Busy chef Jamie Gwen of Newport Beach, known for her Sunday morning food radio show on KFWB 980, television appearances, and charity work, has gotten herself In a Jam. This development was completely on purpose—In a Jam is the name of her new line of artisanal preserves.
I love how small-batch, handmade preserving has blown up as a result of the Modern Homesteading/DIY trend. But honestly, how much toast and jam can a person eat? Gwen’s flavors each have a little something extra—probably due to a chef’s palate creating the flavor profiles. While any of the three—pear-ginger, pomegranate-jalapeño, or strawberry-rosemary—would be fab slathered on a thick piece of grainy toast, each has applications far beyond breakfast. At a recent tasting, Gwen simmered slices of smoked kielbasa sausage in a nonstick skillet, glazed with a couple of tablespoons of her pomegranate-jalapeño. Served with toothpicks, they were the tastiest, easiest cocktail bites imaginable. She showed the pear-ginger on a canapé with a bit of ham, a very good combo, but I can totally see that one with cold roast chicken or turkey, too. To taste any of the flavors is to get tons of ideas for using them. On her website, Gwen offers a preparation using her strawberry-rosemary, Jammin’ Strawberry-Rosemary Chicken, with more recipes to come. In a Jam preserves are available at Bristol Farms stores for $8, a deal for 16-ounce jars.