Sunday, December 26, 2004

confiture d'oignons, pt. I

confiture d'oignons
Originally uploaded by michelle1975.

Michelle and I had oignons confits for the very first time this summer in Paris. Our first experience was so good that we made a point of buying some before leaving Paris. We came home with a lovely jar of Conserverie St. Christophe’s oignons confits that we picked up at La Grande Épicerie de Paris. We tried to stretch it out as long as possible, but just recently we finally polished off the jar. It was time to make our own (something I’d been wanting to try for quite a while), so we turned to a recipe from Confitures, Compotes, Chutneys et Cie from the Marabout Chef series, written by Marie Chemorin. It worked like a charm. I was a little surprised that the onions were sautéed so little to begin with, and when I tasted the onions about 1/2 hour after they started to simmer the flavors were still quite separate and distinct (“there’s the wine, and there’s the grenadine syrup…”)—they hadn’t really gelled yet. But then something quite extraordinary started to happen about an hour into the process. At the end of the 2 hours, the liquid had almost completely evaporated and the onions had turned to candy (quite literally). You’ll see… Here’s the recipe:

Confiture d’oignons

700 g onions, minced
150 g sugar
75 g butter
3 tbsp grenadine syrup
3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

In a medium saucepan (one with a lid), melt the butter gently on low heat. When it has melted fully and has begun to foam a bit, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When the 10 minutes are up, add the sugar, the grenadine syrup, the wine, and the vinegar. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Cover the saucepan, and simmer over low heat until the liquid has almost nearly evaporated (this took about 1 1/2 – 2 hours). Let the confiture cool and then place it in small jars. Give a couple to some of your very best friends and keep one for yourself. Serve on crackers with cheese as a hors d’oeuvres, in sandwiches (see “Highlights: Paris” for one sandwich suggestion), and/or as an accompaniment to a main course.


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