Summer is the season of condiments: Ketchup and mustard bottles are never more in-demand than they are during the warmer months, when simple foods like hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken reign supreme. Ketchup, and its sidekick yellow mustard, are the unbeatable duo that manage to turn nearly any combination of flame plus food into a proper meal every single time.
But, for those home cooks inclined to kick it up a notch, there’s homemade smoked chile jam. Spicy, sweet and smoky, it’s everything you could hope for in a versatile, grilling condiment: It has the subtle sweetness of ketchup, the kick of a good mustard, the heat of a hot sauce and the sugared smokiness of a classic barbecue sauce.
To make chile jam, start with red chiles at the peak of their season—fresnos or red jalapeños work well, though you can check out our complete chile guide for more info on chiles and their spice levels. Give those a whirl with some garlic and ginger, then simmer with equal parts vinegar and sugar. What really takes this recipe over the top is the combination of warming spices—cloves and nutmeg—with the savory, fragrant funk of fish sauce. Once it’s reduced and slightly sticky, use the Breville Smoking Gun to infuse it with flavor from hickory wood chips—it takes a total of six minutes to infuse the entire batch with the deep, smoky flavor that makes it taste as if you hand-roasted each chile over an open flame.
How to Use Smoked Chile Jam
The recipe makes just over a cup of jam, but feel free to double it; it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, and you’ll be surprised how quickly it goes. It goes without saying that it’s wonderful as a condiment, served with homemade cornbread, spread on a burger in place of ketchup, added to a grilled cheese or mixed in with mayo and spread atop a turkey sandwich. But then there are other ways to incorporate it, too: tossed with roasted chicken wings, whisked into olive oil and red wine vinegar for a smoky salad dressing, or mixed in with freshly-diced mango to make a fast salsa. For the easiest appetizer in the world, serve it on baguette slices with goat cheese like we do here.
Smoked Chile Jam Recipe
- 6 medium red chiles, coarsely chopped (about 3 1/2 oz./100 g)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2-inch (5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 4 tomatoes (about 1 lb./450 g), coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./110 g) sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- Sea salt
- Pinch of hickory wood chips
1. Place the chiles, garlic and ginger in the bowl of a food processor and blend until combined.
2. Transfer the chile mixture to a medium saucepan and add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, cloves, nutmeg and fish sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until beginning to look sticky. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking. Season with salt.
3. Transfer the jam to a sterilized jar and cover with plastic wrap. Add hickory wood chips to the burn chamber of a Breville Smoking Gun. Place the hose under the plastic wrap with the opening sitting above the jam. Seal with plastic wrap. Turn the smoking gun on to high speed and ignite the wood chips. Switch to low speed and smoke for a few seconds until the jar is filled with a dense smoke. Remove the hose and reseal the plastic wrap. Let infuse for 3 minutes. Repeat the smoking process one more time, stirring the jam between each smoking session. Seal with a lid and set aside to cool completely. The jam can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator, for 2 to 3 weeks. Makes 1 1/3 cups (300 ml).
Recipe courtesy of Breville