Onion Jam

Today I found myself walking among sparkling and festive Christmas trees at Lowe's (yes, they are already up!) and daydreaming about holiday jams, jellies, and cookies. What could be more delightful than a gift from the heart? Cooking is an act of love, for your family, friends (4 -legged too), and for yourself. Without love, well, food is just a way to quiet the grumblings of an empty stomach. 

Gifts from the Kitchen: A fantastic collection of edible gifts is breathtaking and motivational, with page after page of eye-popping photographs.  My primary reason for purchasing the book was to surprise Maggie May with dog biscuits (page 52) since grad school and work have cut back on the time I can spend with her. However, a frantic search of the pantry does not turn up a required ingredient (wheat germ). So onion jam it is. Onion jam makes a great addition to chili, sandwiches, and hamburgers. This recipe makes approximately 2 cups.

Onion Jam

  • 2 lbs/900 g red onions (or white)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry or semi-dry white wine
  • salt and pepper

Cut the onions in half and slice each half into very thin slices.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over high heat and add the onions.

When the onions start to turn translucent, add the sugar. Lower the heat to medium and cook covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Five minutes in, it is still a pretty pink color. After ten minutes, the onions start to look brown rather than pink as shown in the recipe book, so I lower the heat. At this juncture, I see all my good intentions going up in smoke.
Add the vinegar and white wine and bring to a simmer. Next, add a little salt and pepper to taste. I am a completely surprised because the instructions say cook uncovered for one hour. My onions are already brown, and I don't think another hour in the skillet is going to help them any. Note to self: always read the entire recipe before you start cooking.
 After an hour of cooking, the onion jam is still very fluid.
Overnight, the mixture  reduces and takes on a jam-like texture. I am relieved that it actually looks like jam today. The recipe says to taste and season to individual preference.
I am not disappointed that things didn't turn out as expected. Something wonderful happens every time you venture out of your comfort zone.  My onion jam is not exactly visually appealing , but it absolutely melts in my mouth.  And that is truly wonderful.