Caramelized Onion Bleu Cheese Prosciutto Burgers
There are times, thankfully, that a person can simply out-wait or outwit a hankering. Other times the desire is elevated more to gnawing lust status, and the only way around it is through it. That is the story of this hamburger.
Life Is Good
The Oregon outdoor grilling season first comes in intermittent snatches. Our spring weather is quite mutable so it's best to be prepared for whatever comes. A clear blue sky, gentle mist, heavy downpour or even hail may be experienced all within the course of a day; sometimes within an hour. Here at our country place, the grill gets dusted off and the briquets, matches and other outdoor cooking accouterments get put in a dry but handy location. When the glorious bright moments do occur, bless the soul who has ground beef waiting in the fridge.
My Baby's Thick Burger, Still a Little Pink in the Center
In the glory of a sunny afternoon, My Baby stoked the coals while I was inside caramelizing the onions. The kitchen window screen was open so that our banter could continue while we were at our tasks, and we could shoot timing information back and forth. I'd made variations of the onions before and I knew they'd be terrific on the bleu cheese-prosciutto burgers My Baby had suggested. No other condiments are necessary.
Onions, About 10 Minutes Left to Go
4 yellow onions, peeled, sliced about 1/4" thick
A goodly swirl of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Leaves of two or three thyme branches, stripped off the stems
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Allow onion to gently sizzle in pan for several moments without stirring. Sprinkle brown sugar over onions. Gently stir, flipping onion rings more than stirring them. Let them hang out between stirs, regulating heat so that they don't burn but don't just idle about. This process takes about 25 minutes. Layer in salt along the way, adjusting at the end. Add thyme leaves about 5-7 minutes before you predict the onions to be done.
Your aim here is for soft, tender onions that haven't yet given up their shape entirely. Not mush. Rings; soft rings. They will be quite deeply brown, but you've kept good care of them and they are not blackened at all.
A Working Lunch
Make more of the onions than you will need for your hamburgers, as they make a terrific panini with blue cheese on good bread for lunch the next day.