… if you had 10 seconds to grab one (recipe) book, which one would it be?…
Well for me, it would be Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course. Not necessarily because it’s my all time favourite cookbook but because it’s a culinary compendium of some magnitude.
It contains pretty much every classic recipe you could ever think of. And it just happens to include the very best recipes for brownies, cookies and tiramisu that I know.
Randomly opening the book at page 513, I found myself with a selection of chutneys to choose from. I plumped for the Tomato and Chilli Jam because Darina says it’s great with everything and from past experience, I reckoned she was probably right.
This really is a very versatile condiment. Over the past week I’ve eaten it with cheese croquettes (as recommended by Darina) and with Scotch eggs. I’ve smothered it on chicken and steak and dipped chips in it. I’ve eaten it with cheese and oatcakes and even stirred through fried rice. Darina was right. It really does go with everything.
Tips for this recipe: (1) Darina uses fish sauce in this jam but I made a 2nd batch in which I substituted it for miso paste (making it suitable for vegetarians) and I couldn’t tell the difference (2) I belatedly realised that Darina says you should peel the tomatoes. This, IMHO, is unnecessarily faffy. (3) You can change the heat of the jam by adding more/less chilli. To my taste, two whole chillies is ample. It gives a nice gentle heat without overwhelming the tomato.
Tomato and Chilli Jam adapted from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course
- 500g tomatoes
- 2 red chillies
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tsp fresh chopped ginger
- 2 tbsp fish sauce or 1 heaped tsp miso paste
- 100ml red wine vinegar
- 275g caster sugar
1. Roughly dice the tomatoes. Using a stick blender, puree the whole chillies, garlic, ginger, fish sauce or miso and red wine vinegar together. Transfer to a saucepan with the tomatoes and sugar.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is quite thick and jammy (remember it will thicken further as it cools.) Remove from the heat and pour into a jar. Cool then refrigerate before serving.