Dinner Rush! Steak Sandwiches with Tomato Jam + Watercress

Look, I know what you’re thinking. "Tomato jam? In February?" Yes, tomato jam in February. February is, in fact, the perfect time to be enjoying this spread of the gods.

Being that they're out of season in most of the U.S. right now, savoring the joy of the tomato usually means eating yellow-greenish slices of “meh.” They taste faintly of tomato but are missing the lavish pleasantries that a sun-soaked field in August may yield. By turning that tomato into a quick and flavorful jam, a bit of that sunshine will likely start creeping through the ice that may or may not be freezing your car doors shut at this very moment.

This tomato jam keeps well in the refrigerator and is a rock star addition to a simple seared chicken breast or some sauteed winter greens. Make yourself a double batch and see where your creativity takes you.

Steak Sandwiches with Quick Tomato Jam and Watercress

Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
For the jam:
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
Pinch ground cloves
Splash vanilla extract
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1 pound London broil
Salt and ground black pepper
1 baguette, cut into four sandwich-size portions
1 bunch watercress

Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with the tomato, brown sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic and cloves. Cook the jam, stirring often, until reduced and thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the jam from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Season with salt and pepper.

While the jam is simmering, place a large saute pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper, and sear it until cooked to your liking, about 6 minutes per side for medium. Let the steak rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.

To serve, thinly slice the steak. Split open the baguettes and fill them with the steak, watercress and some tomato jam.

NOTE: Let the steak come up to room temperature before cooking it to ensure that it cooks evenly.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Twitter & Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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