Not-So-Cherry Cherry Tomato Jam

CherTomFIN3

So, you know when you go to Costco and get that HUGE clamshell of cherry tomatoes, and you tell yourself – Oh! I’ll eat all of them. They look so good! I’ll have some every day!  
Only a week later they look like this?

CherryTomOLDOr, maybe you have a neighbor who went to Market on the Move and brought you four pints of them? (Because you have the best neighbors ever!)

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What to do, what to do? Soooo many cherry tomatoes. Some a little on the sad side. Well at our house, that means cherry tomato jam.  

This stuff is like grown-up ketchup – it goes on everything.  On a sliced baquette with some goat cheese. On a pork chop. On a ham and cheese scone. On a bacon sandwich. Everything, I tells ya.

I make mine with the toms, some grated onion and sliced shallot, thyme, sugar, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire, garlic and olive oil.

All the bits...
All the bits…

 Since these were M-O-M cherry tomatoes, and most likely not organic, I gave them two good washes with soapy hot vinegar water.

IMGP2749Anybody with a split skin, I tossed.  (Hello? Hot soapy vinegar water?)  Next, slice the toms in half. These aren’t cranberries – they don’t automatically pop when they’re done. Trust me, I’ve tried.  You get stuck trying to mash them at the end and it’s a pain. Plus, this way you can inspect each one.

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Throw them in the pot and simmer on low for a couple hours. I actually wound up having to add some tomato paste to mine. It *is*January, they weren’t exactly chock full of tasty tomato-loids.

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You can can it at this point. Or freeze it. Or just toss it in the fridge for up to a few weeks. I’ve been known to make a mini batch of these when I’ve got a partial pint mummifying on the counter.

I tried to use less sugar this time, and it did not set up – it’s like a thick tomato jam sauce type thing. But still *very* tasty. Just not as pretty. And, unfortunately, I’ve promised some to friends so hello, cooking shame. Haven’t seen you in like…a day.

So tasty!
So tasty!

Alright – moral of the story? Never throw away ageing cherry tomatoes again!

 

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Sweet Potato Kale Skillet with Chicken, Garlic & Onion

No process shots this week, kids. Just the final product – this is a planned over.  When chicken breasts are on sale for 99 cents a pound, I always buy a big pack and roast them, then dice them and freeze them for quick meals through the week. 

 ChicKale2MED

This dish features beautiful kale – they way it is best. Sautéd with garlic, served with a touch of balsamic vinegar.  Not puréed in to some hipster smoothie like a hamster shat in your glass, or baked to a chip that looks and tastes like the shit petrified in your fridge for six months.  No, this is luscious, tender but firm, sweet and slightly bitter.  A fantastic foil for the melting sweetness of the onion and potato. Yum!

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Ratatouille au tofu

Our neighbors went to Market on the Move and brought us this beautiful eggplant. And peppers. And squash. 

aubergine et basilique
aubergine et basilique

 

It’s “Meat-Free Monday” at our house. And, honestly at this trail-end of the holiday season if I see one more damn cookie or chocolate-covered-whatever, I think I’m going to explode.  So a ratatouille sounds just right. Fast and warm, full of yummy vegetables. Easy to make. Thanks to our neighbor’s generosity, now all the ingredients are on hand:

Some diced canned tomatoes (lighten up, purists, it’s December),

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Basil, tomato paste, olive oil and garlic,
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some cubed extra-firm organic tofu,

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onion, bell pepper, zucchini and the eggplant,

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 Put them together, and bam! So long, seasonal overindulgences.  Kiss my tofu.
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