Friday, May 29, 2009

Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes & Basil Oil

It's the crossword puzzle's fault.

Longtime Actress Eve: _ _ DE _

Newspapers are dying across the country.  The Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News publish every day but will only deliver to your home three times a week.

Darin hit, "Beyond  the  _ _ A"

The Rocky Mountain news in Denver has gone out of business after more than 150 years of publishing.

vision or gram intro:  _ _ LE

The crossword puzzle clues tell you everything you need to know about the future of newspapers.  

I know circulation is way down.  I know it's too expensive to keep up home delivery. I know that anyone under the age of 40 gets their news from television.  I know everyone under the age of 25 gets their news from the Internet. But c'mon.

When was the last time you even thought of the name Eve Arden? She was a RADIO star in the late '40s. The last thing most people remember her for was "The Mothers-In-Law" with Kaye Ballard back in 1969.  She died 19 years ago.

Intro to vision and gram? A telegram? When was the last time anyone you knew got a telegram? How many of you even know what a telegram is? Here's a hint: Telegram - a hand-delivered, walking email.

Newspapers aren't dying, their readers are.

The killer is I'm one of those readers. I love flipping through the pages and finding some obscure story I'll never see on the Internet.  I love yelling at the idiots who write the opinion columns. I love seeing the box score with the neighbor kid's name in it. I love a snowy Sunday morning, a hot cup of coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle and a pen. 

Oh yeah, a pen!

The times are changing and I'm starting to turn into the old guy who shakes his fist at the kids driving too fast. Getting old skool whether I want to or not.

Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes and Basil Oil originally called for purple basil and heirloom tomatoes (really old skool), both of which are nearly impossible to find this time of year. So instead, I'm using good old-fashioned green basil and cherry tomatoes. Later in the summer I'll try the original. If it's at all possible, use fresh ricotta cheese, it tastes like ice cream and adds a very tasty, subtle flavor. Enjoy...

Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes & Basil Oil
from delicious magazine, volume 5 issue 11 with a Crabby alteration

Basil Oil

1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

1 pound cherry tomatoes
4 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup black or nicoise olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the basil oil: 

In a large jar,  combine the finely chopped basil with the extra virgin olive oil (it is important to use the highest quality oil you have).  Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Seal the jar and shake to combine. Taste the oil and adjust the seasoning.  Set aside.

For the Salad:

Place the cherry tomatoes on a large platter. Spoon small dollops of the fresh ricotta over the tomatoes. (Use a small melon baller to approximate the size of your tomatoes.)

Scatter the chopped olives atop the tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle the salad with the basil oil.

Scatter the lemon zest over the salad and then sprinkle with the lemon juice.  At this point you may need to add more salt/pepper, depending on the saltiness of the ricotta. Garnish the salad with basil leaves.  

Serve immediately.

Very, very simple.  Very, very tasty. Try this salad and you'll be amazed how great it tastes. Well I'm off to finish one of those newfangled Sudoku puzzles. Until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook.

P.S. Bobby Darin had a hit in 1959 with "Beyond the Sea". Great song, fair movie. See if you can download it from Netflix .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grilled Pork with Teriyaki & Marmalade

Man, am I dizzy.  

Sunday and Monday, round and round.  Thank goodness for rain delays. More than 840 miles and over 1700 turns, all to the left.  As all of you know this was the biggest motor racing weekend of the year.  Indy 500 Sunday afternoon and, normally, Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night. That's alotta racin' boys and girls.  

Of course, this year it kept raining in Charlotte, so there was plenty of time to recover after Indy. Helio Castroneves, of "Dancing with The Stars" fame, won the Indy 500.  Not only that, but earlier in the month he had beaten the IRS in court. This was constantly brought up during ABC's coverage of the race.  You couldn't go 5 laps without one of the announcers talking about the "fairy tale" ending to Helio's month. It got to the point that I just assumed the cars chasing Castroneves were filled with IRS agents and not racers.

Normally after Indy there's a 2 hour break before the start of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.  But this year it was raining in Charlotte, so the race was delayed.  It really should go without saying that it's unwise to go 175 miles an hour on a wet track.  It was still showery on Monday, so there were a lot of delays; not exactly compelling racing.  The race was won by someone who was never on "Dancing with The Stars", nor any known troubles with the IRS.

Normally I either do a slow cooker recipe on Sunday or something quick and dirty that can be prepared between races.  This year I went quick and dirty.  Grilled Pork with Teriyaki & Marmalade employs a simple marinade and fast grilling time.  You're in and out fast, kinda like a good pit stop, so even though race day is over, enjoy...

Grilled Pork with Teriyaki & Marmalade
from Donna Hay Magazine, Feb/Mar 2009 plus a Crabby tweak
4 thick cut boneless pork loin chops
1 cup store bought teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup orange or lemon marmalade
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce or other hot sauce (optional)

Place all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.

Place the pork chops into a large zip top bag. Add half the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably 8 hours.

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.  Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the chops from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

While the grill is warming, place the remaining marinade in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer and occasionally stir.

Remove the chops from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.  Discard the marinade in the bag.

Grill the chops to desired doneness.  Depending on thickness, anywhere from 3-6 minutes per side.

Remove chops from the grill and brush with the simmering marinade.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Serve with additional sauce.

That's quick and dirty.  This meal has a good flavor but the original didn't have any sauce. Without the glaze I thought the pork was a little boring.

OK crablings, I'm outta here, gotta get a massage on my neck, I keep leaning into those left hand turns.  Until next race, remember you can do it, you can cook.  Vroom, vroom!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Tamarind-Orange Glaze

I need a goat.

It's Spring!  Tra-la, tra-la.

If you stick your head out the window you can actually hear my lawn growing. The big problem with weeding, watering and feeding your lawn is that then it starts growing.  Who thought that was a good idea?

When I run errands, it grows.  When I write a Crabby post , it grows.  When I sleep, it grows. It's relentless.  My lawn is the Terminator of Agronomy.  There's no where to run to, there's no where to hide. I can only hope the Terminator Salvation movie is about a John Deere Riding Mover going all Christian Bale on some turf farm.

If the weather doesn't cooperate or if I miss a day, the lawn explodes.  Within a few days my backyard goes from well kept to resembling a Vietnamese rice paddy.  Well, to hell with it. If my yard is going to resemble a southeast Asian landscape,  might as well eat that way too. Today's recipe is for Tamarind-Orange Glazed Chicken. I'll warn you, the toughest part of this recipe is finding the tamarind paste, but if you do, you'll end up with a tart, sweet, faintly exotic glaze for your chicken. Enjoy...

Grilled Chicken with Tamarind-Orange Glaze
from Bon Appetit,  September, 2002

1 chicken, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
2 TBSP chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 14-ounce cans low salt chicken broth
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
6 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP tamarind paste
4 teaspoons grated orange peel
4 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger

Place the chicken halves in a large baking dish.  Whisk together the olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken.  Turn to coat, refrigerate and marinade for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.

For the tamarind glaze, in a large saucepan, whisk together the broth, juice, sugar, 3 tablespoons of butter, tamarind paste, orange peel and grated ginger.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stirring often, cook until the mixture has reduced to 3/4 cup and the glaze coats the back of a spoon.  This step can take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, (the glaze can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead, cover and chill, when ready to use, re-warm over medium heat, whisking occasionally). Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.  Adjust the seasoning.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  While the chicken is warming, prepare your grill over medium-high heat.  reserve a 1/4 cup of the glaze.  Grill the chicken until cooked through, (approximately 45 -60 minutes), turning often and basting with the tamarind glaze.  

NOTE: The glaze will burn, so turn the chicken frequently and pay attention to the heat level, you may wish to cook this over medium heat and take a bit more cooking time. Alternatively, consider cooking a whole chicken on the rotisserie, basting frequently.

There you are crablings.  Plain old chicken gets a little less plain.  Until next time, remember, you can do it, you can cook.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grilled Halibut with Chermoula

Some nights we have "mustgos", you know, those nights when you open the fridge and start pulling things out, this must go, that must go.  Well the same thing happens when I'm looking for marinating ideas.

I spend a lot of time searching for something new and different when it comes to rubs and flavoring.  The fact is that most marinades are basically the same: a little oil, a little acid, throw in a few flavorizers, drop in the meat, go away. The "cooking" comes in finding an interesting blend of flavors.  The search isn't always easy, or fruitful for that matter.  But I soldier on because nothing is too difficult for my crablings.  It's taken a while, but I've found another variation on the flavor theme.

Today's recipe combines the best of all flavor worlds. Sweet-Sour-Hot-Spicy. Gotta love it. Chermoula is a marinade/rub that reminds me of Latin cooking.  Think of it as South American gremolata, (that's a horrible description, but it's the best I could come up with this morning). Enjoy...

Grilled Halibut with Chermoula
from delicious magazine, volume 5 issue 11

2 roasted red peppers, skinned, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
20 mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3 TBSP roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste

1 - 1 1/2 pounds, Halibut filet

For the chermoula, combine the garlic, chile powder, saffron, cumin and coriander in a large bowl.  Mix well.

Add the chopped roasted red peppers and tomatoes.  Stir to combine.  

Next add the mint, lemon juice, olive oil and two thirds of the cilantro.  Mix well to combine.

Taste for proper seasoning.  Chermoula should be sweet, sour, hot and spicy.  

Rub the halibut with half of the chermoula mixture.  Refrigerate and allow to marinade for at least 1 hour.

After an hour, preheat your grill over medium-high heat.  

Place the marinated Halibut on a sheet of aluminum foil and place on the hot grill.  Cook until done, approximately 12 minutes per thickness of filet.  Note: If you have a very thick piece of fish (> 2 inches), turn the fish halfway through the estimated cooking time.

Remove fish from the grill and serve with a spoonful of the remaining chermoula, garnish with a few of the remaining cilantro leaves.

Not bad. Not tough. Things are finally heating up, so we'll be cooking outside alot. If you haven't cleaned your grill yet, get to it.  Until next time remember, you can do it, you can cook. 


Friday, May 15, 2009

Fennel & Olive Salad with Mint and Basil

I review all comments before they go up on the site.  Why?  Well, you'll have to trust me on this one, but suffice it to say that if you write and publish anything, and I do mean anything, someone in the internet world will think they have a right to complain.  

People complain about my using veal. They complain about my using the wrong kinds of fish. They grouse about how much fat is in the recipes. They whine that there isn't enough fat in the recipes.  They kvetch and me using words like kvetch.

Here's one thing I've learned: Somewhere in the world, there's someone who hates everything.

"Why do you cook so much fish? I hate fish!  Except for that, I love your sight, keep up the good work."

"I can't stand broccoli, it smells like my sneakers after a hard day.  Don't make anymore please."

"Why do you use so many exotic ingredients? I live in Upper-Lower-Outer Borneo and it's impossible to find food."

The internet's a squirrely place. 

Well, here's the bad news.  It's my site and I'll fry if I want to, fry if I want to...

One of the biggest complaint generators is fennel.  

"Gawd, I hate fennel. It tastes like licorice; I can't stand licorice."

No it doesn't! In my experience most of the licorice flavor is in the fronds not the main bulb. The flavor seems to intensify if you cook it, but left raw it's got a subtle light flavor that's actually very refreshing.  Kind of like the lemongrass I've been obsessing over lately.

So get over yourselves and try some.  This recipe tastes more of lemons and olives than fennel anyway.  Better still, the recipe is as simple as it gets; it's not cooking, it's slicing and stirring. Fennel & Olive Salad has a lot of flavors going on, BUT NOT LICORICE!  I promise it won't hurt.  I guarantee you will enjoy...

Fennel & Olive Salad with Mint and Basil
from delicious magazine, volume 5 issue 11

2 teaspoons lemon marmalade
Juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
4 ounces pitted black or Nicoise olives, roughly chopped
1 chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
20 basil leaves, thinly sliced
20 mint leaves, thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and lemon marmalade in a large bowl. Stir well.

Add the olives, chile pepper and shaved fennel to the bowl.  Toss well to combine (use your fingers, it works better and it's always fun to play with your food).

Adjust seasoning - be careful, depending on how briny the olives are you may not need to add any salt.

Reserve the herbs as a garnish, sprinkle on just before serving, otherwise the acids in the dressing will turn them black.

Another simple dish by the Crab!  This dish has a pungent, tangy flavor, so serve it with a simple main course.  Bring it along the next time you're invited to a picnic or dinner party. People will think you're an adventurous cook and you might even convert someone into a culinary risk-taker.

See ya next time crablings. Remember, you can do it, you can cook.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Veal Roast with Morels, Garlic, Shallots and Sweet Wine

It was Mother's Day last Sunday which meant, not only was I cooking, but CrabCake2 and I were also cleaning up.  Normally that type of arrangement has me making reservations for dinner, but I hate going out on the "big" holidays, so I retreated to my nook in the coral and tried to find something to make that was tasty and not too messy.

SSSal, besides loving leg of lamb, has always had a fascination with veal roast. The only problem is that veal roasts are ludicrously difficult to come by.  Scaloppine? Easy. Chops? No problem.  Roast? Ah, well, you see we get the other stuff already processed.  You know, we just thaw and display.

I know, go to a good butcher.  Well the truth is, my butcher(S), seem to carry the toughest veal in existence. Their meat doesn't come from a calf, but from something with bronto- or tyranno- in the name. But for Mother's Day I decided to try one more time.

There is a relatively new market in town and I've been cultivating a relationship with both the fishmonger and the butcher.  I put the butcher to the test.  

"I'd like a veal roast please."

"Sure, something from the knuckle?"

"The knuckle? Veals have knuckles?"

"Ahhh, no.  It's what we call the rump. It's what I use to make scaloppine."

"Oh! Scaloppine, that sounds expensive?"

"Not too bad, $9.99 a pound. How much would you like?"

"Err, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds please."

Success, crablings! I got a beautiful cut of meat that was tender and tasty.  I decided that since the cut was from the rump, that I'd go for a low and slow approach to cooking.  What follows is a recipe that is essentially Veal Marsala Pot Roast.  Enjoy... 

Veal Roast with Morels, Garlic, Shallots and Sweet Wine
by Crabby

1 3-pound veal rump roast
1 TBSP Herb de Provence
1 TBSP freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP kosher salt
3 TBSP olive oil, divided

2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 cup dried morel mushrooms
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 half-bottle (375ML) dessert wine (such as Vin Santo, Late Harvest Muscat or Marsala)

1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

One hour prior to cooking, reconstitute the morels in 1 cup of boiling water.  Allow to soak for 60 minutes.  

While the morels are soaking, combine the Herbs de Provence, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Lightly crush the mixture with your fingertips. 

Rub the veal roast with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, cover the roast with the herb mixture and massage into the meat.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove morels from soaking liquid and dry with paper towels.  Pass the soaking liquid through a paper coffee filter to remove any grit and set aside the liquor. 

In a dutch oven/heavy roasting pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.  When hot but not smoking add the veal roast and brown on all sides. This step should take approximately 10 minutes.  

Remove the roast from the pan.  Add the 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.  When melted add the shallots, garlic and morels.  Saute until the shallots have wilted, about 3 minutes.  

Add the sweet wine and reserved mushroom liquor.  Bring to a boil and scrape the bottom of the pan, loosening any brown bits from the base.  Boil for three minutes.

Return the roast to the pan, nestling it in amongst the vegetables.  Place in the oven and roast for 60 minutes, (Hint: turn the roast after 30 minutes of braising), or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.

After 60 minutes, remove the roast from the pan and allow to rest loosely tented with aluminum foil for 15 minutes.

While the roast is resting, take a stick blender and roughly process the sauce, (I like to leave the morels slightly chunky).  Check the sauce for seasoning, if you find it too earthy or tart, add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream.  Boil for 10 minutes while the roast rests.

Slice the roast and serve with the sauce.

Voila!  Mother's Day Dinner.  This meal was a big hit with the two moms in the house.  I served it with a nice Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) though I hope Wine wizard Bob will post a couple of other ideas.

OK crablings, we made it through another Mother's Day. The next few holidays are strictly grilling affairs, so get the BBQs ready.  Until next time, remember, you can do it, you can cook.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Roasted Southwestern Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

Lightning all around; we used the clouds as cover.

The plane swept in low over the horizon, the wings pitched right and then snapped back to the left.  

Rolling thunder.

We were headed in-country; we were headed to Dallas.

We went to Dallas last weekend.  Not exactly swine flu central, but a heck of a lot closer than the upper midwest.  We weren't going to be on the flu front lines, but we would be able to see them in the distance.  There were a handful of people wearing surgical masks on the plane and maybe 20 more walking around the airport. It's amazing to me that with all the advances in medical science, we turn to thin paper as a protective suit of armor. From surgical masks to toilet seat covers, paper is what stands between us and certain germ death.

By now you all know that the swine flu pandemic seems to be over.  Yes, there are some concerns that in South America it may become worse because they're heading into the flu season, but up here in the Northern Hemisphere it's petering out.  

So we've closed entire school districts, slaughtered herds of pigs and quarantined Mexico for what amounts to a nasty cold.  Yes, yes, I can hear you out there, "better safe than sorry", "patients have never asked me to be less prepared".  How many confirmed deaths from swine flu in the U.S.?  Two. How many die in a typical flu season?  Over 30,000!  Seems to me we're roasting the wrong pig.

Ah well, nothing overdoes it like a good case of excess.  

You can't pronounce "Texas" without a little "excess", and in the coming posts I'll slip in a few stories about our trip, but for today I'm going to try and recover from the surf and turf eating binge I just lived through.  Today just a little light side salad with a Southwestern taste. Chopped Southwestern Salad with Honey Lime vinaigrette is a great side for your next barbecue.  Enjoy...

Roasted Southwestern Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
adapted by Crabby

2 large orange or red bell peppers
2 ears fresh corn
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

2 large firm-ripe tomatoes, cored, seed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small jicama, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 large firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 can (15 ounces), black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro and more for garnish

Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

1 small clove garlic, minced
3 TBSP fresh lime juice
3 TBSP fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
1 TBSP honey
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise.  Stem seed and core.

Husk the corn.  Place the peppers and corn on the baking sheet  and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Lightly salt and pepper the vegetables.  Roast for 20 minutes, turning the corn every 5 minutes.

When the vegetables are done, allow to cool at room temperature.  

Cut the kernels from the corn and chop the peppers into a 1/2-inch dice.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the minced garlic, lime juice, orange juice, shallots, honey and cumin in a medium size bowl.  

Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If you like a sweeter vinaigrette, now would be the time to slowly add more honey.

Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl.  Drizzle lightly with the vinaigrette. Mix in the chopped cilantro. Reserve additional vinaigrette for serving table-side.  Garnish with additional cilantro and serve.

There you go crablings.  This salad tastes of the Southwest and is a perfect accompaniment for any grilled meat.  Also, don't be bound to the ingredient list, this salad is a great way to empty out the fridge of small little bits of things (If you're in a hurry, use jarred roasted red peppers and frozen corn).  Next time we'll get back to cooking stuff, until then, remember, you can do it, you can cook.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tomato-Chili Jam

This little piggy coughed at market, this little piggy sneezed at home and this little piggy is international germ warfare terrorist Osama Big Lard-One, who's responsible for turning us into mask-wearing extras from the cast of E.R.

Yuppers folks, this swine flu business is really starting to heat up.  We've got federal governments telling us not to travel to Mexico.  We've got health departments advising us to constantly wash our hands with a mixture of water, bleach, disinfectant and plutonium and we've got local authorities closing schools and canceling high school baseball games.  Like I've always said, nothing causes overreaction and panic like sensible precautions.  

But, if the last three days are any indication, the problem isn't with a flu that appears to be no more harmful than your average every-winter garden variety flu.  Nope, the real issue is what we should be calling this potential super bug.  

Apparently there are a lot of people upset with the name, swine flu. Everybody from the animal loving swine anti-defamation league to the hey-wait-a-minute-you-guys-are-killing-my-business pork producers, pigs never had so many friends.

Since we're emotionally traumatizing our mud wallowing, slop eating friends, they are proposing to change the name of the flu to the Mexico flu.  No, really, I'm serious. The logic is that since Spain took the blame for the mega-flu in 1918 and Hong Kong gets beat up every year, then it's only fair that Mexico has it's turn in the barrel.  

That whirring noise you hear is Montezuma cranking up his revenge machine.

Look folks, a nose by any other name runs just as drippy.

But I'll play along.  Today's recipe isn't spicy ketchup, or sweet-heat tomato spread.  No, today I give you Tomato-Chili Jam.  This is a very easy condiment to make and it goes with practically anything, from eggs in the morning to sandwiches at lunch to pork chops, chicken or steak at dinner.  So enjoy...

Tomato-Chili Jam
adapted from delicious magazine, volume 5 issue 11

3 pounds Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBSP dry mustard
1 inch piece peeled, minced fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 - 6 hot chili peppers, such as Serrano, seeded and chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fish sauce (found in the Asian section of your supermarket)

Preheat you oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up, and roast for 1 hour.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While the tomatoes are cooling, in a food processor add the vinegar, dry mustard, ginger, garlic and chillies.  Puree into a rough paste.

In a large saucepan, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  Transfer the paste to the pan and saute for 2 minutes.  

While the paste is sauteing, transfer the roasted tomatoes to the food processor and roughly puree.  Add the tomatoes to the chili paste mixture.

Add the sugar and fish sauce. Stir well to combine.

Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for about 1 hour, or until the mixture has reduced and thickened.

Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate.  The jam should keep for up to three weeks, properly stored.

OK, now that was a very easy recipe, one with plenty of downtime to wash any infected hands. Obviously the best thing about this recipe is its flexibility. By adjusting the sugar and chili levels you can customize the heat/sweet ratio to you liking.  Until next time, cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands often and remember, you can do it, you can cook.