Cutty's Tomato Jam
- 1½ pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped coarsely
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 scant cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized heavy-bottom pot, preferably nonstick. ("This is the best use for a nonstick pan I've ever come across," Chuck says. "Well, this and Rice Krispies treats. Otherwise, I don't know why they exist.") Cook over medium-high heat until bubbling.
- Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and syrupy, about 1 hour. Cool the jam; season with salt and pepper if necessary. Store in the fridge.
The fist-pumping tomato jam isn't the only reason that Cutty's BLTJ is a sterling sandwich. Composition, the skill of arranging the ingredients, is an underheralded art, but it has a real effect on how the flavors hit your palate.
Makes one sandwich. You'll want two, at least.
- 2 slices of white or good quality white or wheat bread, toasted
- Lemony mayo (mix 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice into ½ cup of Hellman's mayonnaise)
- 4 strips of crisp, crisp bacon
- Small handful of field greens or mesclun mix
- Cutty's tomato jam
- Spread lemony mayo on the bottom slice of toast. (The extra lemon in the mayo balances the rich sweetness of the tomato jam).
- Add the greens and then the bacon strips.
- On the other slice of toast, spread a modest layer of tomato jam. The stuff is ridiculously delicious, but it's also powerful stuff. On top of the tomato jam, spread another layer of lemony mayo.
- Top the sandwich, serve with the tomato-jam side on top, and yell, "Tijuana!"