This is a very quick and simple recipe which is going to take longer for me to waffle about than it will for you to make!
As you probably know, I grew up in the north of England, and a common sight in many homes at mealtimes was a bowl of sliced onions that had been steeped for a few hours in malt vinegar and sugar, a kind of quick pickle that was served with many meals, especially if chips were involved. Often in a pub there was a huge bowl of them on the counter for diners to help themselves from.
Fast forward a few years (oh, all right then, decades) to my army wife years, and I started to serve these up as a side dish to small-plate style starters when we has casual dinner parties. I ended up having to give out the recipe to lots of people, even though to me there was no recipe, it was something I'd always made, like my mother and grandmother before me.
Now, I do a lot of Asian cookery, especially Malaysian and Indonesian, and there is one side dish we love, of sliced red onions in tamarind juice and chilli. This week I was making a simple Indonesian meal and didn't have any tamarind to hand, so I came up with an alternative, and it was such a success I'll be making it regularly from now on.
Remember to prepare it a few hours in advance - the onion softens and mellows in the vinegar mixture and you lose that harsh raw onion taste. It will keep for several days - if it gets chance!
You will need
2 small red onions, very thinly sliced
100ml red wine vinegar
1 generous teaspoon honey (or alternative such as agave nectar)
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce, or sriracha if you like it hotter
a generous pinch of salt.
Place the onions in a non-metallic bowl. Whisk together all the other ingredients and pour over the onions. Stir and cover then leave for several hours, at room temperature if possible. Stir from time to time. Serve as a side dish with spicy foods, salads or chips (that's fries if you are American, not potato crisp style chips, they'd go soggy!)
You'll have to excuse the tiny quantity in the photo - I forgot to take one before we waded in, and this is all that was left!