Tuesday, September 8, 2009
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's hard to believe, but today marks the first birthday of my last child, One Perfect Bite. It's been a year of highs and lows, but you've been with me every step of the way. I'm grateful for your company and thank every one of you. I hope I'll be able to spend another year in the company of such good friends.
Today's recipe may seem a strange choice for a special day, but it's one of my favorites. Tomato jam is not wildly popular. As a matter of fact, most folks have never heard of it, much less tasted it. I hope the pictures will convince you to give it a try. While you'll need an hour or so to make it, much of that is wait time and the jam is really easy to make. Years ago, I made this in large batches and processed it for winter storage. These days, decent tomatoes are available throughout the year so I don't bother making large quantities. Why bother at all? It's not commercially available and the jam makes one of the best quick appetizers around. Thin slices of good bread, spread with goat cheese and topped with a dollop of this hot, sweet and spicy jam may not be Lucullian, but it's PDG and a boon for the busy host or hostess. Once made, the jam will keep for 3 weeks under refrigeration. I almost always have a jar of it on hand. I really hope you'll try this one. This version comes from the New York Times. It's really, really nice.
Tomato Jam...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
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 hot pepper, 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. Mine keeps up to 3 weeks. Yield: 1 pint.
A recipe for tomato jam can also be found at Planet Green.