Two things I love…

This last summer I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a prep cook in the kitchen at King Estate Winery out in Lorane, Oregon. The commute from Eugene was about 40 minutes every day, but worth every second. The winery is almost self-sustaining with what seems like a thousand acres full of not only beautiful wine grapes, but fruit orchards, herb gardens, vegetable and greens gardens, a facility where breads are baked fresh daily and meat is cut and cured from whole sections of local farm-raised livestock.

Sauce Aromatique and Tomato Jam. Yum.

Sauce Aromatique is incredibly simple and is so, so wonderful paired with a nice cut of steak (round sirloin, buy-one-get-one-free courtesy of being at Albertson’s at the right time).
I discovered this sauce when I went for lunch with a friend on a day off and was treated with a nice dish of scallops as an appetizer. After trying this sauce with beef, I will never again reach for the A-1!
Sauce Aromatique
recipe adapted from King Estate Winery
All ingredients in equal parts:
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Butter
To serve 2, I start with 1/4 cup each, resulting in one cup total before reducing.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low and add remaining ingredients. Reduce by one third or until sauce becomes thicker. Serve warm with meat cut of choice.
And onto the next…
This jam was the first thing I made at King Estate Winery. At first skeptical, I didn’t realize just how incredible it was until I tasted it warm on a toasted piece of bread with butter. And it SMELLS amazing while it’s cooking. It is sweet, but still savory, which I think is one of the beautiful things about a tomato. The fruit cleverly disguised and misunderstood as a vegetable.
Tomato Jam
recipe adapted from King Estate Winery

You will need:
  • 1.5 lb fresh tomatoes*, after they have been cored and chopped (see below). This is an opportunity to use your tomatoes that are turning, because as will all jams, the riper the fruit, the better.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger or 1 tsp ground (fresh offers a much better flavor for this recipe, but ground will do in a pinch)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
*a note on choosing the right tomato: the redder, riper and sweeter the tomato, the sweeter and more beautifully ruby the jam will turn out. I always used Romas, but any nice red tomato will work. Cherry tomatoes are also nice if you can stand the work! Avoid beefsteaks. I think they are, in every sense, an ugly, ugly tomato.
To prepare the tomatoes:
Cut the tomatoes into quarters, vertically. cut out the insides down to the core where the stem attaches to the tomato, leaving only the flesh that is attached the the outside of the skin, leaving a nice, seedless and clean piece of tomato. Chop these pieces.
To make the jam:
Add all ingredients to a heavy-bottomed pan or enameled cast-iron. Do not use aluminum, or it could cause your jam to turn brown and taste funny. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium or medium low, until mixture maintains a simmer. Stir occasionally.
After about 1 hour, the mixture will be at a jam-like consistency. A good check for doneness is to dip a spoon in to the jam. If you can run your finger through the jam liquid on the spoon and it does not come back together, then you have reached a nice consistency. Don’t worry if it seems too liquidy, as it will set significantly upon cooling.
Remove from heat and transfer to another container to start cooling. Keep refrigerated, unless you decide to can it. Enjoy!
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