Tag Archives: Preserving

Tomato Chilli Jam

Tomato Chilli Jam

Tomato Chilli Jam

My tomato chilli jam is one of my store cupboard essentials that I just can’t imagine living with out.  I’ve been making it for a good few years and only just realised that I hadn’t put it on my website!  How could I have deprived you of the delicious little recipe for so long.  But now I’m putting it right.

When I came to write this up for you, I realised I’d been chopping and changing the recipe over the years and can no longer find the exact original, which, wasn’t my recipe, but now I’ve been messing with it enough I feel confident to call it my own.

Once you’ve made a nice big batch of this, no sandwich, salad, sauce, stir-fry or stew will want for anything.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes and then some time for the jam to cool.

Ingredients
1kg /  2.2lb of ripe tomatoes chopped roughly (the riper the better)
150gr / 5oz. ginger, peeled and chopped into 3 or 4 chunks
6 x tbsp Thai fish sauce
10 x red chilli’s chopped finely
10 garlic cloves
600gr / 1.3lb jam sugar
200ml / 6.7 fl. oz. red wine vinegar
2 x tbsp of tomato purée

Tomato Chilli Jam

Method

  1. Place half the tomatoes with all of the ginger, fish sauce and garlic in a processor and blend.
  2. Then add all the ingredients to a heavy bottomed pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring gently until the sugar has melted.
  3. Set the temperature so that the mixture keeps a quite vigorous simmer, but doesn’t stick or burn, for 45 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool so that you can taste the jam. If it’s not spicy enough for you, add a sprinkle of dried, chopped chillies and stir through.  Spoon into jars, cool and cover.

Tomato Chilli Jam

Tips and Notes

  • It is very important that you do not taste or allow the jam to touch your skin while it boils or before it is cool. Boiling sugar is very dangerous and sticks to your skin, giving very serious and painful burns.
  • It is a good idea to use a pan that holds the mixture with lots of space left as you don’t want the mix splashing out of the pan.
  • You may notice that some scum appears as you are boiling the mix. To give a clearer jam,  skim this off and discard as you go along.
  • It may be tempting to remove the tomato seeds, however, I wouldn’t recommend it as the seeds contain pectin which helps the jam set.
  • If the jam doesn’t set completely firm, don’t worry as long as it has a thick syrupy consistency it is fine.
  • I always put the metal spoons in my jars, just because all the jam makers in my family did it – you can try it without, maybe the quality of the jars are better these days and they won’t crack.
  • This jam is so versatile. I love it with cold meats and strong cheeses like cheddar, aged Gouda, goats’ cheese and parmesan.  I use it in sauces and marinades, add it to stir fry dinners, all sorts.
  • You can keep the jam for at least 6 months in the fridge.
  • To sterilize the jars, either put them through a dishwasher cycle or run the water from a boiled kettle over the jars and lids.

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Tomato Chilli Jam

Preserved Red Peppers

Preserved Red Peppers

Sunshine in a jar ready for you whenever you feel the need of a little burst of flavour.

Preserved Red Peppers:

It’s time for the next round in the red pepper relay!  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, well, I got a bit carried away recently with a great deal on red peppers and ended up buying 10 kilos of them.  The good news is not only that I got a bargain, but lots of new recipes.  I’ve been consulting cookbooks, friends and letting my imagination run around with this ingredient and have come up with some really tasty ideas.

In the past, I’ve bought countless jars of preserved red peppers, but have always been disappointed.  There was something about the flavour that jarred with me – I think maybe it’s to do with vinegar levels, of which there is none in this recipe.  Here, I’ve concentrated on bringing out the sweetness of the pepper and I reckon I’ve succeeded.  This simple recipe has hit the right note for me.  The sun dried tomatoes add a depth and a bit of zing whilst the garlic pushes flavour from behind the scenes.

They’ve become unmissable, I’ve been adding them to sauces, salads, pastas, and am going absolutely crazy for them over goat’s cheese.  When I made the peppers I have to admit to thinking maybe I’d made too much, but, now down to my last half jar I’ve hidden it in the cupboard to keep them to myself.

Preserved Red Peppers

Place the sun dried tomatoes on top of the garlic to protect it from burning during roasting.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

You’ll need some sterilised jars for this recipe.

Ingredients

8 x red peppers, seeds and stalk removed and cut length ways into thirds or quarters depending on the size.
8 to 10 large garlic cloves sliced thinly
150gr / 5.3 oz sundried tomatoes (in oil) chopped finely
3 x tbsps of olive oil to cook the peppers
Around 500ml / 1pt. US / 0.8pt. UK  olive oil cover the peppers in their jars – the amount will depend on the size of the jars and how densely you pack your peppers.
Salt

Preserved Red Peppers

Served on crispy toasted slices of baguette.

Method 

  1. Heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  2. Place the peppers in a roasting tray, skin side down then put one or two slices of garlic on each and about half a teaspoon of sundried tomato. Drizzle over the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and put in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and have taken some colour here and there.  Be careful not to burn the garlic, you can place the tomato on top to protect it.
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven and sprinkle with some salt, allow to cool and layer them in your jars. Cover the peppers with oil and seal.

Tips and Variations

  • Serve as tapas or antipasto. Or, as a topping for bruschetta and I really like to chop them roughly and sprinkle over salads.
  • You can add the peppers to soups and sauces.
  • The peppers will keep for quite some time, certainly a couple of months. I prefer to store them outside the fridge as the cold makes the olive oil solid.
Preserved Red Peppers

Serve with tapas or antipasti.

 

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup
Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

It’s turned into a bit of a mad dash, but I’ve made it.  I’m talking about my flourish of preserving which I always do at this time of year.  As the temperature begins to drop I feel the calling to get into the kitchen and surround myself in what’s left of summer flavours – before it’s too late.  I start chopping and adding preserving agents (like sugar and vinegar), get boiling, get sterilizing and get those flavours into jars before it time runs out.  This year, my goal has been to keep hold of summer in a jar in the form of tomato ketchup.  I’ve found this recipe much easier than most pickling, jamming or chutney making, it seems more forgiving and less technical than some preserving methods.  So quick!  Get out and buy the last of the ripe summer tomatoes and get into the kitchen!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes (most of this time is spent de-seeding your tomatoes)
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Makes: About 3 liters depending on how much you reduce your ketchup when cooking.

Ingredients
2 x tbsps olive oil
1kg / 2.2lb onions chopped roughly
2.5kg / 5.5lb tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped roughly
200gr / 7oz. brown sugar
300ml / 10 fl. oz. red wine vinegar
1 x tbsp Worcestershire sauce
250gr / 8.8oz. tomato pureé
12 x garlic cloves chopped finely
1 x tbsp coriander powder
2 x tsps cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 x tsp nutmeg
150gr / 5.2oz. ginger, grated
1 x tsps salt
1 x tsp ground ginger (powder)
2 x tsps ground black pepper

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add onions and garlic and cook them on a medium to high heat to soften and colour the onions.  This will take about 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to burn or stick.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 1.5 hours.  This should be a gentle simmer with plopping bubbles.  Check the pan regularly to make sure the ketchup isn’t sticking.
  3. When it is cooked through the onions should be soft, it should be a thick ketchup-ish consistency and the flavours should have matured and combined. Check for your seasoning and adjust as you wish before you turn off the heat.  Allow the ketchup to cool and spoon into sterilized jars and keep in the fridge.

Tips and Variations

  • You can make a spicy version by adding one or all of some chili powder, dried chili’s and fresh.
  • If the tomato seeds don’t bother you, of course you can keep them in – it does save time in preparation. To de-seed them, I cut the tomato in quarters and slice out the seeds from the stem then lift them out.
  • The whole idea of this ketchup is to preserve your summer tomatoes through the winter, so you can keep it for a long time. I always say up to about 6 months (as long as you keep it refrigerated in sterilized, tightly closed containers),  but to be honest, I have kept it longer and it has been fine.
  • If you prefer a smooth ketchup instead of a chunky one, all you have to do is purée the mix once it has cooled down for a smooth result.

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

Porridge with Apple and Cinnamon

Porridge with Apple and Cinnamon

There’s not much I’ll miss about winter, but I already know I’ll pine for porridge with apple and cinnamon.  I’ve always been a huge porridge fan, I can’t help it, I’m Scottish, it’s in our blood (that and whisky of course), but this winter I made a change.  I played around with my porridge and added a little spice (of which I am also a huge fan) and this was the result.

Hmmm, do you think I’ll be allowed to eat porridge in the summer too?  Yeah, why not.

Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 to 5 minutes

Ingredients for 4 servings
200gr / 7 oz. porridge oats
400ml / 13.5 fl. oz. water
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of cinnamon (or to taste)
A few drops of vanilla extract
4 to 6 tbsp of apple compote
4 x tsp of honey
8 x tbsp of milk

Method

  1. Place the water, oats, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a non stick pan, and put on a high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down to a medium high heat and stir with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the oats soften and the mixture takes on a creamy texture. You can keep cooking and the mixture will become thicker if you prefer.
  3. Divide into bowls, drizzle over the honey and the milk and add a spoonful or so of the apple compote to each serving.

Tips and Variations

  • Great with some fresh berries, raspberries would be the real Scottish choice.
  • For a richer version, swap the milk for single cream, or you can start by cooking the oats in a half water, half milk liquid.
  • If you dare, you can add another Scottish touch, a wee dram of whiskey in every portion!

To make the Apple Compote

Ingredients
150 ml / 5 fl. oz. water
4 x medium apples peeled, cored and roughly diced

Method

  1. Place the apples, water and cinnamon in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil, then allow to simmer until the apples are soft.
  2. Mash with a fork for a rougher texture or liquidize it with a hand mixer for a smooth result
  3. As well as serving this with porridge it goes great with meat, especially pork or roast chicken. 

Tips and Variations 

  • The amount of water can depend on the apples, so if you feel it is getting to dry while cooking, just add a little water. Or , if you feel there is too much water, just turn the heat up and let it evaporate as steam.
  • This sauce keeps in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it.

 

Red Tomato Chutney

Red Tomato Chutney

Red Tomato Chutney

Yes, yes I know that tomatoes are supposed to be red, but the reason why I have been specific in the title is to differentiate them from green tomatoes which are often used to make chutney – so I am not as green as I am cabbage looking.  Anyway, enough of that.  I am a chutney/relish/pickle addict.  I just can’t have a sandwich without a wee something to perk it up.  This recipe is based on a classic from the great Marguerite Patten.  It is really simple to make and gives a classic chutney flavour.

Red Tomato Chutney

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients for a yield of approx. 2.75kg / 6lbs
1.2kg / 2.6 lb tomatoes chopped finely
500gr / 1.1 lb white onions, finely chopped
500gr / 1.1 lb apples (I often use Elstar), core removed, diced (I leave the skin on) or grated
500ml / 1 pt U.S / 0.8 pt U.K red wine vinegar
400gr / 14 oz. dark brown sugar
350gr / 12 oz. sultanas
3 x tsp ground ginger
3 x tsp cinnamon
1 x tsp nutmeg
1 x tsp all spice
1/2 tsp salt

Red Tomato Chutney

Method

  1. Place the tomatoes, onions, apples and red wine vinegar in a large heavy bottomed pan and simmer until tender.
  2. Add the sugar and simmer it gently over a medium / low heat until it dissolves.
  3. Add the sultanas and the seasonings stir through and simmer until the chutney thickens to a syrupy consistency.
  4. Allow to cool and spoon into sterile jars.

 Tips and Variations

  • I like to serve this chutney with sausages, hamburgers, cold meats and strong cheeses.
  • This is great to make if you have some over ripe tomatoes that need to be used.
  • This chutney will keep in clean, sealed jars in a cool place for a good few months. Once open, best to store in the fridge.

Amsterdam Private Food Tours

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Red Tomato Chutney