Red Onion Jam

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

This jam is totally my jam. ūüėČ ¬†It’s a fantastic condiment with a never-ending list of uses. ¬†I love it on a piece of cheese on a cracker. On a grilled cheese? D-lish. This recipe requires a few exclusive ingredients, ¬†but aside from that, it is very straight forward and easy. ¬†I’m a big fan of kicking up the flavour of dishes with the use of great quality condiments. ¬†Makes a great hostess gift with a chunk of cheese and some artisinal crackers.

Red Onion Jam

adapted from a recipe by Rachel Allen

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of unsalted butter

6 cups of diced onions (I used red but use whatever you like)

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup (real) maple syrup (or granulated sugar)

1/2 cup sherry vinegar (or balsamic)

1 cup red wine (leftover from the night before is fine, or even if it’s been sitting around a few days)

3 tbsp creme de cassis (a blackberry flavoured liquer)

Directions:

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, salt, pepper and maple syrup (or sugar). Stir. Cover and let cook on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes to avoid it sticking (add more butter if it starts to stick). Cook for approximately 30 – 45 minutes until onions are quite soft and cooked down.

Add the red wine, sherry vinegar and creme de cassis. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, until it thickens and becomes ‘jammy’. ¬†(anywhere from 30- 60 minutes. If using maple syrup, it will take longer as there is more liquid). ¬†Pour into sterilized jars. Refrigerate when cool. Will keep for months, in sterilized jars – refrigerated. ¬†Caution: addictive.

dice up onions

dice up onions

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

YUM

YUM

close up YUM

close up YUM

Dry Spice Rub for BBQ Meats

Dry rub for bbq meats

Now that bbq season has arrived, thankfully, everyone should have a container of all-purpose spice rub on hand for bbq meats. ¬†I use this on chicken, pork and ribs. ¬†It can be used dry or feel free to mix in a bit of olive oil to make a spice paste to rub on a beer can chicken or pieces of chicken. ¬†Either way, it’s nice to have your own unique spice rub to use throughout the summer. ¬†I love the idea of dry-roasting whole spices then grinding them up in my coffee grinder. ¬†You can use pre-ground spices for this recipe as well (use same amount as whole), but if you have the chance, try¬†dry-roasting some of your spices in a regular pan and grind them. ¬†You’ll be surprised at the roasty, robust flavour that results.

As usual, you can and should customize this spice mixture as you see fit. Continue reading

Mango Chutney (quick)

Mango Chutney - an excellent condiment for curry, pork, turkey

If you’re going to be making curry regularly, ¬†and you really should be….you should also have a quick recipe for homemade mango chutney. Mango chutney, well, kicks your curry up to the next level. The curry is awesome on it’s own, but the chutney just adds one more tangy/sweet element to your dish. ¬†It also goes well with roast pork, turkey or as a condiment on a turkey burger. ¬†You many not want to be making this every time you make curry – I’m more than happy to use mango chutney from a jar, but if you’re making dinner for company, it’ll be one more thing for them to ‘ooooh’ over. This recipe is easy and quick.

Mango Chutney

Makes about 1.5 cups

1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced (or 1.5 cups frozen diced)

1/4 cup onion, finely diced

1/2 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt

2 Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Directions:

Prepare mango and dice into small cubes. Place the mango and all ingredients in a microwave safe dish. Stir, uncovered for 4-7 minutes.

Cool, cover and refrigerate. Will keep for one week in fridge.

*Alternatively, it can be cooked on the stovetop, in a medium sauce.an, over med-low heat, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Slice small dice pattern on both halves of mango

Slice off cubes. You can use frozen cubed as well. (works just as well)

These types of graters are best for grating ginger

Cook in pot on stovetop, or in microwave in microwavable dish

Tastes fabulous on a curry (but also on roast pork, turkey, turkey burgers)

Keeps well in fridge, covered for about a week. Enjoy.

 

Stacked Tomato Asiago Salad with Basil Pesto

stacked fresh tomatoes with asiago cheese and basil pesto

I bought a huge bunch of organic basil at the farmer’s market and decided to make it into pesto. ¬†I can’t imagine what else you could do with it so I cleaned it up and made a classic pesto, except I used walnuts instead of pine nuts and I added some lemon rind in as well. ¬†Plus, if you make it fresh, it’s so much better than anything you can buy at the store. ¬†Pesto essentially mean ‘paste’, so bear in mind that a little goes a long way — it’s very concentrated flavour. I’ve demonstrated using it in a stacked tomato salad, but there are several uses for pesto. Continue reading