Marie Speed and I have been friends for ages; we met while working on a museum committee together and a comfortable friendship evolved even though we're a generation apart. I don't see her as much as I used to, but we have lunch every now and then to catch up and there's always email. She's funny, talented, interesting and a very busy young woman. And why am I telling you all this? Because Marie is the editor of a marvelous quarterly foodie magazine entitled Florida Table.
About two years old now, it's filled with great food porn, tantalizing recipes, tips on entertaining, illuminating articles on food and chefs, wine advice, cutting edge kitchen ideas and of course, everything you ever wanted to know about Florida's restaurants. I posted something from this magazine last year: Peekytoe-Crab Salad.
Don't get me wrong, Florida Table is not a replacement for Gourmet and frankly, I doubt it wants to be, but it is the kind of magazine you sit down and read cover to cover. And I always come away inspired. My old issues have post-it colors sticking out all over the place. It may say Florida in the title, but it's definitely not just for Floridians; recipes are recipes and this magazine has them in spades.
The most recent issue has arrived and it included a recipe that caught my eye right away because I've never made anything like it and can't imagine why. Onion Jam. The minute I saw it I thought: if this tastes as good as it sounds, it's going to become a favorite condiment.
So this week, I made onion jam. Unfortunately I am an onion weeper....I had to walk out of the kitchen a couple times to clear my eyes. And yes, I had a sharp knife and cold onions. Nothing works for me. However, it's a simple enough jam to make and I must admit, well worth the tears. It's made with my favorite red onion but don't let the word jam fool you. It does not end up too sweet and thick like a real jam. It's got a delicate slightly sweet buttery taste with a little bite, not hot or bitter. The onions are still there; they aren't cooked down to mush. This will keep, refrigerated and covered, for several weeks. All I can say is: on a hot dog, a burger, a steak sandwich, grilled cheese or even with some sharp cheddar on a cracker as an appetizer....Wow. Fabulous.
From Florida Table, Spring Issue
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons honey
1 bay leaf
Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy saute pan and add the onion, thyme and salt. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft.
Deglaze with the wine and vinegar and allow to reduce briefly. Add the honey and bay leaf and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf.
Makes about 2 cups. Keep chilled, but serve at room temperature.
Does anyone have a sure-fire way to prevent onion tears?