Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tomato Jam

Clearly I am going places with this food photography.  Look at that image, the artful manner in which the right side of the plate is cut off.  Look at the well-framed crumpled napkin at top left.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.  I'm sure most great photographers really only on their iPhone camera as I do.

I am really into anything pickled, except most pickles.  I know, it is a bit confusing.  I love all relishes, pickled vegetables, and some actual pickled cucumbers.  I have a hankering for tomato relish right now. 
I am also really into tomato jam.  Tomato jam is a pretty unique flavor for those that haven't had it.  Sweet and savory, and utterly delicious.  A friend of ours brought us some she made a few months ago, and I ate the whole jar in a day.  On Tuesday, she gave us another.  Gone by Thursday.  I decided it was time to learn to make it myself.  It turns out the recipe was from Mark Bittman of the Times.  I followed it almost to the word.  Here it is.

1 1/2 pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste.
1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.
Yield: About 1 pint.

Here are my "adjustments:"  I didn't core the tomatoes; I just cut out the stem and used all the rest.  I also made sure I had a really hot jalapeno to spice it up.  

It doesn't make as much as I would like- next time, we are going for a bigger batch.  This started as a huge mound of stuff and really cooked down.  It really made me appreciate the jars our friend gave us, as it is a shit-load of work for the payout.  I would recommend doubling the recipe. 

Now on to the good part- this stuff makes the best breakfast sandwich ever.  We did "breakfast for dinner" two nights in a row.  There is nothing wrong with fresh sourdough, fresh eggs, cheese, good bacon, and tomato jam.  I also love it on crackers with cheese.  You really do need to try this; it is an easy two hour project, and is really, really good.

Mr. French

1 comment:

  1. i'm weird to in that i don't like fresh tomatoes but will eat them cooked. i'm wondering how this would be as an appetizer on cream cheese with crackers.