thought I would change it up a bit.
You can add these not only to a pasta salad, you can add them to any meal you choose, it is so versatile. It won’t take you long to make it, and it is something to add a little lift to your meals.
Caramelised Onions & Croûtons
Although these are separate dishes, the juices leftover from the caramelised onions is the basis for the croûtons, all will become clear!
To make the caramelised onions you need these three simple ingredients;
- Red Onion
- Olive Oil
- Brown Sugar
Peel and slice the onion, I tend to cut them into ½cm slices. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions. Fry the onions off until they start to become floppy and slightly transparent.
Add two teaspoons of brown sugar, you may want to add more depending on the quantity of onions, you are aiming for a brown gravy like consistency, you can add some more olive oil if required. If the heat is too high the sugar and oil will crystalise. When mixing the brown sugar in, make sure all of the onions are coated in the oil and sugar mix.
Fry until they are cooked through, I usually cook them until they are fully transparent.
Now, remove the onions from the frying pan, being sure to retain the caramelised juices you have left from the onions.
Now for stage two.
You will need;
- Bread – one slice per person ~ I used three slices of seeded bread for this recipe
- 3 Garlic Cloves (you can add more or less)
- 1 Teaspoon Parsley (or Mixed Herbs)
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
I used bread from the freezer, so I put three slices in the oven to defrost for a few minutes. This will also dry the bread slightly. Remove the bread from the oven and cut into small squares, and set aside.
Now for the garlic butter – peel and crush the garlic cloves, and mix well with the parsley and butter in a bowl. Making sure that the garlic and herbs are evenly distributed.
Heat the frying pan containing the juices from the caramelised onions, and add the garlic butter. Once the garlic butter has melted add the bread chunks, making sure they are all evenly coated with the mixture, keep the pan moving to avoid burning.
Remove from the heat and place the croûtons evenly onto a baking tray, and place under a medium heat grill, this will help to crisp them up further. Keep a close eye on them though, as they can burn really quickly. Shake and turn them to ensure a uniform crispness.
Remove from under the grill, and add them along with the caramelised onions onto a salad, pasta dish or any meal you want to add a twist too!
The caramelised onions are great on hot dogs and burgers, and you can even add them to my sausage roll recipe (to be posted soon!) You can use the garlic butter to make your own simple garlic bread! I did say it was a versatile recipe!!
(I will be adding photos in the near future).
Happy cooking everyone!!