Not being on what you might call “speaking terms” with my kitchen after hosting a JazzVox dinner/concert the weekend before last, and then a large birthday party for my dear friends Evelyn and Linda, and myself (all of us turning 70 within a few months of each other) last weekend, I really wasn’t mentally prepared to spend much time in the kitchen on the 4th of July.  (I usually feel this way after spending several days in the kitchen getting ready for an event, so my kitchen has learned not to take my rejection personally!)  But I wanted to bring an appetizer to the 4th of July get-together at our dear friends Ken and Christine’s home.

So I decided to bake baguettes and prepare a couple of interesting taste treats to slather on top. Having recently discovered the joys of Homemade Ricotta Cheese (find the recipe under “Appetizers”), I decided to make some of it to bring along. I also had been dreaming about an onion jam that would taste great with the ricotta and would also be sensational warmed on top of French Brie. So not knowing exactly what I was doing, I proceeded to try my hand at onion jam. I read several recipes on line for caramelized onions with balsamic vinegar, but I was fixated on using port wine. And some of the recipes did use a touch of port wine, but I wanted a full blown port wine tasting finish. So not quite sure what I was doing, I came up with the following recipe. I hope you enjoy it. And since I’m sure you were wondering, my kitchen and I are back together again and as happy as ever.

  • 1-2 T. butter
  • 3 medium onions, cut in half then sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (not too much)
  • 1 c. ruby port

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium sized non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sugar, salt, and pepper. (If the onions seem dry in the pan, add just a little bit more butter.) Stirring occasionally, sauté the onions until they are a deep brown color, but not to the point where they become mushy; about 35-45 minutes.  Stir in port a quarter cup at a time and cook until port reduces to a thick jam like consistency, 4 to 6 minutes. Adjust salt. (The jam actually takes more salt than you would expect.)


Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks