Tag Archives: combination

Red Onion, Coffee, Dark Brown Sugar – a mix too far

At Food or Foe, we try to push boundaries. But with triumphs, come defeats and setbacks. This dish was no exception.

It was a real a ‘marmite’ dish, a great divider. They either loved it or they hated it. For some, it was a sweet delight; but for others, it was anything if not an utter fail. And I very much place myself in the latter camp.

             “The consensus was loud and clear: Foe!”

I have never been much of a coffee fan, but I thought that while I had some time to spare I would try to bring myself round to its taste. Wanting to give coffee a little bit of a lift, I decided to mix it in with some red onion and dark brown sugar, adding some chillies to give it a bit of a kick. I speculated that this might be the next great canapé. I thought that the sharp sweetness of the red onion and the rich syrupy feel of melted dark sugar would complement the coffee without altering its taste too much. How wrong I was!

Although in the taste test a few people professed their liking of the dish, the consensus was loud and clear: ‘Foe’! This was not Food. It was hardly even edible. My mouth could barely hold a bite of the dish without it ordering eviction notices at once.

Red onion, dark brown sugar, and coffee

Red onion, dark brown sugar, and coffee

However, I think the failing of the dish was not the coffee, but in fact the dark brown sugar. It has a very potent flavour that became overpowering when melted in the pan. If I dared to try this dish again, I would definitely leave out the dark brown sugar; and in its place, perhaps honey.


Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Makes 10 servings


1 red onion

1 Green Chilli

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

2 tbsp instant coffee



  1. Finely slice the red onion and green chilli. Add to a frying pan with some olive oil, on a medium heat.
  2. While the onions and chilli are being fried, cut up bread into fingers – be adventurous – and place under a grill under golden brown.
  3. When the red onions start to brown, add the dark brown sugar and coffee. Give it a good mix and fry on a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve on the toasted bread, but allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Suggested Alterations to Recipe:

-Replace the dark brown sugar with honey.

-Reduce coffee serving from 2 tbsp to 1.

© Jordan Taylor and Food or Foe, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jordan Taylor and Food or Foe with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Light Bites, Recipes


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