06 May 2010

relish the thought!

Heading toward Christmas '09 I perchanced to be staying with friends (Hanna and Craig) in Auckland when Hanna was making some jars of onion marmalade.  Yum!  I love that stuff, and, as I discovered when tasting Hanna's, needn't be the sickly sweet guff you can buy at the supermarket.  Anyhoo, copied down the recipe (another Donna Hay winner) and proceeded to take a leaf from Hanna's book and make up a dozen or so jars, to give as inexpensive, but very well-received, Christmas gifts. 

One of the jars went to Jim and Ros, whom I live with.  It's been sitting in the fridge since December, taunting me.  See, I've tried to get that lid off, but would it open?  No.  Finally, after several aborted attempts, Jim managed to release the relish from its glass prison.  Praise whomever you like, this was a very happy moment.  Having been reminded, after months of abstinence, of how tasty it is, I've decided it's time for a new batch... 

This time I'm going to shake things up a bit and try a slightly different recipe, using brown onions rather than red (also a bit cheaper, which is always nice), with middle-eastern influences (still Donna Hay), as opposed to the more mediterranean flavour of the original batch (onion, lemon and thyme). 

Onion relish

8 brown onions, sliced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3 cups white wine vinegar
2.5 cups brown sugar
  1. Place onions, seeds and vinegar into saucepan and allow to simmer over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Add brown sugar and cook, uncovered, for an hour, or until onions are cooked and syrup is thickened. 
  3. Pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately - makes about 5 cups. 
The original, for those who want to try both (and the flavours are really very different, so worth trying both, at different times).  When I made the lemon one I actually used brown onions, not red, and it was fine.  Colour's not as interesting, but... *shrug*

1/2 cup olive oil
2kg red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
3/4 cup thyme leaves (stripped from the branch) - I used sage
1/2 cup lemon zest
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz) white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes or until the onion is holden and caramelised.
  2. Add the thyme, lemon zest, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook for a further 10-20 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Makes 5 cups. 

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