What the hell is onion jam? Think of carmelized onions in a concentrated and ready to go form. Spread it on burgers, fancy sandwiches, plop it on an over the top boujie pizza. You name it, you should eat it. And you know what? It’s super easy to make.
Rough cut 9-10 large onions. Feel free to use whatever you have around or mix and match red, yellow, white, etc. And if you have some shallots or garlic kicking around? Chop those up as well.
Put your cut onions in a large pot or dutch oven with a large half cup of brown sugar.
Cook these down until they are browing and you start to get those yummy fronds on the bottom of the pot. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the water content in your onions. Stir as needed.
When your onions have cooked down, add 2 cups red wine (straight outta the box, yo!) and 6 TB of balsamic vinegar. Add 3/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp pepper. A little bit of thyme would probably be a great idea because thyme is amazeballs.
Cook this down until it reaches a nice thick consistency and add to sterlized jars. Water bath for 10 minutes.
Allow to then sit for 24 hours before storing, gifting, or stuffing face.
I am not the biggest fan of corn tortillas. I mean, I guess I like them just fine, but I prefer the flour tortillas myself (you know – closer to that whole bread thing that I love so much). So, when you have 3 dozen corn tortillas in the house and the main tortilla eater is leaving, you make chips. And yeah – I will eat the sh*t out of some corn chips.
- Lightly brush one side of the tortilla with oil and stack.
- Cut the stack in half and then cut in half again, so you have 4 equalish triangles of future chippy goodness.
- Lay evenly on a pan – oil side up – and sprinkle with salt.
- Place in your preheated 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until crispy.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes to finish crisping up.
- Stuff face.
And then maybe make some nachos with leftover chicken taco meat. Repeat last step of instructions.
I have always been really intimidated by making my own mayo. I don’t really know why. Maybe I heard it was tricky? Well, whomever passed that info along is a fibber. Making your own mayo is so easy. And so much better than storebought. Believe me on this one.
Now, you can do this with a whisk by hand (I did it once…) or use a whisk attachment on whatever gizmo you prefer in your kitchen. (I am sure you could also use a food processor but we don’t have one of them there fancy things in our house).
- Add 1 egg yolk to a bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt
- Add to that 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of mustard if that’s your thing (it’s not mine)
- Whisk these ingredients together until it is all incorporated
- Ultimately you will be adding 3/4 cup oil to this. I do about half vegetable and half olive oil (just don’t do all olive oil or you will be sorry). Slowly drizzle in about 1 teaspoon to the egg yolk mixture and whisk.
- Continue alternating adding oil and whisking. (This is where a gizmo comes in handy) until all oil is incorporated and your mayo is a lovely pastel yellow.
- Refridgerate and enjoy!
Seriously you guys. I won’t be going back to store mayo ever. So many weird chemicals and most are made with soybean oil (we have way too much soy in our lives – cut it out where you can). Give it a go. You will thank me later.
We have been observing a ‘No Spend March’ this month which means my weekly day off routine of sushi-go-round is on hold for the time being. We’re working through things in the cupboard and the freezer, and getting creative (“They” say the average household has enough food in cupboards etc, to last a month. This house could last for 6…). Today’s non sushi lunch turned out so great, I just had to blog about it.
We sprout our own mung beans and this batch needed to be used asap before it got too “rooty” and asparagus is on the menu for dinner, so it was up to me to put these to use. There has also been a packet of rice noodles in the cupboard being ignored for a very (very, very) long time so I thought it was time to cook them up as well. Saute the whole bunch with some chopped onion, a little butter and sesame oil, a squirt or two of Bragg’s (you could use soy sauce as well) and viola! So. Good. It made a full pan so there are definitely leftovers which is awesome because it’s so good!
I really love mashed potatoes. Like. A lot. But the old school mashed potatoes – none of this fancy horseradish/wasabi stuff. But what do you do when you only have 3 or 4 small potatoes in the house and for some reason your husband wants to eat too? Gather up all the other misfit veggies and make mashed root vegetables! It tastes almost exactly like mashed potatoes (and not like mashed cauliflower that supposedly tastes like potatoes….it just tastes like cauliflower) and gets rid of some of those random bits and pieces that lay around the kitchen.
Last night I threw 1 peeled & cut carrot, 4 small peeled red potatoes, a cut and peeled yam (a gift from a neighbor who was heading out of town), 5 cauliflower bunches, a small sliced onion and 3 garlic cloves in a pot of water and boiled for 20 minutes or so until everything was fork tender and mash ready. Add some butter, sour cream, salt and pepper, and a little milk or cream and viola! Mashed veggies which are awesome.
Don’t have the above? No worries! I’ve added sweet potatoes before, turnips, and just about any other boil-able veggie to the pot in the past and it all comes out tasting just like mashed potatoes. I love it.
My house smells amazing right now. I made a batch of cinnamon apple sauce this morning, and now I’m roasting some beef bones to make French Onion soup later. I kinda want to lick the walls…but I know where they’ve been, so I’ll just wait for dinner. But in the meantime, I can’t stop sneaking a spoonful of sauce here and there.
Applesauce is super easy to make, but a lot of folks figure it takes hours and days so they buy the stuff at the store (packed with extra chemicals, ickies and sugars) instead. But I’m here to tell you, it’s pretty much the easiest thing ever.
- Peel, core, and slice as many apples as you would like (today’s batch had 4 apples – small). Tip: the smaller the slices, the faster it will cook
- Add apples to a sauce pan with 2 TB water (just to get things started) and 1/2 TB cinnamon (or however much you would like)
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, covered until the apples start to reduce and lose shape
- If it gets super duper watery, remove the lid and allow some of the steam to evaporate
- After 30 or so minutes (which should require very little supervision) you have applesauce. Done. Don’t like the chunks? Throw the batch in the blender or hit it with a potato masher.
Warm, fresh applesauce is definitely in the top 10 simple awesome pleasures in life.
The husband and I had a CSA subscription a few years ago which was great on many levels. First, fresh veggies in a box without any thought. Second, we were forcibly introduced to a lot of vegetables which we normally wouldn’t choose or necessarily know what to do with (this is both a good and a bad thing depending on how creative and/or adventurous you are). One of the first boxes contained the funny looking kohlrabi – we actually had to text photos to people to help with identification.
One of my favorite uses for the funny looking German turnip is in coleslaw, or rather kohlrabislaw. It’s super easy and tastes just as good, if not better than the standard cabbage slaw.
- Thinly slice half a large kohlrabi (or use a mandolin or shredder) into strips
- Grate a peeled carrot and thinly slice 1/4 of an onion, and chop 1/2 fresh jalapeno
- Add 2 TB white vinegar and 1/3 cup mayonnaise to the mix
- Dash of salt, pepper, cayenne and a handful of raisins
- Let sit in the fridge for 1/2 an hour and serve
I’ve never been a big coleslaw fan, but I think this is pretty darn good.
We love cheese. We love bread. We love onions, too. So of course french onion soup is the perfect dinner in our house (Yes, dinner. None of this pre-dinner appetizer stuff). The only thing that has held us back from fully realizing our french onion dreams have been the perfect crock to broil the end product in. However, after a trip to our local summer hippie festival, we laid our hands on 2 matching, handmade, ceramic crocks. Let the festivitating begin!
- Boil 1 beef bone, 4 chopped celery stalks, 3 chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion and 1 bay leaf for 15 minutes, then simmer for 2 hours with 12 cups of water (it will reduce & evaporate). Set aside.
- Peel and slice width-wise 4 large sweet onions, & 2 garlic cloves, add to empty stock pot with 1 stick butter and saute until soft, approximately 15 minutes.
- Pour strained beef broth mixture into the pot with the onions and add 3-4 bouillon cubes (it depends how beefy/salty you like it), simmer for 10 minutes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour broth and onions into crock, top with sliced and toasted french bread and 2 slices of the cheese of your choice (I like provolone or mozz).
- Broil on low until brown and bubbly. Eat. Love. Awesome.
When life gets a little tough, a friend of mine and I joke around about moving to a commune on our own to be hippies and live on the land like crazy independent Amazon women. We have most of the necessary skill sets covered (booze making, cooking, clothing design, bread and butter production and a newly drafted ninja has the security aspect of the program under control – as soon as we have cheese making under our belts we can pack our bags) to make it a totally viable option in our overstressed entrepreneurial brains (no, it’s not really going to happen…I know…). Should our super fabulous commune never come to fruition and I am forced to move to a straight up hippie ranch I have come to realize that I make some damn tasty lentils.
Lentils have gained the reputation for being the peace loving legume, but they are truly more than just that – they are simple and delicious. We make them every other week or so and it seems I’m making larger and larger batches to ensure that we have some leftovers for a lunch or two – they are so good we can’t stop eating them. The recipe below is for a ‘medium’ 6 helping batch.
- Add 2 cups of lentils (you choose the color – we use the yellow/brown guys) and 5 cups of water or chicken broth to a large pot and bring to a boil with 2 bouillon cubes and a bay leaf
- Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped medium carrots to the pot and simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally (you may need to add more water)
- The lentils will start to sort of break down (we like them mushy – I pretend I’m Oliver Twist), and at this point add another 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped onions and another 2 chopped medium carrots (contrasting texture! It makes mouths happy). Slowly simmer for another 8 minutes or so
At this point you can add whatever you else you like or have on hand. We have been known to chop up the lone leftover pork chop no one wants and throw that in. Leftover Christmas ham makes for super awesome lentils, and of course, a little cooked bacon makes everything better. Last night we chopped up the last reindeer sausage link that has been haunting the freezer and added a little bacon. Of course if you are one of those veggie only people, you can skip this step and add whatever else you choose.
- After your additions have had a few minutes to meet and mingle with their lentil neighbors, salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a little garlic powder or salt as well as cayenne pepper
It’s just good stuff. And talk about cheap! You’re looking at perhaps a $3 meal here and it’s delicious. Maybe if you get good enough at making them, you too can join a hippie commune!
We try very hard to have at least one meatless day per week. We also tend to make pizzas on that meatless day as it corresponds to the only day of the week where I am home early enough to effectively rise some super kick ass dough. We each make our own concocted creation which makes for perfect pizzas each.
This week I made the following:
- A layer of pesto and light olive oil with sauteed onions and mushrooms with chopped fresh jalapenos & cabbage and sweet basil
- A little fresh mozz (which I will be finally making soon) and some grated parm and chopped green onion
- Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper – bake @ 400* for 15 or so minutes
Viola – the best little rustically handmade pizza you can get (at home). Something like this in a swanky restaurant would run you around $20 or possibly more. At home? Maybe $3. We use cheap ingredients on hand and have lunch covered for the next day too. Perfection.