Tag Archives: Onion

Bacon Jam

I first learned that bacon jam was a thing when I received a new cookbook in the mail from my aunt on the west coast.  (BEST. MAIL. EVER.) It obviously seemed like a brilliant concept and to be honest I was a little mad I didn’t think of it first, but I got past it and gave this recipe a try.   It’s incredibly rich and indulgent.  And sweet and spicy, and savoury and wonderful.  The mixture simmers aromatically for about 2 hours, cooking itself down into a sticky, sweet, spicy and rich jam like texture.  You can also use a hand held blender at the end to break it up further and make it even more jam-like.

Bacon Jam Ingredients

Bacon Jam Ingredients

Start by cooking up a pound of bacon, remove it to a paper towel lined plate, and drain off most of the grease.  Leave about 2 – 3 tbsp and then throw in onions and garlic, and allow to cook until soft and golden brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours.  Add 1/4 cup of water every half hour, or whenever it starts to burn a little or stick to the bottom of the pan.  Not surprisingly, your home is going to smell pretty unreal.

Cooking Bacon Jam

Cooking Bacon Jam

Blend the mixture slightly, so that it is spreadable but still has some texture.  Store it in a glass jar in the fridge and use it in any number of delicious ways.

Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

Like on a grilled cheese sandwich! The one below also has herb and garlic cream cheese, roasted red pepper and old cheddar.  Serve this with Bread and Butter Pickles on the side for a sublime grilled cheese experience. 🙂

IMG_7054

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam Recipe

1 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp hot sauce
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp pepper

  1. In a deep pan, fry bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp.  Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Drain bacon fat from pan, leaving only about 2 tbsp.
  2. Add garlic and onions to the rendered bacon fat and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Return bacon to the pan and add all remaining ingredients.  Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, adding 1/4 cup water every 30 minutes.  Consistency should be thick and jam-like.
  3. Use immersion blender or food processor to pulse mixture for 2 to 3 seconds, leaving some texture.  Allow to cool.  Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Apps & Sides, Comfort Food, Junk Food

Bread and Butter Pickles

I first made these pickles after a friend gave me a bounty of cucumbers fresh from her garden, and I knew I needed to find a way to use them before they went bad.  This Bread and Butter pickle recipe solved my problem and was very uncomplicated to make.  Even though it isn’t exactly garden season at the moment, you can still find cucumbers at the grocery store and have these stashed in your fridge year round.  They keep for about a month in the fridge and also make great gifts!  I haven’t encountered anyone who doesn’t appreciate a jar of homemade pickles to snack on!

Start by slicing your cucumbers into coins and soaking them in icy water along with onions and a bunch of salt.  Let them sit for at least 2 hours to ensure the pickles stay crunchy.  🙂

Bread and Butter Pickle ingredients

Bread and Butter Pickle ingredients

Then you just bring the vinegar and all the seasonings to a boil.

IMG_6821

Drain the cucumber and onion, and add to the seasoning mixture on the stove.

IMG_6822

Turn the heat off and transfer everything to a jar.  Let it cool to room temp, put the lid on and store in the fridge for up to a month.  Yum!

IMG_6825

Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe

1 lb pickling cucumbers, like Israeli of Kirby,  sliced into coins
1 small yellow onion, sliced as thinly as possible
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
A pinch of celery seed
1 bay leaf

  1. Combine the cucumbers, onion and salt in a large mixing bowl of very icy ice water and let them sit for 2 hours (this will help keep the pickles very crunchy).
  2. Meanwhile, bring the vinegar, honey and seasonings to a boil in a large pot.  Drain the cucumbers and onions and add them to the pot.  Bring back to a boil, immediately turn off the heat, and transfer the entire mixture to a glass jar.
  3. Once the jar cools to room temperature, put a lid on it and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Makes about a pint

From:  It’s All Good

1 Comment

Filed under Apps & Sides, Snacks, Vegetarian

Cuban Black Bean and Rice soup

Inspired by the marvelous soup from Havana Café, I attempted my own version of their black bean and rice soup.  What made the Havana soup so noticeably delicious was how the fresh lime tied everything toegther perfectly.  The soup was a bit thick because of the rice and bean base, and the lime just freshened everything up.  It was hearty but not heavy.  Everything you could want in a soup!

It turns out that my Cuban soup making skills need some work.  This soup isn’t exactly what I had imagined, but as I was perusing recipes, I was drawn to the idea of making a marinated rice and then adding the broth right before serving,  in order to avoid sometimes over soaked and mushy rice you find in soup.  As a result, this soup wasn’t all that thick, but it ended up being spicy, a bit zesty, and of course fresh because of the lime and cilantro garnishes.  I was very happy with it!

Line up your ingredients to get started:


I tried soaking dry beans this time because I’ve heard it’s better for you health-wise, aaaaand (mostly) because the grocery store didn’t have cans.  Anyways, I loved the soaked beans!  I’m going to make a real effort to plan ahead and soak them from now on.  They just taste so much more beany.

Soaked and Rinsed Black Beans

After you soak them, you have to boil them for a few hours too…

While the beans are boiling, start cooking up the broth.  Sautée the onions, garlic and peppers for a few minutes, then stir in the cumin and oregano.

Add some broth and the beans to the pepper mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Then, add a few scoops of the marinated rice mixture (a bit of olive oil, green onion, diced tomatoes and rice vinegar, by the way) to your soup bowl.  Zesty!

Marinated rice soup base

Pour a few scoops of the simmering broth over the rice and top with cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and of course fresh lime.

Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup

Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup Recipe

5 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked brown rice ( from 1 cup dry)
1 1/2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar ( or white wine vinegar)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onions, diced
2 jalapenos, with seeds, minced
2 red bell peppers, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 quart chicken broth or 1 quart vegetable broth
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ( or white wine vinegar)
cayenne pepper
cilantro
nonfat plain yogurt (optional) or sour cream (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Prepare marinated rice by mixing cooked rice with green onion, diced tomatoes, olive oil and cider vinegar. Let the mixture marinate at room temperature, if making soup right away. Otherwise, cover, refrigerate, and marinate up to 1 day. Let rice come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Rinse beans in a strainer until canning juices run clear, or soak and boil dry beans if you prefer.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium high, and add onions. Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add jalapenos, bell peppers and garlic; cook until softened.
  5. Stir in spices.
  6. Add broth, vinegar and beans.
  7. Cover and simmer 30 minutes (or longer, if desired), stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste for salt and spiciness. Add cayenne pepper, if more heat is desired.
  9. Serve soup in bowls over a scoop of rice. Top with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.
  10. Store left-over rice separately from soup, so liquid will not all be absorbed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Soups & Stews, Vegan, Vegetarian

Red Lentil Dal

I learned long ago not to fight the food cravings when they arrive.   They don’t go away, they only intensify.  Even when that craving is for spicy Indian food when it’s 40 degrees outside.  So when this particular craving came knocking, I welcomed it by trying out a recipe for Red Lentil Dal I’d had bookmarked for a while.  Served alongside some Chicken Tikka and some rice, this Indian feast hit the spot.

I love the variety of spices used in Indian food.  Cumin, chili powder, tumeric, coriander, ginger etc. etc. etc.  For this recipe, line up a few select spices alongside some onions and garlic, jalapeno and red lentils.  Very few ingredients – all totally healthy by the way – doesn’t mean it’s lacking in any way.  Just in case you were wondering.

Red Lentil Dal Ingredients

Soften the lentils in some boiling water…

Boiling Lentils

…and get the onion, garlic and spice base going…

Onion, garlic and jalapeno base

…mix the softened lentils into the spice mixture…

Lentil and onion mixture

…and serve with Basmati rice and chicken tikka masala.  A feast!

Red Lentil Dahl and Chicken Tikka

Red Lentil Dal Recipe

3 cups water
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 hot chili pepper, seeded and chopped (I usually go with a Jalapeno)
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Fresh cilantro leaves

  1. In medium saucepan, combine water and lentils.  Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook garlic and onion for 10 minutes or until softened and turning golden brown.  Add chili pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt; cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in lentils and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened and liquid is evaporated.  Garnish with cilantro before serving.

From:  The G.I. Diet Cookbook

2 Comments

Filed under Apps & Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian

Simple Super Sliders

This is greasy comfort food at its best.  Tiny salty, beefy, steamy, melt-y, onion-y burgers.  These require very few ingredients and are straightforward to make.  It’s the combination of simple flavours that makes these so delicious;  although if you were feeling ambitious you could serve them with fried onion strings.  Nobody loses in either situation!

So get all your ingredients ready and form the beef into small patties – a few tablespoons worth.  Indent the top of the burgers with your thumb – I forget why we do this, but that’s how I was taught!

Slider Prep

After sprinkling generously with kosher salt, place the patties in a medium-hot frying pan, and smoosh some thinly sliced onions onto the top.  Cover and cook for a few minutes, until very little pink remains.

Sliders cookin' up

Flip the burgers so the onions can get crispy, and then add the processed cheese.  It’s melty plastic flavour gets me every time.

Melty Sliders

Then add the buns so that they get steamy and soft and delectable, and the cheese melts and binds everything together in glorious burger harmony!

Slider Buns

It’s finally time to sink your teeth into these mini beauties 🙂

Greasy, Delicious Sliders

I’m certain there are more appropriate buns you could use for these, but these ones were cheap, and I love how soft they get when heated up a bit.  Besides, fancy buns might ruin these.  The common everyday ingredients are what make these so tasty!

Simple Super Sliders

Simple Super Sliders Recipe

1 lb high quality medium ground beef
Kosher salt
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
Processed cheese slices, broken into ¼ sections
Soft white hamburger buns
Canola oil as needed

1.    Form beef into small patties using 3 – 4 tbsp ground beef.  Indent top of patties with your thumb and sprinkle surface of burger generously, with salt.
2.    Heat oil in grill or frying pan, and place burgers in hot pan and smoosh a few thinly slices onion into each patty.  Cover and cook over medium-high for a few minutes, until hardly any pink remains in the burger.
3.    Flip burgers so onions get a chance to get fry and place processed cheese on top.  Place the bottom half of the bun on the burger, and the top half on top of that, face up.  This allows the entire bun to get steamy.  Cover and cook a few more minutes, until no more pink remains.
4.    Slide spatula under burgers and remove top half of bun.  Place bun on the underside of the burger and serve!

Leave a comment

Filed under Burgers & Sandwiches

French Onion Soup

Fall is definitely upon us!  With the cooler weather come endless possibilities for belly warming soups.  I don’t know many people who don’t love French onion soup, so I won’t try and sell it to you on it, I’ll just share this solid (and relatively healthy!) recipe so you can make your own.  Happy Fall!

Throw some thinly sliced onions, garlic and salt into a big soup pot to get started.

Early Stages of French Onion Soup

Add some broth, red wine, sherry and a bay leaf, and simmer until you can’t handle the delightful fragrances emerging from your kitchen any longer.

Sizzling, Aromatic Broth 🙂

Load it up with some bread and cheese, and pop it in the oven until it’s all melty and gooey. Then dig in!

Sidenote:  I bought french onion soup bowls at the dollar store for, you guessed it, a dollar each.  No need to break the bank, and they’re oven safe!  These come in handy for way more than just French onion soup too – individual portions of pasta, baked dips, chicken pot pies, apple crisp etc.  Love these!

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup Recipe

1 tbsp canola oil
6 onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
6 cups beef stock (low sodium works best)
½ cup red wine
2 tbsp dry sherry or cognac
1 bay leaf
½ tsp pepper
4 slices French bread
1 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese

1.    In soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook onions, garlic and salt, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until they start to brown.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until onions are very golden and very soft.  Add flour and stir to coat onions for 1 minute.
2.    Add beef stock, wine, sherry, bay leaf and pepper;  bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.
3.    Pour soup into desired bowls.  Place bread on top to fit bowls and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.  Broil for 30 seconds to brown top.

(Makes about 4 servings)

Leave a comment

Filed under Comfort Food, Soups & Stews

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is a really simple salsa that will improve so many different dishes.  Add to tacos, burritos, nachos, omelettes, pasta, guacamole, bruschetta etc. etc. etc.  It works because all the ingredients are fresh, and there isn’t a lot of dressing to hide the delicious natural flavours.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo Recipe

Diced Tomatoes (about 2 -3 Cups, depending on how much you want to make)
1 Diced Green Pepper
½ cup Diced White Onion
1 Diced Jalapeno (make sure you clean the seeds out unless you want it to be super spicy!!!)
Juice from one Lime
Kosher Salt (or any coarse grained salt) to taste

1. Mix everything together, and the longer it sits, the more the flavours will mingle!

2 Comments

Filed under Apps & Sides