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 »

Advertisements




Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs

22 04 2017

I LOVE deviled eggs. The highlight of any potluck, picnic, holiday appetizer spread are the deviled eggs. My wife and I went to an upscale local restaurant a while back called Cellar Cat and they had a fancy deviled egg appetizer option (which we ordered and was amazing). All that said, I have probably 25 recipes for them all saved up…and I never make them. I have no idea why, they aren’t difficult, it isn’t expensive, I just don’t know.

I decided to get off my culinary rear end for Easter and made these eggs, inspired by Mexican street corn (Elotes). All the flavors and textures work so well as a deviled egg, I had to share. I hope you try it and enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »





Bloody Mary Mix From Scratch

5 11 2016

20161105_110841This summer was a strange one in our garden. The early spring was really wet so it was hard to get outside and get the garden boxes cleaned out. Then later when the weather was good, we were busy every weekend (yeah big surprise there). Finally, Fathers Day weekend, we finally got around to planting a few things. Tomatoes, poblano peppers, etc.

That’s super late to expect an epic harvest but the plants really took off so I was hopeful. Fruit set, the annual volunteer cherry tomatoes started feeding us all (yeah the dogs have learned to pick the low ones and munch away), the San Marzano and Russian Pink heirloom plants looked good and I thought maybe, just maybe, I’d still be able to make some tomato sauce to can.

Fast forward to October, a ton of green tomatoes, some ripe and weather of the wet and cold variety was on it’s way. I gathered the family up and got help picking every last tomato. Certainly not enough to make sauce, too many to eat fresh before they turn. What is a boy to do?

Bloody Mary mix of course. I’d be wanting to do this forever but never took the time. Today was the day. Here’s the process I took. I canned mine in a water bath but you could also refrigerate it and use it within a few weeks.

20161001_123124The first step was to make tomato juice. This is easy enough. I put them all in a large sauce pan, added just a little water, put the stove on medium and put the lid on. I came back in about 20 minutes and they had started to break down. I gave it another 15 minutes or so then brought out the food mill to remove the seeds and skins and there we had it, tomato juice. If you want to skip this step completely and buy tomato juice you certainly can but you know that garden fresh stuff is the best.

The recipe below is scaled for each three cups of tomato juice you have, multiply as needed (do the math before you drink too much). Read the rest of this entry »





Thai Red Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

17 01 2016

Thai Butternut Squash SoupOn Saturday mornings, I’m a bit of a creature of habit. Get that first cup of coffee poured and go sit down for a little quiet time in front of the computer. Might be Facebook or Pinterest, catching up on sports or recipe blogs, etc.

Yesterday I looked to my right and was reminded that we have quite a few butternut squash left from last summers garden. I popped up Pinterest and started looking around. I don’t know how many of you like that site but one of my favorite features is once you’re looking at a pin that interests you, there are magically related pins listed under it. The subjects meander around a bit but it tends to be where I find inspiration. That’s just what happened. I was looking around for a variation on the ginger-curry soup that I like to make with our butternut squash and one of those related posts was for a very traditional Thai red curry. It had nothing to do with squash, just a soup recipe. I read that and thought that I could come up with a good fusion of the two. Here’s what I came up with last night. I only used 6 ingredients but I think it might be one of my best creations so far. Read the rest of this entry »





Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

1 01 2016

20151011_180732This one is a little different. I’m all about butternut roasted in salads or made in to a great curry soup, even as a filling in a ravioli but I’ve never seen the squash BE the sauce. To give credit where credit is due, Katie found this recipe. I think I actually made it the same day she sent it to me. We grow butternut in the garden every year and this year was a VERY good year for that particular plant, in fact we still have 8-9 of them wintering right now to use throughout the cold months. Alright, enough yammering, on to the recipe. Read the rest of this entry »





The Best Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

7 02 2015

Salted Caramel BarsIt’s no secret that I shy away from baking and that I’m more comfortable in the savory end of the kitchen but once in a while I’ll break out and try something for fun. Superbowl weekend seemed like a good time since we had great friends coming over. There is kind of an overload of salty sweet stuff out there nowadays but this is nice and simple with great results. You don’t need much on-hand other than thinking ahead about the salted caramel sauce itself. If you are more adventurous than I, you can certainly make your own but I bought off the shelf with great results. I hope you agree! Read the rest of this entry »





Spiced Pickled Pears – Adventures in Pickling Vol. 4

1 09 2014

pearsI love fresh, in-season pears. Really, any fresh, tree/vine ripened fruit is great but we only have them for a limited time unless you’re happy with artificially ripened, no flavor cardboard fruit that we tend to import from the rest of the world so our grocery store can give us anything we want, all year long. One way we can continue to enjoy truly great local fruit is to preserve it.

This is a rather unique take on the canned pear, it takes the typical sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg type canned pear to the next level with cloves and yes, vinegar. I was skeptical when presented with these but was won over quickly after a single bite. In fact, I’m kind of hungry for them right now… Read the rest of this entry »








keralaslive

Food photography and recipes.

Cooking with a Wallflower

Cooking. Baking. Crafting. Writing.

Five Star Recipe

From My Kitchen To Yours

Siranna Angel

A Look Through My Beer Goggles

cookinandshootin

"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child

the winegetter

Ramblings on wine from a German in Ann Arbor

mytaste.com

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Sex and the Knitty

From My Kitchen To Yours

Miss Chris Creations

Eating Should Be Fun!