About a month ago my Mum paid us a quick visit. On one of the days she spent here, we went to town, just her and me, like in good old days – not that the days got worse now, it’s just that we don’t see each other as often as before after our move from the continent.
Well, and in those other older days, we regularly used to go out together, just the two of us, for a late lunch and coffee, and to chat basically about anything for hours.
So, when she came here last time, we used a moment like that while the Little Person stayed at school. We went to a popular area of our town, and to my surprise, many things have changed there since I last saw it. Must be the economy of the country, of the world. Places change, high street shops change, cafes change.. all changes. Some stay, survive. I wonder why, and would like to, once, grasp the secret.
The new ones, however, must offer more that just what there had been for ages and stays. One nice place like that gave us the mood background for our chat, and besides that, it also had delicious meals, too. Not that they would be any extra special – but having a quick lunch or coffee in a warm, busy place we found more attractive than somehow cold, basically empty or extremely quiet place. Nevertheless, the point is, that not only spaces themselves can surprise you, but even foods can. As it happened to her.
Coming from a place where tradition is quite hard to break, this was a new experience for her – and again, my country is not against anything modern, no. It is just where I come from, people like to try new things, but always, always come to the older ones back again. And so, my Mum was exposed to something called “Caramelized Onion Jam” .
Jam, that was not made of fruit. Smile.
We had it on toasted bread, with salad and many other goodies, and I wanted to find something that would look and taste the same. I looked for a certain taste, colour and texture. I found it on pages of a blog called The White Ramekins, run by talented Himanshu Taneja, who is a great food photographer and shares a lot of recipes. I am sure those of you, who look for inspiration, will definitely find some.
To prepare your homemade caramelized onion jam, you will need 4 large onions, peeled and finely sliced; 2 tbsp olive oil; sea salt flakes; 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar; 1.5 tbsp soft brown sugar.
Please, note – I myself amended the original recipe to my taste, and added more sugar and balsamic vinegar, about triple the amount, and also, I kept adding water to the mixture while cooked, altogether about 100 ml. I leave this to your own liking and preference.
Heat a deep heavy – bottomed saucepan and drizzle with olive oil, add sliced onions when the olive oil is hot. Stir the onions, season with a good pinch of salt. Cook over medium – high heat for about 15 mins or until softened, then turn the heat down to low and continue cooking for further 30 mins, stirring frequently to scrape any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Here’s the moment when I used water, about 50 ml.
Add vinegar and sugar and stir to coat well. Continue to cook over low heat for another 30 mins, again scraping all the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. At this point, I again added water, the other half, about 50 ml. Cook till the consistency is that of a thick, luscious marmalade. Store in sterilized jar. Set aside to cool. I poured it in the jar while still boiling hot, closed the lid tight and well, and left to rest. The jam can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week – if it is able – in our home it had gone too fast before one week’s time. Smile. We loved it.
We had it over toasted white bread, with warm melted Brie cheese, topped with freshly cut watercress, spritzed with virgin olive oil. Heavenly flavours and bites.
Thank you, Himanshu for the recipe, it reminds me of some nice time spent with my Mum, and hopefully, she and others will love to give it a try!
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