Stonewall Kitchen has been a beloved brand for almost two decades. The company began small, making artisanal jams, and has grown into a powerhouse producer of hundreds of crackers, pancake mixes, soups, sauces and other products. I have never tried one I didn't like.
I have one all-time favorite, though: Roasted Garlic Onion Jam.
It's one of Stonewall Kitchen's oldest offerings and the one that put the company on the map. Jonathan King and Jim Stott had been moonlighting from their day jobs in the early 1990s, cooking up batches of jam that they sold (and sold out of) at weekend markets. They began adding flavored oils and savory spreads such as pesto, to great success. They expanded and began a small wholesale business. In the mid-1990s, an admirer suggested they display at the Fancy Food Show in New York, attended by thousands of hopeful purveyors and about 40,000 retailers looking for the Next Big Thing in food. In 1995, at their first show, they won the outstanding jam award for Roasted Garlic Onion Jam.
Easy to see why, especially back then when roasting and caramelizing onions and garlic was not the ubiquitous technique it is today.
It's a lovely thing, savory with a bit of sweetness. My favorite way to use it is easy and always draws raves: Spread toasted baguette slices with softened goat cheese and top with a bit of the jam. That's it! It has many more applications, as a glaze for chicken and pork and stirred into mashed potatoes, for example. Putting it on a burger or adding it to a vinaigrette is good, too.
Roasted Garlic Onion Jam is expensive (it can cost almost $8 a jar, available locally at the Fresh Market for $6.95) so I don't waste it in long-cooking sauces. It shines as a star, meted out in modest amounts, always memorable.
Lennie Bennett, Times staff writer