Friday, May 13, 2011

Tomato Chilli Jam Heaven

I am in Jam heaven.  Tomato Chilli Jam heaven to be exact.
I have been there for a few days now, since late Wednesday afternoon.  This jam has saved me from starvation and from being all consumed by a large paint pot and a bedroom of unloved walls, and has redeemed me in the eyes of my family who have seen no food for the early part of this last week.  I have had  a long drawn out week of picking paint samples, and then some more samples before finally buying a lot of one colour, then painting, painting my hair, my arms and some spots of carpet as well.  With the help of the chilli jam, the wall  are now done and it all looks and tastes rather pleasant.

Tomato & Chilli Jam  
(adapted from a recipe by Peter Gordon)

I took a small half hour out of my paining schedule to make this and I am not lying when I say that it has been included in everything I have eaten since.
It is a lovely spicy mix with rich tomato and Asian flavours.   I have adapted the original recipe to include all the tomatoes which I had, 1 lb of them and I also used the fiery birds eye chillies which really give it quite a kick..  I think that although this tastes great, you could use slightly less sugar than the amount below and I will be experimenting which this batch is finished and more is required.

You will need:

750g / 1lb very ripe tomatoes, washed
2 birds eye red chillies, with seeds
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 thumbs of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
40mls Thai fish sauce, (nam pla)
450g demerara sugar (I used a mix of golden caster and demerara)
150mls red wine vinegar
1 x 500g Le Parfait jar or 2 regular jam jars

  • Mix half the tomatoes with the chillies, garlic, ginger and fish sauce to a fine purée in a blender.
  • Place the puree, sugar and vinegar in a deep saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring continually. When it reaches a boil turn it down to a gentle simmer and add the remaining tomatoes, which should be diced finely. Skim off any foam and cook gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring often to release the solids that settle on the bottom of the pan.
  • Be sure to scrape the sides down during cooking so the jam does not burn at the edges.
  • When the jam is on setting point (has become very syrupy and very thick) - note that this can take at least an hour on a very low simmer.
  • Pour into a sterilised jar and allow to cool.
  • Cover and keep in a cool place; it will keep for several months. Makes 1 x 500g storage jar.

I dotted this inside an omelette, scooped it up using sharp shards of Coolattin cheddar, ate it on toasted ciabatta with goats cheese ... it would be great in a cold pork or chicken open sandwich, maybe with monkfish, the possibilities are really quite endless with this.  I urge you to try it, you will never look back.

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