Tomato Jam – A New Condiment Must-Have

4 11 2017

CookbooksI take inspiration from many places for the foods I decide to cook. I read cookbooks like novels. I enjoy learning about the past and the cutting edge, differences in food based on culture, climate and economy. Let’s face it though, the best way to get inspired by food is to have tried something, somewhere and have that “WOW, what the heck is that?” moment.

That happened some time ago at a place in Salem, Oregon, called The Ram, a restaurant/brewery that we really like but seldom actually visit. I had a hankering for a burger and I was intrigued when I saw it had something called Tomato Jam on it. I’d never heard of this concept and certainly hadn’t tried it, well that was it, I had to order that one. Sweet, tangy, a little spice, chunky, a refined ketchup? Not really. A salsa? Not like any I’d ever had. This was new, and kind of exciting. My mother-in-law was with us that day and she had a similar reaction. In fact, she made this concept a reality far before I did in her kitchen.

On another outing, my wife and I were visiting a favorite local restaurant, Cellar Cat, and we saw tomato jam on yet another menu. Burgers weren’t on the horizon for me on this day but I asked our great server if I could taste the jam, she was happy to run back in the kitchen and grab a little sample. Again, something completely new. Like nothing else I’d tried before. A quick confession, I’ve meant to write about this for so long, I don’t honestly remember which experience happened first. Regardless of which came first, I knew one thing, when I had fresh garden tomatoes, I was making this magical new condiment. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Personal Roasted Tomato Sauce

19 09 2015

20150829_154721Late summer, it’s all about tomatoes. To see how many you can eat, how many ways you can use them, how many can you save for the chilly parts of the year when they are horrible in the store. Once you finish off the big slicers for BLT’s, the cherry tomatoes for snacking and salads (or you could be adventurous and pickle those, click here to check that out), it’s time for all those paste tomatoes to get ripe, sauce time! Here’s the thing, there are 100 ways to make sauce, for pizza, pasta, salsa…it can go on and on and on. I make one basic sauce, it’s much easier to adjust seasonings at the time of use than to make separate batches.

Here’s the rest of the short list of ingredients. Read the rest of this entry »





Ribeye Steaks with Porcini Mushroom and Rosemary Rub

19 10 2010

I found this recipe a while back while searching epicurious. The thing that I found most interesting was that they used used ground dried mushrooms to make the rub. Man, all I can tell you is that those people are genius! This is by far the best new steak recipe that I’ve found in years. Read the rest of this entry »





Hot Bacon Dressing with Mixed Greens

1 04 2010

Ever feel like you’re not getting enough green foods in the cold months?  Well here’s a nice salad that’s easy to make but will warm you up a bit on those cold evenings. Read the rest of this entry »





The Best Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing

23 01 2010

Wow, take a look at this. Don’t buy salad dressing off the shelf when it’s this easy to do yourself, and the quality is so much better!  Edit:  I have adjusted the brown sugar content down a bit and upped the mustard.  Enjoy the updated recipe! Read the rest of this entry »








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