Monday, October 29, 2007

Fresh Corn Bread and Onion Wine Jam

This wonderful bread with fresh corn and chili powder comes from My Kitchen In Half Cups, and you may find the recipe HERE. You'll note how the loaves are supposed to look, provided you don't forget the final egg wash. Yep, I have a toddler at home-distraction anyone?
With a bread this special, I knew it would take something really extraordinary to stand up to it. Onion jam with plenty of red wine and port turned out to be the perfect match.
Let me warn you, this stuff is very rich and gooey. Since I no longer trust recipes from Gourmet (see earlier posts) I took the basic idea from an old issue and followed my intuition( you thought I was going to say "instincts", didn't you? Ha. They learned me real good at the big university and now I know humans don't have instincts. See? One never knows when they'll use an anthropology degree...ok mother?).
This recipe would work fine with any onion-you certainly don't need to invest in pearl onions (but then you do get to post it as Pearl Onion Jam, which will result in tons of hits from music fans that are going to be seriously disgruntled to discover the post was actually about, jam). I used both red and white pearl onions because I had them on hand. This led to an interesting deep colour with light bits of the white onion peeking through. Do as you wish-trust your intuition.
You Will Need:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
about 2 pounds pearl (or any other type) onions
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup ruby port (hint: don't use the $40. a bottle stuff. Buy the cheap-o crap for five bucks at the supermarket)
1 cup Cabernet (again, go cheap for this)
Melt the butter in a saucepan (I used enamel over cast iron to retain the heat, but a frying pan with a lid would also work). Add the peeled onions (if using regular onions, slice them into 1/4 inch rounds). Over medium heat, cook covered for about ten minutes. Remove lid and cook another half an hour or until very tender.
Add the sugar and cook until dark brown (about 15-20 minutes). They should really look carmelised at this point-if they don't give it a few more minutes-just keep stirring so they don't scorch.
Add the Port and Cabernet. Bring to a boil, stirring until it is reduced to syrup and well...glop. This should take about ten minutes, and you may need to reduce the heat a bit and go slower. Keep stirring so you don't burn it.
The jam will firm up a bit upon cooling, but it should be served warm. To reheat it, please do not use the microwave. Re-heat it slowly in a pan over low heat. It will keep a couple of weeks under refrigeration, but I can promise you, it won't last that long-particularly if you have any of this bread in the house.

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