Friday, December 22, 2006

Not a biscuit in sight

I did not make one single biscuit this Christmas. And I'm not distraught and stressed out about it but very happy and serene. Biscuits are the one thing I do not like to make in the kitchen. The rolling out of the dough, over and over again, the cutting out of little angels and hearts and pigs, the tricky transfer to the baking sheet - I just find it so tedious. And whenever I do the Christmas baking thing, I inevitably eat so much of the buttery sugary dough that I end up on a complete sugar overload from which only a cold beer and some mature cheese offers relief. Not to give you a wrong impression - I like to eat all those sweet Christmas delicacies, I just rather not be the person to make them. Which is why in this foodblog, there will be no suggestions for perfect looking, wafer-thin cookies or biscuits with too-beautiful-to-eat decorations to give to your loved ones. If you could still need a last-minute Christmas present, I suggest you make oignons confits (onion relish).

Oignons confits (makes 2 jars of 2.5dl)

  • 5 large brown onions
  • 750ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 small glass of tawny port
  • a handfull of raisins
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 500g brown sugar
Peel the onions and cut them into rings. Place them in a large saucepan with the vinegar, raisins and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to simmer, uncovered, for about 1.5 hours until the onions are soft and the liquid is syrupy. Add the port and simmer for another ten minutes. Fill into sterilised jars and seal.

I got the recipe from Donna Hay's wonderful book flavours. The port, the raisins and the mustard seeds are my addition, though, she uses caraway and coriander seeds to spice things up. I'm not overly keen on caraway but if you like the taste, use it by all means as it helps digestion and is therefore a clever addition to the onions. I think this would also taste very nice and maybe just a little bit milder using red onions and part red vine, part balsamic vinegar. Lovely with a burger or cold meats, goat cheese or mature cheddar.

No comments: