Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had something that you wish you could replicate at home? Have you ever actually replicated it at home?
The whole reason I love to go out to eat is to try new things; to eat things I wouldn’t normally make. That is, until I come across something so tasty, so addictive, I need to remove the novelty of the restaurant stigma and make it for myself.
This tomato jam was an unexpected surprise. After ordering calamari at a restaurant, not expecting anything exciting or glamourous (as fried calamari rarely lends anything memorable to a dining experience) I discovered this red condiment resting underneath the (surprisingly) light and crispy squid rings. It was so sweet, and so complex in flavour; it was as if ketchup and red pepper jelly had a baby and this condiment was born.
After sopping up the remaining sauce on the plate with
my fingers bread, realizing I hadn’t actually spoken or stopped eating since the appetizer arrived, I knew this jam and I would meet again.
Spiced Tomato Jam
Adapted from Food and Wine
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes /35 ounces
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant. Add the vinegar and cinnamon stick and cook until reduced to a glaze, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, cumin, cayenne and cloves. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, about 1 1/2 hour. Discard the cinnamon.
- Stir in the honey and season with salt and black pepper, let cool
- Optional Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.
The jam can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Let return to room temperature before using.