Sunday, 30 October 2011

Easy 3 Step Onion Marmalade

On Friday I asked the question on my Facebook page, "What is your feeling about onion marmalade? Is it a GO or a NO?"  The overwhelming majority of people were cheering a very definite, "Go!  Go!  Go!" , however from some of the other comments I gather that there are still people out there that hasn't heard of onion marmalade.

I must say, I think the word marmalade is probably not the most apt description for this delicious condiment.  Rather think of it as an onion chutney.  Whatever you want to call it, it is extremely easy to make and goes great with a cheese platter.  It also pimps up your hot dog, hamburger, steak sandwich or cold cuts to something spectacular.  Just try it.  You'll thank me later.  Promise.

I did say it is very easy to make but it does include a lot of slicing, so this is probably a good time to take out that "Master V Slicer" that you bought from Verimark in the 90's.  Just mind your fingertips!

This is my take on the recipe published in Spatula Magazine. Go check them out for some wonderful other ideas!

Easy Onion Marmalade 
Enough to fill a 200ml jar


  • 560g red onions, thinly sliced
  • 125g brown sugar, a little more if you like it sweeter
  • 120ml red wine vinegar *
  • 60ml balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the sliced onions in a large stainless steel pot and add about a quarter of the sugar.  Cook the onions on medium heat (that means LOW in Taiwan) while you keep stirring for about 20 minutes until the onions start to caramelize.
  2. Now add the remainder of the sugar and all of the vinegar.  Continue cooking whilst stirring so that most of the liquid can evaporate.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Scoop the still hot marmalade into sterilized jars, seal and leave to cool.
The onion marmalade will keep for up to 3 months in your fridge, but why would you want to keep it that long?   

* Red wine vinegar can be found at Carrefour in Taiwan.  I wouldn't substitute it with rice  vinegar, simply because the red vinegar contributes to the colour of the marmalade. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Kitchenboy Cookalong Club: May 2011 Challenge...much later...

There is quite a funny story as to why the words "Butter Chicken" creates quite a stir at Kitchenboy HQ and quite a few giggles and frowns from your Kitchenboy's friends and family.  It all started at a birthday party and...but maybe I shouldn't tell the story, even though it is a good one.  I wouldn't want to step on any sensitive toes.  Any way, so after the storm in the teacup died down and people finished mopping up their tears of laughter, I just wasn't in the right mood to write this post.

I've been receiving so many questions again over the past few weeks about our Cookalong Club, that I think maybe it is time to start that up again.  It is meant to be fun after all and has nothing to do with the inflated egos that lead to said storm-in-a-teacup.  And lots of people had fun with the butter chicken challenge!  People from as far and wide across the globe as Abu Dhabi, Namibia, Ireland, the UK, South Africa and of course Taiwan took part.  Lots of photos were posted and even a video was made of a special Butter Chicken evening, held in the U.A.E.!  I get the idea that some people ate theirs before photos could be taken!

Butter Chicken a la Lotter! - By Sonja Lotter, Taiwan
One of the first photos sent in was this beautifully presented plate of butter chicken by Sonja Lotter in Taiwan.

Riette Mostert and Anton J Jansen showing off the butter chicken... scrumptious! - Taiwan
Another entry from Taiwan came from Riëtte Mostert and writer/composer Anton J. Jansen.  Anton wrote that the team made butter chicken as well as a gorgeous Mayonnaise Chocolate cake in one afternoon.  Riëtte later confided in me that she did most of the cooking and baking, but that Anton is very good at pouring wine.  Sounds like a good deal to me!

Michael Basson's Butter Chicken - Hsinchu, Taiwan
Michael Basson from Hsinchu in Taiwan wrote, "My Butter Chicken! Awesome. Couldn't find cardamon and I used tomato paste, still, it was great! Have to do it again!  It's a great recipe, this is the best chicken dish I've ever prepared"  Michael's problem is of course a very common one in Taiwan - the inability to find ingredients, but with some substitution, we can always cook ourselves a decent meal.  By the way, I know of two Indian spice shops in Taipei City.  You can send me a message if you want the information.

Butter Chicken a la Namibia - Francoise Steynberg, Namibia
Head journalist at Republikein Newspaper in Namibia, Francoise Steynberg sent me her photo of "Butter Chicken a la Namibia with German Spätzle.  All she had to say about it was, "Dit was erg yum!"

Our AWESOME Butter Chicken!! - Chantelle Taylor Beyers, South Africa
Fellow foodista, Chantelle Beyers sent in this beautiful photo of her Butter Chicken.  Chantelle, that rooti makes me so happy...just one more thing I need to learn how to make!

Botha Butter Chicken
Christelle Botha says that she did hers on the stove top without grilling it.  This will definitely cut down on the cooking time for this dish!

Butter Chicken, full of flavour and very tender - Gerlene Kennedy
Gerlene Kennedy says that she followed the recipe exactly, she grilled it and found it full of flavour and very tender.  Kitchenboy likes your enamel plates!  Just the plate you need to make a melktert!

Lastly, and not least by any stretch of the imagination, came an entry by author Marion Erskine and Louna Spies from Abu Dhabi in the Arab Emirates.  They went all the way.  They had the right music, the right clothes and they even had a true blue person from India to come and supervise the cooking process.  They practiced a Bollywood dance routine and was kind enough to send me this video.  Enjoy!

How is that for enthusiasm!

Butter Chicken a la Abu Dhabi - Marion Erskine & Louna Spies, U.A.E.
Marion says he a bit of a slip with the tomato paste, but that it was a great meal and they all had a wonderful time doing the challenge. 

Well done to all of you that took part in the Cookalong (even my mother did, but just like me, we ate it before we could take photos.  I guess I'll just have to do it again!).  It is really awesome that we can all do it together, doesn't matter where we are in the world.

Until next time.  Kitchenboy like jou!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

"Rooi Slaphakskeentjies" or Cooked Onion Salad

Rooi Slaphakskeentjies

Hi there!  Remember me?  Yes, I has been months and months since my last post and you probably thought that was the last you would see of me, right?  Wrong!  There are quite a few reasons why I haven't been posting, but the most important one is that it has been just too hot and too humid to get into my kitchen.  Well, it has cooled down sufficiently for me now to get back into my galley kitchen and I've been thinking about what I could do my "come back" post on.

I rode my scooter past a truck by the side of the road, on my way home on Friday afternoon and saw that the old man was selling onions: brown ones, red ones and bright white ones.  I've been wanting to make "rooi slaphakskeentjies" for a while now and the onions from this vendor was almost the right size.  It is a traditional South African cooked onion salad and directly translated means "red loose heels."  I found this really easy to make recipe in Yuppiechef's Spatula Magazine.  By the way, both my cameras have now given up the ghost, so to speak.  So please don't judge these photos too harshly - they where taken with my iPhone camera - not the best quality!

Rooi Slaphakskeentjies or Cooked Onion Salad
About 10 servings


  • 1.5kg pickling onions (or the smallest ones you can find)
  • 1 cup dried sultanas (or seedless raisins)
  • 1 cup white vinegar *
  • 1 cup water
  • 150ml sugar
  • 120g tomato paste (more or less)
  • 50ml oil
  • 2.5ml salt
  • pinch of pepper


  1. Peel the onions and place them in a stainless steel pot.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and give it a good stir.
  3. Put the pot on a low heat and cover it with a lid.
  4. Cook covered for about 1 hour.  Have a little peek under the lid halfway through to make sure that nothing is burning.  Our stoves in Taiwan are HOT, even on the lowest setting!
  5. After the hour, uncover the pot and cook a little longer until the sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
  6. Spoon the hot salad into sterilized glass jars and seal immediately.  It should last in a cool, dark place or in your refrigerator for up to 3 months, but you'll probably eat it before then!

Slaphakskeentjies can be eaten hot or cold as accompaniment to braaivleis, the Sunday roast or anything else you can think of.  

*  I was lucky enough to find white wine vinegar, which isn't always readily available in Taiwan.         I'm sure rice vinegar or cider vinegar would also do the trick.