Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cranberry Onion Jam

I made this for the first time last Thanksgiving and was hooked. Immediately it became a must have for all future giving thanks holidays, and I think it works especially with a smoked turkey (another Thanksgiving tradition). It's punchy, puckery, oniony and there's this caramelized depth that is just so many flavors in one in your mouth. It's so bright, just so... holiday-y. It's sweet but it also has an undeniable presence. And it's really not that hard to make. No, not as easy as popping open a can of cranberry jelly and scooping out into a bowl, but it's so much more worth it, if anything for the flavors that aren't one-note, but many.
This may have been one of the first recipes of Luisa's (The Wednesday Chef) I ever made, as it fell right around the holiday a year ago when I got really engrossed in her blog. I think it was also the first bright thing I made after days and days darkness and what first started to bring my appetite back (if you need clarification on this you can read here) and one of the first things that made me finally put pen to paper (so to speak) and actually start up this little blog. And it's amazing how many things can change in a year while some things always stay the same. I mean that in the best way, in having a new recipe to add to the many Thanksgiving's to come, a new tradition to add to the old, a new thing that moving forward will stay the same, even as so many other things change.
Luisa got this recipe from Jasper White but she strongly cautions you to not adhere to the cooking times, especially for the onion caramelization. And if you know how to caramelize them already then just go with your gut on that. I also let it cool and then tasted for sugar, so you may want to adjust accordingly. I ended up adding in another 2 heaping teaspoons, and next time may try honey to see how that goes. Oh, and this recipe is one of those beauties that you can make the day before, especially to allow it to cool enough, so you aren't having to work with a full stovetop on this one.

Cranberry and Onion Jam
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
2 lbs. sweet onions
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. fresh cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice onions thinly. In a saute pan, heat to medium high and add the oil. Once oil is hot add the onions and caramelize them. This could take a while but you want to make sure they're nice and browned before you move on.

2. Add vinegar, sugar and cranberries to the pan and turn heat to low. Stir frequently until the cranberries have popped. Remove from heat, move to a serving dish and let cool in the refrigerator. Once cooled, taste for sugar.

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