Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Spicy Tomato Jam

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

I recently encountered the kind of dilemma that only occurs in mid-summer. I was packing to go away for the weekend when I noticed the bowl of beautiful, perfectly ripe tomatoes sitting on the counter. The problem? The tomatoes would be way past their prime by the time I returned Sunday night. Sticking them in the fridge would render the tomato interiors mushy and therefore no good at all, and throwing them out would be a terrible waste.

As I sat pondering the fate of my tomatoes, I flipped through the pages of Farm to Fork by Emeril Lagasse and came up with an ideal solution: this quick Spicy Tomato Jam. The jam would only take about a half-hour to put together, and would ensure tomato preservation for at least a few weeks.

The sweet and sour components of this Spicy Tomato Jam were intriguing. I was envisioning a mix of the sourness of preserved Moroccan lemons, sweet tomatoes, and a spicy kick from both the ginger and red pepper flakes. Once all of the ingredients were boiling away, they reduced down to a jam-like consistency in no time at all. The final product was quite sweet at first but the heat and sourness crept up soon after, in the nicest possible way.

This is the kind of spread that would make even the most mundane turkey or grilled cheese sandwich into something special, or perhaps even better served with fried oysters as per Emeril's suggestion.

Win Farm to Fork

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Farm to Fork to give away this week.

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