Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Spicy Sweet Tomato Jam - Toast Topper #71

Disclaimer: if you are looking for a sweet, caramelly, "jammy" tasting tomato spread, read no further. This is in no way a traditional "PB&J" type of condiment, either in taste or texture... but really, what tomato jam is akin to your classic concord or peach confiture? (OK, maybe this one). At any rate, this is not that jam. No, this wickedly delicious spread is something entirely different, and (if possible) even more addictive - especially for the heat seekers among us.

Spicy Sweet Tomato Jam

Truthfully, I hesitated to call this jam a true Toast Topper. While it is indeed a sweet(ish), thick, perfectly spreadable condiment, if you have a moderate to low heat threshold or are looking for something to slather on a bagel in the morning you are not going to apply this with any sort of zeal. For me, the heat level is perfectly balanced, with a front note of  raisiny sweetness from slowly cooked as well as dried tomatoes, dark honey, Muscovado sugar and ancho peppers followed by the slow, building flame from homegrown habanero and green chilies. On a plain corn tortilla (or stirred into polenta...mmm), it's heaven to my palate. Mom, on the other hand, needs to temper the flame with a base of peanut butter or a thick schmear of cream cheese, which sounds delicious as well! Of course, the supertaster of the family (not-so-little sister, T) won't go near the jar with a ten foot pole - even black pepper is too much for her. To each their own!

Even if you discover the heat of this spread alone is too much to deal with, don't despair! The beauty of this jam's slowly cooked, almost roasted flavour is that it makes for a killer cooking ingredient. A spoonful plopped into a little simmering broth transformed into a perfect simmering sauce for tofu and mushrooms, while a little bit spread over a chicken breast partway through roasting in the oven created a luxurious glaze. I even made a Mexican-inspired stew with the remnants of a jar - more on that to come, I assure you!

What about you? Do you like heat and sweet together, or are they always on opposite ends of your plate? Any other cooking suggestions for this?

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 

Spicy Sweet Tomato Jam
Adapted from Thru the Bugs on my Windshield
Makes ~ 4 1/2 cups, 72 (1 tbsp) servings
4 large, fresh tomatoes, diced
¼ cup minced chilies (I used a blend of green chiles and habaneros)
1 whole ancho chile, stemmed and chopped
¼ cup dry-pack sundried tomatoes (I used homemade oven-dried ones)
½ cup Muscovado sugar
¼ cup dark amber honey (I used an avocado honey from Florida)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Clear Jel (not Sure Jell - if not canning you can use tapioca starch)
¾ cup cold water
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except Clear Jel and cold water) in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender), puree the mixture until relatively smooth.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together the Clear Jel and cold water.
  6. Stir into the jam mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  7. Can 15 minutes in a waterbath.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 13.3
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 38.0 mg
Total Carbs: 3.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 0.2 g