Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions

serves 10-12

4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter

8 cups of sliced onions (about 4 large)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 8-inch diameter French Brie, about 32-36 oz

crackers, baguette slices or crostini to serve

In a very large skillet with a heavy bottom, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté just until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the salt and sugar.  Cook stirring every 15 minutes, scraping any brown bits on the bottom, for about an hour. Regulate the heat to keep them mixture barely bubbling. Add 1/4 cup of the wine and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates.  Add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine stirring until the liquid is completely evaporated.  Season with the black pepper and cool.  (The onions can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Unwrap the Brie and cut off only the top rind of the cheese, leaving the sides and bottom intact .  Place the Brie, cut side up, in a round ceramic baking dish slightly larger than the Brie round.  (A 9-inch deep dish pie plate works well too.)  Top the Brie evenly with the onion mixture.  Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any cheese drips.  Bake just until the cheese melts, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a heat-proof platter.  Serve with crackers, baguette slices or crostini.  Enjoy!

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