Goat Cheese and Quick Onion Jam Toasts

Sometimes in my kitchen, necessity is the mother of invention. When I make it home after a day at work and a night of classes, the last thing I want to see is a near-empty fridge. But with so much of my time consumed by my various jobs and my education, I find less and less time to worry over what to feed myself (which may, in fact, be a good thing). Nonetheless this also means less time to plan elaborate meals and get in some strategic grocery shopping.

But for whatever reason, there always seem to be onions on hand in my house. Though I may run out of fruits and vegetables, onions are one of the most constant and dependable staples in my kitchen, and they never seem to run dry. I'm a fan of the onion myself, cognizant of its value in countless cuisines and flavorful possibilities, but Mike is not so found of these pungent recipe staples.

When I recently found myself out of produce after a particularly exhausting day, the idea for these simple and sweet toasts came to me. I had plenty of reliable onions on hand and, thanks to Sam's Club, a huge log of creamy goat cheese. An old pack of hearty Wasa crackers buried in the back of the pantry (but far from expired) seemed the obvious vessel for this quick and surprisingly elegant dish, though any unflavored cracker or toast would do.

One of the most wonderful things about the onion is its sweet side. A little caramelizing goes a long way; sliced raw onion rings become caramelized when warmed over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. I used two medium onions which required only a few tablespoons of agave and a single tablespoon of sugar to bring out all their sweet goodness. I let the thinly sliced onions cook for 12 to 15 minutes in canola oil, then added agave and finished up with a sprinkling of sugar 5 minutes later. Once the sugar was fully dissolved, I removed the onions from the stove and divided them among my goat cheese-covered crackers. The onions were sticky and sweet, a wonderful complement to the creamy tanginess of the goat cheese. 

This dish has quickly become a staple in our house on account of its ease, reliability, and impact. We can enjoy them as a quick snack on a busy night or as an impressive appetizer for a friendly dinner party. The ingredients aren't hard to find and are nearly constantly on hand, the process could not be simpler, and the results are a flavorful delight.

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