Nashville

Whether enjoying a picturesque winter wonderland or celebrating Christmas day on the beach, each of us remembers the holiday season differently. Having grown up with 72 degree winters, Mason’s new Executive Chef Brandon Fortune, recalls playing outside on Christmas Eve every year before being gifted an “unexpected” new pair of super hero pajamas to unwrap and sleep in that night.

In more recent years, he enjoys searching for the perfect Christmas tree with his wife and daughter and watching Elf dawn till dusk (though he admittedly still nerds out over a good pair of Batman pajamas). Highly inspired by the aromatics of the holidays, Brandon’s memories of Christmas morning always seem to accompany the scent of pine. A form of nostalgia many of us can appreciate.

Guests in Brandon’s home or restaurant may have the opportunity to enjoy one of his go-to holiday appetizers, Tomato Jam & Burrata. The jam’s cinnamon and anise aromatic properties are seasonal and as a vegetarian dish, it is a safe option for most diets. From Chef Brandon’s kitchen to yours, we hope you enjoy this holiday favorite:

Tomato Jam & Burrata

olive picoline | basil buds | noble vinegar

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Tomato Jam Recipe

– 1 ½ pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped
– 1 cup sugar
– 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
– 1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
– ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 jalapeño or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

Preparation

– Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
– Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
– Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.

Olive Picoline Recipe

– ½ cup pitted kalamatta olives, minced
– 1 small shallot peeled and minced
– 1 garlic clove minced

Preparation

– Combine all minced ingredients together to form a paste of sorts. Use as a garnish to the tomato jam & burrata.
– To finish canapé, serve on an ornate spoon, crostini or cracker the tomato jam, pulled burrata cheese, minced olive picoline and garnish with basil buds and a dark reduced vinegar, like an aged balsamic.

Karen