Friday, May 27, 2011

Balsamic Onion Spread

The last couple days have not gone as planned. FRUSTRATING.  I planned many more pics for this post but I lost them all.  Don't ask.  It just happened.  So now I have finished product pictures but no pictures of the process.  I wasn't going to post, but the spread is just too good not to post it, especially for this weekend. 

A few posts ago, we talked about gourmet foods. (see Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce).   Those little jars of "goodness " are wonderful but oh so expensive.  I don't care how much money you have, sometimes it's just the principle of it. As I have said before, some are worth trying to make on your own and others are not.  The pasta sauce was a great example of one that's worth it. This one is another.  I buy a Balsamic onion sandwich spread which is great for Panini's, burgers or the "adult" grilled cheese.  But that sandwich spread is a whopping 12.00 per jar.  I know....and I bought it!! When I run out...I don't buy another one for months because I hate spending that much money.....then I just HAVE to have it and break the bank to get it.  After all, it's balsamic and onions...YUMMMMM.  It's made by a VERY famous chef whom you would recognize and trust me we pay dearly for his name.

So I looked around for a recipe and found one that seemed similar.  It's from a company who makes Pita Snacks - Called Pita break.  Their website is  There was a bunch more really great recipes for dips and sauces there as well, you should check it out.

I changed their recipe slightly (what else is new?) until I got the flavor I wanted, which is actually better than the 12.00 jar!!  Go figure.

The thing about a sweet oniony balsamic "glaze" is that the sandwich, panini, burger or quesedilla you are creating gets an INCREDIBLE flavor....deep, special and sophisticated.  The sauce is DELICIOUS and its  relatively EASY to make.  All that adds up to being able to have this whenever I want it! I figured it costs about 4.00 to make a qty about 3 times what is in that gourmet jar.

For Memorial day weekend, if you make one thing, make this spread for your burgers and then slather it on EVERYTHING else after that....and when it's GONE? We get to make MORE.....YES!

Balsamic Onion Spread
This recipe makes 1-3/4 cups which is about 14 servings of 2 tablespoons each - 2 WW PP from the recipe builder.

1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 large onions ( I used Texas sweets, but you can use plain, red, etc...)
6-8 garlic cloves, Sliced fairly thin
4-5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2-1/2 teaspoons salt (and more for the end)
red pepper flakes to taste ( I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
1 Teaspoon Dried Tarragon (or oregano or basil) ( I used the tarragon with GREAT results)
Garlic powder

Peel onions cut off both ends and slice in half lengthwise.  With cut side down make slices 1/4" to 1/2 " wides making half circles.  Set aside

Slice garlic cloves, set aside.

In a large skillet or wide enameled cast iron pot place over high heat and add oil.  Wait until the oil is "shimmering" and add onions and garlic.  Stir all the onions until they are coated with oil and let cook for a few minutes.  Then Stir.  Continue cooking and stirring, caramelizing the onions and garlic to a deep brown color.
While onions are cooking combine the 4 tablespoons of the balsamic and only 2 tablespoons honey along with salt, Tarragon (or other herb) and the red pepper flakes.

When onions are deeply colored, reduce heat to medium and add the vinegar mixture, deglazing pan and scraping up any bits.  Continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are soft and the liquid is reduced.  TASTE it at this point.  I felt it needed pepper, garlic powder, another tablespoon of vinegar and honey.   You may also want to add more red pepper flakes.  I then continued to cook for a few minutes more.  **You may not need this depending on your don't just add it.

Once you obtain the desired flavor, put all ingredients in food processor and pulse to desired chunky texture.  I counted 6 pulses on my food processor.

I put the onion spread into a mason preserve jar.  Store in refrigerator.

The result?  A truly gourmet culinary experience....The spread is exciting, rich and deeply flavored, making  ANYTHING it touches come alive.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

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