It's time

Life is not always so kind as to give you lemons. Sometimes, it gives you onions instead.

And in March, it gives you the onions you yourself tucked away in late October. It gives you the onions hanging in your downstairs closet in bulging nylon stockings, tucked away from warmth and light. It gives you the ones beginning to sprout unsightly green wigs and soften around the belly a bit.

That's when it's time to make onion relish. Even if you wish you were out on the porch sipping lemonade; I'm sorry, but it's simply not the season for that.

Truly, onion relish can be just as good. It's more of an indoor comfort, to be sure, but spread over hot sourdough toast, or on plain old whole-wheat with a hunk of cheddar melted over top, it is simply divine. Especially on a cold day, when the sky is spitting terrible, icy chunks and is colored a stern, foreboding gray. That is just the sort of afternoon for an onion relish melt.

I found the recipe I use in Cooking Light, and after tweaking it a bit to add back in some of the fat (it's never a good idea to lose too much butter, in my opinion), I found it quite perfect for a day like today. So go unravel your onions, and enjoy.


adapted from Cooking Light magazine, December 2008

Feel free to cut the butter back down to 1 tablespoon, as recommended in Cooking Light. I know a 3 tablespoon increase might seem like a lot, but most recipes for braised onions (which are different in application but similar in cooking concept to this spread) call for close to a stick. So really, a few extra tablespoons is pretty moderate. Plus, think of how much butter you'd put on that bread if there was no relish to spread.

4 tablespoons butter
4 cups sweet storage onions, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook it, stirring often, until it is first translucent and then golden brown. Add remaining ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind that the liquid will evaporate, concentrating the salt, and that chicken broth is salty to begin with), and stir well. Let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until it begins to thicken and all the liquid is gone. When it is nice and spreadable (think toast), it's done.


Bie said...

Elspeth,if I had all the ingredients I would have onion relish for supper tonight.A perfect night for

it. Richmond has had the biggest snow fall since Dec. 2005!!!It is beautiful.Quiet, very little traffic moving.Just the kind of weather that I love!!

Elspeth said...

Wow! I bet it is beautiful down there...unfortunately we got mostly sleet. xoxo

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