Onion Marmalade is My Summer Sidekick for Flavor


Come summertime, Onion Marmalade is a condiment that I use in many dishes. My Seriously Simple motto is seek out maximum flavor and spend minimum time in the kitchen. Even though it takes some time to cook this, you will have it on hand for a variety of different dishes. It can take the place of traditional sauces like ketchup or mustard or can be an extra layer of flavor in a sauce or dip.

There is lots of room for you to personalize this flavor enhancer. Feel free to add a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme. You can also choose your favorite onion varieties like Maui, yellow or red onions. Use port, beer or red wine instead of the balsamic and wine. (Just keep the same proportions in the recipe.) Add shredded Belgian endive or fennel for a slightly bittersweet flavor. I like throwing in pitted and finely chopped black or green olives to add an earthy taste. You can keep this for a month in your refrigerator.

A Few Ways to Use Onion Marmalade

  • Glaze grilled steaks with a thin layer and then slice the steaks
  • Spread a tablespoon on the bread for a better grilled cheese
  • Serve as an accompaniment to grilled sausages, grilled pork tenderloin, veal chops and tri-tip steak
  • Stir a tablespoon into scrambled eggs
  • Use as a filling in omelets, frittatas and in dips.
  • Top sliced toasted baguettes with goat cheese, blue cheese or brie and marmalade
  • Use as a stuffing for chicken breasts or pork chops
  • Add marmalade and chutney to ground turkey for juicy burgers
  • Top sautéed scallops with a teaspoon of marmalade and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Add to cooked vegetables like green beans, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower.
  • Use as a topping on pizza or bread.

Onion Marmalade

Makes about 1 ½ cups

This recipe may be doubled or tripled. Make sure to use a larger deep casserole to accommodate the larger amount of onions.

1/4 cup olive oil

4 large yellow, red or Maui (or a combination) onions, thinly sliced

¾ cup red wine

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Makes about 1 ½ cups

  1. Heat oil in large non-aluminum casserole on medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 12 to15 minutes or until well softened. Stir frequently.
  1. Add the wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar to the onions and simmer on low heat until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are very tender and caramelized into a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Watch carefully towards the end to avoid burning the onions. Add the salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Advance Preparation: May be prepared up to a month ahead, covered in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Apricot Plum Sauce with Lime and Ginger



  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 cup coarsely chopped ginger root
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound apricots, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound plums, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 12 cup tawny port
  • 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 12 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 cup finely chopped cilantro


  1. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the onion, garlic, ginger root, limes, apricots and plums until pureed.
  2. In a medium non aluminum Dutch oven or heavy pot, combine the pureed ingredients and all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool. Add the cilantro and taste for seasoning. Pour the sauce into hot canning containers, screw on the lids, cool and refrigerate.
  4. This sauce may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 months.


  1. There are many apricot and plum varieties. If you can find Blenheim apricots, that is my pick for this sauce, but any ripe apricot will do. I usually go with the dark-skinned Santa Rosa plums ­— but, again, whatever is in season will work fine. Fresh lime and ginger root add a complementary and spicy zing to the pure summer fruitiness.
  2. I always season to taste with salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper after it’s been refrigerated for best flavor.
  3. Apricot-Plum Sauce is particularly good with pork, chicken, quail and game hens. Dilute it with wine or nectar to use it as a marinade. So far this summer, I have enjoyed it with baby back ribs, chicken thighs and pork tenderloin.

Makes about 4 to 5 cups (3 pint-size canning jars).

Pastry Dough


  • 1 1/4 cups white pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) frozen, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water


  1. Prepare the pastry:  Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and process for about 5 seconds.  Add the butter and a few tablespoons of water and process until you have a crumb-like texture, about 5-10 seconds. Add more water if the dough isn’t moist enough to hold together and process briefly again.  Pat the dough into a disc for easy rolling. If using pastry flour continue immediately. If using all-purpose flour, refrigerate, covered for half hour, to allow the gluten to relax,
  2.  Place a 10-inch diameter removable bottom disc of a springform or removable tart pan on a heavy baking sheet with a rim so that the pan catches the juices. (This is sometimes called a jellyroll pan) On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 13 inch-round in diameter. Roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the tart pan bottom, laying the dough flat to cover the bottom with a 3 inch border overlap, overhanging its edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Video instructions for this recipe can be found here.

Makes 1 roll of pastry dough.

Pizza Dough


  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (between 105 and 115 F)
  • One 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups white bread flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Pour the warm water into a large measuring cup, stir in the yeast and olive oil, and let sit for a few minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble. On a clean surface, mix together both flours and the salt and form a large well in the middle. Once the yeast is ready, pour it carefully into the well. Using a fork, slowly begin to bring the flour into the well to incorporate it. Continue this process until the center is no longer runny and then bring the rest of the dough together until well incorporated and smooth. You can also make the dough in the food processor by combining the wet and dry ingredients together and pulsing until smooth.
  2. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth. Place the bowl in a warm room for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flour-dusted surface. Knead with your hands to extract the air and divide the dough into two balls. Roll them out as described in the recipe above or in the recipe of your choice.
  4. The pizza dough may be made 1 day ahead, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated. Roll out the dough just before cooking.

Makes two 12-inch pizzas.

Three Color Fried Rice


  • 3 cups cold cooked long-grain rice (recipe here)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup dried black mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup cooked barbecued pork, (Chinese -style), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite pois (baby peas)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts


  1. To separate the rice grains, wet your hands and rub the rice grains with wet hands. Place in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a small mixing bowl beat the eggs lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok on medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggs and stir continuously until soft curds form. Remove and set aside.
  3. Turn up the heat to high. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok, swirling around to coat the sides. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the shrimp toss every 20 seconds for 1-2 minutes or until they just turn pink. Add the sherry and cook another minute. Remove and add to the cooked eggs and reserve.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat and add the rice. Toss every 20-30 seconds until it becomes lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, pork, peas, corn, broth, soy sauce and green onions and mix to combine. Add the cooked shrimp, eggs and peanuts and stir the rice mixture until the egg is in small pieces and all the ingredients are heated through, about another minute. Taste for seasoning. Place in a serving bowl and serve immediately.


  • Quick Fried Rice Tips
  • The variations on this recipe are endless. If you don’t have barbecued pork, use Chinese sausage; if you like a vegetarian version, instead of meat use your favorite vegetables like chopped carrots, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower or broccoli.

Serves 6 people.

Steamed White Rice


  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water


  1. Place the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove excess starch. Place the rice and the water in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat and boil uncovered for about 10 minutes or until most of the water evaporates and there are crater-like holes in between the rice.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 to15 more minutes or until the rice is soft and tender. Remove from the heat and cool. Transfer to a bowl and when cool, cover and refrigerate.

Chicken Apple Sausage, Chestnut, Dried Fruit, and Nut Dressing


  • 8 cups Ciabatta or French bread, cut into 1½-inch cubes, (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked chicken apple sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup cooked (vacuum packed) chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 11/2 cups nut and dried fruit trail mix, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped sage leaves
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and let sit out overnight to dry out the bread. Turn it at least once to dry it out evenly. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil and butter on medium heat and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes or until nicely softened. Add the celery and continue sautéing until the celery is crisp tender, about 4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
  3. In the same pan brown the sausage for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Cool and add to the vegetables. Add the chestnuts, trail mix, thyme, sage, bread cubes and parsley and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slowly add the mixing broth carefully, making sure that the stuffing is moist but not too compact, if you are planning to stuff the turkey since it will expand. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  4. If not stuffing the turkey, grease a 10-cup baking dish and transfer the stuffing into it. Pat the top with butter. The stuffing may be compacted because it will not expand in the pan. Cover the stuffing well with foil.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. Bake the stuffing for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes or until the top is brown. Serve immediately.

Advance Preparation

May be prepared 2 days in advance through step 4, covered and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator one hour ahead of baking.

Serves 8 to 12 people.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

sun dried tomato pesto


  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper


  1. While the motor is running, add the garlic to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, salt, and pepper and process until a thick paste is formed. If it is very thick, you may need to add a bit of olive oil. Place the pesto in a covered container and refrigerate.

Advance Preparation

Can be prepared up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.


For a simpler paste, puree the garlic, tomato, salt, and pepper together and add enough oil to form a thick paste.

Classic Basil Pesto


  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves (about 2 medium bunches)
  • ½ cup firmly packed parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. While the motor is running, add the garlic to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until pureed. Add the basil and parsley and process until finely chopped. Add the pine nuts and finely chop.
  2. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a fine stream. Add the pepper.
  3. Just before serving, add the cheese and process until well blended. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate the pesto in a tightly covered container until ready to use.

Advance Preparation

Can be prepared up to 1 week ahead through step 2 and refrigerated. Add the cheese just before serving.

Makes 1.5 cups.

Maple Pear Applesauce


  • 4 medium Asian Pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 medium Pippin or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Place all the ingredients in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan on medium heat. Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the apples are slightly softened.
  2. Remove cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break up the large pieces, until the apples are soft but there is still some texture, about another 7-10 minutes. (You can use a potato masher if needed).
  3. Adjust seasoning with more maple syrup or lemon juice. Cool and refrigerate.

Makes 4 cups.