Onion Stuff

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Okay, so I’m not sure what to call this recipe, but it’s amazing and you MUST try it!

The closest thing I can think of is jelly… no, more like preserves because it’s not smooth… so I guess “jam” is a good name for it. There you go, this post should have been called, “Onion Jam”. At least your handy RECIPE printable will no longer be titled “Onion Stuff”… “JAM” it is!!

I am smokin’ hot.

NO really, I’m serious.

Burning up. Sweaty. Sticky. Inconsolable. Un-coolable. Just thought I’d let you know.

If I were referring to my good looks it would be one thing…. but, sadly, I’m not… though my husband tells me I’m smokin’ hot. Every wife needs a good dose of that from her hubby now and again. Agreed?

To make matters worse I decided to cook over my stovetop and I became even hotter. I didn’t think that was possible. My wonderful husband bought me a fan for the family room to keep cool with… or maybe he bought it for himself because he was feeling smokin’ hot too. I tell him he is… every husband needs a good dose of that from his gal now and again. Agreed?

And, just in case you haven’t heard it lately… YOU are smokin’ HOT!!! Don’t you forget it.

Now that I’ve gotten the ball rolling on my “Onion Stuff”… er, “Jam” recipe… not going off on a tangent at all… let’s dive into the recipe!

By the way, this is a contender for my FAVORITE recipe I’ve written thus far!

You’ve gotta try it.

Be you an onion-lover or hater….

You MUST try it.

Yes, it does require a bit of time over your stovetop, but it’s TOTALLY worth it. Make it. You’ll see.

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Bacon, red onions, white and brown sugar, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme, and TWO vinegars… white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. The balsamic is not pictured because I didn’t decide until later to add it.

I started with the bacon. THICK sliced bacon.

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To make the bacon easier to chop, I set the slices right on top of one another and stick the stack in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. If you don’t have time for this… no worries… just make sure you use a sharp knife!

I sliced the bacon into bits.

After slicing mine I decided to cut the slices I’d made in half because they were still too big. I was able to cut most of them all at once so it wasn’t a pain.

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Melt some butter in a saute pan.

Then add in the chopped bacon and saute it until lightly browned and slightly crispy. Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate you’ve lined with paper towels.

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I peeled up some red onions. I used four small to medium onions…

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Each of the onions should be cut in half through the root end, placed cut-side down, and sliced thinly.

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I heated a LARGE, DEEP saute pan over medium-low heat and added in some extra-virgin olive oil.

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When the oil was fairly hot, I added in the sliced onions…

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White sugar…

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Brown sugar…

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And a touch of salt…

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And then I let the stovetop do its job! These onions need to cook for about 35 minutes become super soft and to turn a dark caramel color.

You’ll need to stir them every 3-5 minutes so don’t leave the kitchen for too long. Switch a load of laundry. Update your Facebook status. Take out the trash. But don’t go do something you know will command your attention for too long. You want the onions evenly caramelized and that requires fairly frequent stirring. Don’t neglect them!

In the meantime, in case you were looking for something to do while these onions cooked, you can chop up some fresh thyme. I just run my fingers along the stems and pull a bit to get those leaves off. They come off pretty easily actually. Then, even though the leaves are relatively small to start with, I still give them a rough chop. This just releases their flavor a bit so it’s worth doing and it takes practically no time or effort at all. No complaining about an extra step. GO FOR IT!

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I also used the time to peel up some garlic cloves. I like to place the side of my chef’s knife on the clove and, with my fist, give each one a quick but firm pound. This will slightly smash the clove, releasing the flavor of the garlic a bit and it will allow you to peel it easily.

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If you want to be REALLY prepared, you can measure out the vinegar/ liquid you’ll need after those 35 minutes are up.

I didn’t take detailed pictures of this so you’ll have to listen carefully. I did this in TABLESPOON portions as I was tasting as I went to get it just right. So, sorry if the tablespoons bother you. It really isn’t too bad. You’ll probably live.

I added 6 TBSP of white wine vinegar, 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar, and 4 TBSP of water (just room temperature, filtered water) to a small, liquid measuring cup. I like to use this because it has a spout to make for easy pouring!

While you are prepping the thyme, garlic, vinegar mixture, and popping in that load of laundry… your frequent stirring of the onions will yield these results…

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See the progression from raw and liquid-y to soft and caramelized?? … I could have eaten them just like this… but they get better!!!

When the onions were beautifully caramelized I added in that vinegar/ liquid I had measured out…

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Then the crispy, drained bacon bits…

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Then the whole garlic cloves and fresh thyme…

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Now you have to stay over the stovetop for a bit… no laundry, no bathroom break, no changing diapers, no checking the mail (or whatever it is you think you must get done at the moment)…

Just bring the liquid to a boil and then turn the heat to LOW and CONTINUALLY stir the onion mixture for another 8-10 minutes. It will be super thick and jam-like at this point. Just keep stirring. You want the flavors to all have a chance to really MELD together.

Now comes a really difficult job for any cook…

TASTE what you’ve made and add in a bit of salt if you think it needs it. I added 1/4 teaspoon more just to balance the sweetness a bit and bring out all the flavors of the jam one last time. Give it a good stir to really incorporate the salt you’ve added, give it ANOTHER taste and add more salt if you think it needs it.

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Remove and discard all the garlic cloves from the jam.

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And…..

YOU’RE DONE!!!

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Transfer your ‘Onion Jam’ to a serving bowl and cover it until you’re ready to eat!

You can Make this Ahead if you like… just allow the jam to cool, transfer it to an AIRTIGHT container, and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Gotta love those words… “MAKE AHEAD”!

At least I love them. It makes my life simpler. Or at least it feels like it does.

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This jam will cost you $5 to $6 to make.

It may not be as cheap as yellow mustard, but it’s the BEST TOPPING EVER!

How do you use it you ask?

You can serve it on top of chicken, steak, or pork to make it interesting and special.

You can add it to a veggie dish to take it from tasting fine to tasting FABULOUS!

You can serve it as a topping for crostini… a SUPER yummy appetizer… and it’s make-ahead!

OR… you can do what we did (and the idea I like BEST for this recipe)…

SERVE IT ON BURGERS!

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I made an apple, dried cranberry, and crumbled blue cheese salad with an apple-cider vinaigrette for a side. We topped our burgers with shredded Gruyere (I really LOVE this cheese!), the Onion Jam (of course!), and some fresh arugula. I also added a bit of store-bought pesto to some mayo (start small… pesto is potent!!… you don’t need much of it to flavor the mayo!)

You can see the pictures of all this below…

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Here is your RECIPE!

And, I couldn’t resist, one more photo of that jam on my burger…. (sigh)… there is still some leftover in my fridge…

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I know what I’m having for dinner!! Unless my husband beats me to it…

Maybe I’ll eat early.

Just to be safe.

Happy Economical Eating!

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