This recipe is inspired by an impromptu hors d'oeuvre that saved the day when a batch of hot cheesy scallop thingies went missing 15 minutes before a party. We grabbed a baguette, a log of goat cheese and a jar of onion jam from the local gourmet shop and threw something together on the fly. Every one was eaten. I've since added a recipe for homemade red onion jam, but you can use almost anything you have on hand. (I often substitute homemade tomato preserves or store-bought hot red pepper jam.) —Merrill Stubbs
To make the jam, cook the onions, butter, sugar, salt and pepper in a covered saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using. The jam may be prepared as much as two weeks in advance and refrigerated. (Makes about 2 cups jam.)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Slice the baguette thinly on the diagonal and arrange on a baking sheet. Cut the goat cheese into 1/4-inch slices (unwaxed dental floss works well for this) and top each baguette slice with a basil leaf, followed by a slice of cheese. Bake the crostini for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown lightly. Top each toast with a small dollop of red onion jam and serve warm.