There are some people who say a watched pot never boils. I find that to be a sack of garbage.
To me, watching food cook is the best part. There is just so much excitement. Everything starts off slow, dormant even. Then a bead of juice pops here, garlic starts to sizzle, sauce begins to simmer, and cheese begins to crisp.
Before you know it, there is a symphony of orchestrated cracks, bubbles, searing, steaming and rises all working together to produce one harmonious dish. Or sometimes you get bursts, burning, splatters and explosions. Either way, it’s better than prime time television. At the end of it all, you have produced something far greater and almost unrecognizable from the original ingredients you started with. For good or for worse, it’s absolutely entertaining.
I’m certain my husband thinks I’m a complete crackpot every time he sees me sit on the kitchen floor in front of my oven to watch a lasagna cook as if I’m settling in to watch the Super Bowl. But being a food voyeur is no different than a boy taking apart a radio to see how it works or trying to mimic the moves of your ballet teacher. How else can you learn not to burn things.
Watching is how I overcame red onion marmalade. Too many times, I listened to recipes that essentially said “set it and forget it” resulting in unwanted crispy onions. This was not meant to be a topping for green bean casserole. So I said no more, and instead paid attention to the point of rubbernecking. My reward was soft, melt in your mouth, red onion marmalade. It’s all about looking at the right time.
Red Onion Marmalade Recipe
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 medium red onions, 1/4″ slices
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2/3 c balsamic vinegar
Toss oil, onions, salt and pepper in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook for 20m until onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium-low. Stir in sugar, thyme and crushed red pepper. Cook for 10m until all liquid has evaporated and onions are dry. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour until onions are super soft and a bit gooey.
Keeps in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. Spread on sandwiches, toss with hot pasta and goat cheese, top bruschetta or sprinkle on pizza. Don’t be surprised if you start adding it to your oatmeal. You won’t be the first.