Friday, August 27, 2010

Tomato Jam and Roasted Garlic

It's been a whole year, a WHOLE YEAR, since I've blogged.  Let's get right down to it...I'm back 'n bloggin'.

I was reading one of my favorite magazines, ReadyMade and came across a recipe for Roma Tomato Jam.

I had about 16 Tomatoes in my fridge.  These tomatoes were from Pa-Jacks garden, (my husbands grandfather).  I wanted so badly to create something with them; decidedly quite bored with tomato sauce and tomato sandwiches.  I also had a brown paper bag full of garlic from Pa-Jacks garden.

A day off from the Kitchen, and I'm in my own Kitchen cooking....that's passion.

First preheat your oven to 350F
I started by cutting out the core of the tomato and then cutting them in half and/or quarters, generally trying to make them all about the same size.  I lined a 'cookie sheet' (half sheet) with aluminum foil and threw the tomatoes on.  Drizzled them with good olive oil, sea salt and ground black pepper.  Center rack of the oven, set the timer for an hour, and left the kitchen.  A half hour later, I took a peek in the oven - and then added my little casserole dish that contained whole garlic cloves, skin on

At this point I took a look at the ingredients from ReadyMade's recipe, and then proceeded to modify as I often do.  I pulled out my Mega Mortar and Pestle that my in-laws gave me for graduation (always looking for a reason to use this bad boy).  What you have here is:

- pink peppercorns (from Marshalls)
- whole mustard seeds
- dried thyme
- whole corriander
- ground dried ginger
- ground cloves
- ground cinnamon
- hot pepper seeds/flakes
- ground cumin seed


When the timer went off, I opened the oven and this is what I found...

... beautifully roasted tomatoes, skin crinkled and all. The aroma of roasted tomatoes & roasted garlic filled the house, yum!  Now....note to self, a lot of liquid has escaped the tomatoes and is now sitting in the bottom of your half sheet.  Slowly, very slowy, pull the sheet out of the oven - both hands, and slowly make your way to the sink where you've already placed a colander.  And dump...

Most of the liquid and seeds will escape, this is what you want.  Don't press or rinse the tomatoes,
just leave them in the sink.  Then you start what is called, a 'Gastrique': a thick sauce produced by a reduction of vinegar or wine, sugar, and usually fruit.  I used one my new favorite red wines, Red Right Hand, Colavita's Balsamic Vinegar & sugar.  

Then added the strained tomatoes + fresh oregano and basil + the ground spices = 

On Medium-Low, let this stew for about an hour - stirring occasionally.

I threw in a few cloves of roasted garlic as well (3 of these beaut's...
In the end, you have a shiny syrupy tomato jammy substance that smells divine.  I bought 4 oz bell jars for canning and funneled the jam into each jar.  Top with the lid, and screw on rim.  Filled a stock pot with water, dropped the jars down in and brought to a boil for 10 minutes. Pull with tongs and let cool completely on a towel, on your counter top.

Side note, I didn't can the roasted garlic.  I just removed the skins and placed them in the jars - and into the fridge.

Wah lah....