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Tangy Onion Jam for Holiday Appetizer, Fancy Burger

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With holidays near, most of us are planning for our traditional favorite foods, snacks and desserts. But, something a little different is always welcome on the table, too. This Onion Jam, from "The Winter Pantry," (Harper Perennial, $16) can play several different roles. It tastes good on top of a winter vegetable casserole or tossed in with roasted beets, or as a topping for a burger. You also could pack it into jars, seal and give it as a hostess gift for the holidays. An especially good appetizer I tasted recently used a version of this jam on top of buttery, toasted slices French bread. On top of the onions was a grilled half of a one of Aurelia's Chorizo "Besitos," a delicious small (cocktail sausage size, or a little larger) version of this Spanish classic sausage. Aurelia's Chorizo is owned by Leslie Horne and produced in Boerne. These sausages, as well as larger versions, and has the wonderfully spicy flavor one expects from an authentic Spanish chorizo. Its flavor is demanded in many great dishes, such as the Spanish classic, paella. They are available at Central Market, some H-E-Bs and also may be ordered online here. Onion Jam 2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup port 1/4 cup red wine vinegar Salt, to taste, but about a half teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Honey (add as needed if you want more or less sweetness) In a large skillet cook the onions in the olive oil until softened, around 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer the mixture until thickened, about 75 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 3 cups of jam. Lightly adapted from "The Winter Vegetarian"    
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