Monday, July 05, 2010
Being so into food, you may roll your eyes when I tell you I've never heard of onion marmalade till recently.
That and the fact that it's a perfect burger condiment. I love onions, so when Najah plastered a picture on her Facebook of her pan-grilled salmon steak on a bed of rocket salad, Roma tomatoes and Turkish bread croutons tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and onion chutney (got all that?), I got curious.
When the other half finally demanded his lamb burger on the night of Holland versus Denmark (no surprises here - guy, football, burger), I decided to make my own marmalade. These days so many foods come in jars, laden with industrial grade additives and preservatives. Making my own sauce/jam/preserve/condiment is not so much about proving I can do so but is more of my personal aim to gaining experiences our mothers and grandmothers cherished with their hearts.
The desire to make my first preserve came with one very important agenda - it must keep well. As much as I love to cook, the thought of slow-moving a pan and cooking the bejesus out of some onions for an hour is too much effort if the finished product won't last for more than a few days. The fine uncle Google pointed me to Ainsley Harriott's recipe which will keep for two months if stored in a Kilner jar. I also spied Epicurious's red onion marmalade and incorporated the ginger for an extra zing. You can use large yellow onions, red onions will be milder and sweeter.
Adapted barely from Epicurious and Ainsley Harriott.
- 4 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, preferably muscovado
- black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
Tip the onions into a large, heavy-based pan and add the garlic, olive oil, mustard and coriander seeds. Stir well to combine and then cook gently over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the vinegar, ginger and sugar and continue to cook for another 10-20 minutes until the onions have become completely translucent and the marmalade well reduced, stirring occasionally. Stir in 4 tablespoons of water and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the marmalade is well thickened and slightly sticky. Season to taste.
If you are not planning on using the onion marmalade immediately, wash a Kilner jar or a couple of jam jars, rinse thoroughly, then dry in a warm oven. Stand them upside down on a clean tea towel.
If you are using jam jars, fill them, then cover the marmalade with a disc of waxed paper while still hot or else completely cold, then seal with a dampened disc of clear plastic, secure with an elastic band and screw back on their tops. Simply secure and close a Kilner jar in the normal way. Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months, then use as required. Otherwise transfer the marmalade into a serving bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
I must admit that there is a special joy in opening a jar of my own marmalade to top my burger. Once the lid pop off a sweet gentle aroma releases, something to savor before biting into its deliciousness alongside some mozzarella and juicy lamb.
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