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
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.