26 August 2017

Weekend Cooking: Preserving Those Summer Tomatoes

Savory Tomato Jam by Beth Fish ReadsAlthough the days are getting shorter, there are still at least 8 more weeks of outdoor farmers' market shopping in my area. Now's the time when I feel the urge to horde all the summer bounty. I no longer can food, but I do put my freezers to good use.

I've made several pints of peach chutney and nectarine chutney and am now waiting for the Stanley plums to show up at the market so I can make my very favorite flavor. I shared my small-batch chutney recipe last year, so won't repeat it again.

I have new obsession this year, which is a variation on tomato jam. My version is not very sweet, and I've been using it on everything: grilled chicken, french fries, eggs, hamburgers, cheese sandwiches, and more. It's so, so good and very easy to make.

I started with a sweet tomato jam recipe from Mark Bittman on the New York Times website. I spent some time reading the comments from readers on that post and then did some of my own digging around the Internet and in my cookbooks to come up with my more savory version by cutting down on the sugar and adding onion, oregano, and black pepper.

Savory Tomato Jam by Beth Fish ReadsI used 2 pounds of meaty slicing tomatoes for my first batch and 6 pounds of Romas for the second  batch. I did not peel my tomatoes, just chunked them up and cooked them down. I froze the jam in half-pint or smaller containers, so it would thaw quickly.

I used a large Hungarian wax pepper in the first batch and 3 jalapeno peppers in the second batch. Use whatever you have and whatever heat level you like. I had very large sweet onions in the house and used about a third for the small batch, which I'm guessing is about equal to 1 small onion. Again, use your judgment.

Savory Tomato Jam
Adapted from several recipes by Beth Fish Reads
Makes about 1½ pints

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 hot chili pepper, chopped very fine
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped very fine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons) plus grated zest of 1 lime
  • scant tablespoon of grated fresh ginger (plus the juices)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Put all the ingredients in a 4- to 6-quart saucepan, stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook, stirring every so often, until the mixture reduces and thickens, 70 to 90 minutes. Spoon into jars or other container and let cool. Refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe Notes: The jam should keep a week or two in the refrigerator and about a year in the freezer. The consistency should be thick, kind of like ketchup. Some recipes suggested using a little low-sugar pectin (I use Pomona brand) to help the jam thicken up; I didn't need it.

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Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


gluten Free A_Z Blog 8/26/17, 6:12 AM  

How wonderful that you preserve some of the summer bounty! I've never heard of tomato jam but it looks delicious. I've been freezing pesto to use up all my herbs

Mae Travels 8/26/17, 7:20 AM  

Your tomato jam research is impressive -- I can imagine it on a hamburger, like a lighter and less syrup-like form of catsup. I haven't found the plums for chutney yet this year -- they usually ripen a little later than this. I don't can or freeze it, just keep in the refrigerator.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

bermudaonion 8/26/17, 7:40 AM  

Yum, I love tomato jam!

Jackie McGuinness 8/26/17, 7:53 AM  

I throw all the extra vegetables in a freezer bag, mostly tomatoes, and then make a vegetable stock.

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/26/17, 8:21 AM  

That tomato jam looks sooooo good!

Deb in Hawaii 8/26/17, 12:18 PM  

Your tomato jam is gorgeous and looks so tempting. I can think of so many uses. Thanks for sharing the recipe. ;-)

Vicki 8/26/17, 1:39 PM  

I love farmer's markets!

I love tomatoes but have never tried tomato jam. My favorite fruit is nectarine, so I'd love to try nectarine chutney.

Tina 8/26/17, 2:16 PM  

Farmers markets are great. I love this recipe and will need to try it. I wanted and planned to participate this week but we have had a death in the family and my journaling notes are in time out. I have some good things to share with you next week.....hopefully.

Karren Haller 8/26/17, 3:12 PM  

Thank you for hosting!
There is nothing better than home grown tomatoes!
Have a great weekend!

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