Spice Me Up
Neither of these condiments would make a grown man cry, but we could change that if need be. Feel free to go as spicy as you like.
Is it too early to mention Christmas? Absolutely, but if you’re one of those people who start brainstorming early and like to make homemade gifts, my spicy tomato jam and hot caraway mustard are just the ticket. Give Santa a break from cookies this year. I have a feeling that guy loves meat (umm…or felafel) slathered in spicy mustard.
Design some smart looking labels like the ones I did here and transform a plain jar into a beautiful gift inside and out. Don’t forget to keep a jar for yourself!
Spicy Tomato Jam
4 1/2 lbs medium sweet tomatoes
3 glugs olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground mace
1 tsp red chili flakes (more if you like it quite spicy)
1/8 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp salt
Place 4-5 metal spoons in the freezer for testing the jam later.
Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove and in the meantime wash and cut an x in the top of each tomato 1/2 an inch deep. When the water is boiling drop the tomatoes in and fully immerse for 1 minute. Drain and let cool before peeling skins from the tomatoes.
Place a cutting board over a baking tray so that you can slice and dice the tomatoes without losing all of their juice. Set aside.
In a large stock pot saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and ginger cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Add tomato chucks and juice to the onion mixture along with the sugar, lemon juice, mace, red chili flakes, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and decrease the heat slightly.
Skim off any foam and continue to cook until the jam thickens, 40-55 minutes. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot frequently and decrease the heat gradually as more of the moisture cooks out of the jam. The final 15-20 minutes you’ll need to stir the jam constantly to prevent burning.
Using a chilled spoon from the freezer, take a small sample of jam and put it in the freezer for a few minutes. To check that the jam is done, poke the sample and let it run off the spoon so ensure that it’s the perfect gloppy jam consistency.
Follow proper canning procedures to preserve the jam.
Fills 5-6 jars (250ml)
Spicy Caraway Mustard
3 Tbls yellow mustard seeds
3 Tbls black mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
1/3 cup white wine
2 Tbls white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds
Soak mustard seeds in about 1 1/2 cups of vinegar for 24 to 36 hours.
Combine soaked seeds, white wine, white wine vinegar, salt and caraway seeds in a blender and blitz. You can also use a hand held blender and do it in a large, deep-set bowl.
You’ll see the colour begin to change to the recognizable yellow and notice that the texture will thicken as well. With a hand held blender it took about 4 mins.
Fills 1 jar (200-250 ml)
Recipes and photos by Maggie Murphy