Dinnerpalooza Summer Jams
For this dinner, I paid homage to my fav Lolla bands, assembling a 5-course face-melting tribute menu that Gaga and Spoon would love. Chef Lauren Parton worked on the desert.
My favorite part of this meal had to be the jams. And specifically the tomato jam. Who knew that when you cooked down some tomatoes with sugar and spices for hours and hours, the result would be a food of the gods??!!
Tomato jam recipe:
- 4 pounds heirloom tomatoes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 serrano chiles
- salt and pepper to taste
Hull then chop the tomatoes. Drop them into a stock pot with a thick bottom. Add the sugar, chiles, and spices then stir to combine. Heat on medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for another hour or two. Stir occasionally making sure to scrape the bottom. Beware of HOT tomato spatter. It hurts. Continue to cook until the jam thickens and the color turns to a deep reddish brown. You almost have to burn it. In fact, the tomatoes and sugar will begin to caramelize in the bottom of the pot, but simply stir and scrape and incorporate these burnt bits into the jam. THIS is what will give your jam its “food of the gods” status.
If you plan on canning your jam, CAREFULLY transfer the hot jam to a sterilized mason jar and fill almost to the top. Cover and twist the lid tightly. Then put the jar into a hot water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. The jar will be sealed and shelf stable.
If you plan on using your jam sooner, just transfer to a container. It will stay fresh and good in your fridge for up to 10 days.
The Summer Jams Menu…
- Manu Chao: Roast Anaheim chile stuffed with smoked pork belly and chihuahua cheese, melon jam
- Los Amigos Invisibles: Sweet Corn Arepa, aged cheddar, heirloom tomato and ground cherry jam
- Weezer: Grilled Octopus, warm purslane salad and serrano jelly
- Common: Roasted baby root veggies, watercress, and onion jam w/ Three Chile Mole
- Lady Gaga: Turkey drumstick ravioli w/ tomato jam
- Spoon: Pistachio gelato and white peach jam cookie sandwich, lavender and honey