My friend Colleen from Souffle Bombay was thinking about just what cookbook it was that made her fall in love with cooking recently, then she decided to ask the same question to a number of her foodie friends, myself included, and #CookbooksAndCalphalon was born! Enjoy 17 food bloggers stories as well as the recipes that go along with them as we celebrate our love of cooking. (We’re also giving away some cookbooks and some Calphalon cookware – don’t miss it!) Do you remember the recipe that made you fall in love with cooking? When Colleen asked me that question, it took me about two seconds to answer. This tomato jam, from The Little House Cookbook, is the first truly spectacular thing I ever made.
I still remember the day my mom and I made it. It was the summer before I started fourth grade and it was probably right around this time of year, when our garden was giving us more tomatoes than we could eat. We picked some tomatoes that were still green and fried them, then we preserved some of the ripest ones by making tomato jam. I gave a jar of it to my teacher for Christmas that winter. When we came back from break, she told the entire class how amazing it was and how she had already finished the whole jar. Being the super shy kid that I was, I was humiliated. When she pointed out that my face was turning the same color as the jam I wanted to crawl under my desk and disappear.
I might have cried.
But secretly, I loved that she loved it. I already loved to cook, but that was the moment when I fell in love with cooking for other people. Making something that would make them smile. Or something that would remind them of summer in the middle of a very, very long winter. Tomatoes probably aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think about jam, but they work beautifully. It’s sticky and sweet, with a super concentrated tomato flavor. And no, it doesn’t taste a thing like ketchup. It has all of the bright summer tomato flavor that tomatoes you can buy in the winter lack.
Once you taste it, you’ll find a million ways to use this jam. I love it on crackers (with or without a little goat cheese), spread on a grilled cheese sandwich (try it mozzarella and pesto for a wintertime caprese), on burgers. Mixed with a little cumin, it also makes a fantastic chutney-like accompaniment to chicken breast or fish.
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (I like roasted ground ginger)
- 4 half-pint jars, sterilized
- Add the tomatoes to a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to crush the tomatoes.
- Transfer the tomato puree to a medium skillet set over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and ground ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and jammy – this will take about an hour. (To test, dip a cool, metal spoon into the jam. It should slide of the spoon in a thick sheet – not in watery droplets.)
- Ladle the jam into the jars and seal. The jam is delicious right away, but tastes even better after a few weeks.
This wouldn’t be complete without a fun giveaway for you to enter…you can’t cook without cookware and you can’t use cookware unless you can cook…right? So take a moment to enter our awesome Cookbooks & Calphalon Giveaway – there will be TWO winners!
Also, now through September 1st, Calphalon is celebrating couples! From the first meal they create together in their new home to the meal they share on their 25th anniversary, couple cook up memories! The cookware they choose serves as the foundation for which these “Couples Cooking” memories are made.
Calphalon wants to recognize these #CouplesCooking moments by asking couples to share pictures of the meals they cook together for a chance to win $1,000 in Calphalon cookware! Calphalon is inviting couples to post photos of the meals they prepare with their significant other on Calphalon’s Facebook page. To enter, couples will be asked to share why the dish is unique or special to them and use the hashtag #CouplesCooking. How fun is THAT?? Follow the #Cookbooks&Calphalon fun on social media for great recipes, tips and more and good luck in BOTH giveaways!