Complete with misspelled labels, I had a decision to make. Would I bypass sharing this discovery of gourmet onions because of my spelling error on every single jar lol, or could I suck it up and live with everyone seeing my lack of editorial skills in the kitchen? Well, the recipe and experiment turned out so well, I had to share it, my bruised ego be damned.
There was a sandwich from my favorite deli restaurant where I lived many years ago. A chicken wrap with many unusual ingredients, I think it could have been most any typical sandwich or wrap with greens and veggies or meat as a main attraction. What made this particular combination so special to me were the special candied onions.
One rainy day last month, I searched the internet menus for that eating establishment and found an old archived menu with the ingredients for my prized favorite order. Not only was I salivating like Pavlov’s dog by this time, I felt like Sherlock Holmes prying the coveted sandwich from where it had been hidden in Moriarty’s lair. It was not easy to find.
There it was in fancy print just as I remembered it, Onion Marmalade. Huh? I googled several recipes, The process and ingredients were clearly things I could not easily reproduce on my own. The whole exercise was to identify what I can grow and make without fancy imported or hard to locate ingredients.
I searched the internet to see how expensive it would be to just buy extras and stock up. I almost fell out of my chair. The price was ridiculous. I was about to give up when I happened across a recipe for canning caramelized onions. It sounded really good. Here is that recipe. This site Leena Eats is a fabulous destination for gourmet canning ideas too.
After some more research, the modified recipe I used is below. Combining these ingredients (except I added more onions and brown sugar), I cooked it in a crockpot on high with just the onions and brown sugar until it was bubbly. I then added the other ingredients and lowered the heat to simmer, stirring periodically for three hours. After filling the jars, I waterbath canned it in 8 ounce jars (using a ½ head space) for ten minutes. The results are divine.
On a side note, as I went back to grab the above menu snippet from my search for the sandwich with the magic onions, I came across this. At the top of the very same menu, the same misspelling of carmelized was there under onion soup! Gosh I love confirmation endorphins. I googled it and it seems there may be some debate in chef circles as to the proper spelling and use of this word.
For a most spirited (lol) debate on the use of the spelling variations, see this thread: Carmel vs. Caramel at Chef Talk.
I can say with confidence this was a satisfying exercise. I was able to flex my cooking, canning, sleuthing muscles AND get a lesson in kitchen grammar. What’s not to love?