Showing posts with label tomato jam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomato jam. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Tomato Jam Dip

Hot, hearty, cheesy, beefy--I've unpacked the adjectives for this dip, but the name pretty much says it all. It's a bacon cheeseburger dip using tomato jam to provide some bold summery flavor in winter.

Why is it that there's a big eating event in the dead of winter? Sure, sure, Thanksgiving is generally after a frost, but most of the Thanksgiving vegetables lend themselves to long storing or freezing. I'm talking about walking into 3 different grocery stores in 2 days [yes, I get around] and being assaulted with goal posts surrounded by mounds of fresh tomatoes and peppers and avocados. That ain't right.

Fresh tomatoes, everywhere on the mainland US that I've lived, don't taste very good in the dead of winter. It's almost criminal to tantalize shoppers with the prospect of fresh vegetables when the flavor doesn't back up the promise.  I turn to preserved tomatoes (those that I've canned, slow roasted and frozen, or jammed) for my winter time tomato flavor. I'll happily buy a jar of salsa [or crack open a jar of strawberry salsa] but make fresh tomato salsa from the store stuff to eat during the game? Not happening. Not now. I will GORGE myself on fresh tomatoes from July-ish through October-ish, but then I put up as much as possible so that I can enjoy these summer flavors in winter.

Here's another way I use my preserves.

If you're watching the game in shorts and a t-shirt, this recipe may not apply to you. While I like my room temperature snacks, our TV is in the basement along with the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve and I need something to keep me warm while watching.
Sure, sure, having 2 to 3 dogs piled on my lap [occasionally tap dancing on my hard cider-filled bladder] does provide an extra 120 pound layer of insulation. However, it also prevents me from getting up to pee get refills of this savory dip. I suppose that's a form of portion control. You can see a quick pic of us on my FB page.

I made this dip last year* after being inspired by the Bacon Double Cheese Burger Dip at Closet Cooking. I thought that using some tomato jam (from Marisa's recipe at Food In Jars) would provide a bit of bold spicy sweetness to play off of the bacon, so I got busy with some of the cow that lives in my freezer.  This recipe works both as a dip for a sturdy tortilla chip and a filling for a slider bun (those pictures did not turn out as well though).

For other recipes using ground beef, please see my Ground Beef Recipe Round Up, 106 recipes from a whole host of food bloggers covering a variety of eating styles and categories [though there are no desserts using ground beef in this round up. that's icky to me]. Need a hot vegetarian dip? Try my Baked Artichoke and Arugula Dip instead.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

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You ever make a large quantity of a condiment, and then not know what to do with it? Yeah, that happened to me, too.  I had so many tomatoes that after putting up crushed tomatoes, seasoned and plain tomato sauce, green tomato bacon jam and salsa . . . whew . . . I decided to try making tomato jam.
I got the idea, and the recipe, from Marisa's first cookbook, Food In Jars (link to her eponymous website--hey, did I use that word correctly? Do I get points?).  Tomato jam sounded like something I ought to try, and since I'd nearly filled up my pantry with other tomato products I gave it a go.  It was easy because Marisa's directions are clear and simple to understand, she anticipates my questions and answers them before I think to say 'but, what about . . .'.  I got her book out of my local library.

In a ham sandwich, this tomato jam just sings.  The sweetness of the jam perfectly balances the saltiness of a slice of ham, and you bet I'll be blowing through a jar eating Easter ham leftovers*. But tomato jam with a chicken sandwich? It's not that terrific. Turkey? Um, no thanks. I needed to get creative.

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

After I used country ham and leeks on a pizza, with asparagus and egg, I was inspired to try that combination of country ham and leeks in a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato jam.  Bingo!  The combination of salty bits of country ham [I like to bite my sandwich neatly, and not have the entire piece of meat pull out from between the bread, so I diced it] and sweet and tangy tomato jam is excellent. Add leeks, cheddar, and a griddle and you're golden.  Serve it alongside creamy tomato soup and you'll have such a sense of accomplishment, a la The Little Red Hen (and no shortage of folks to help you eat it!)--Amazon affiliate link if you're not familiar with the book.

For more recipes using leeks, please see my Recipes Using Leeks Collection. For more recipes for what to do with a glut of tomatoes, please see my Red and Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection. Yes, there is a Green Tomato Recipes Collection. All of these collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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