At Home with Tom Colicchio
We are thrilled to take you into the home kitchen of renowned Restaurateur, Top Chef Head Judge and “Citizen Chef” Tom Colicchio, showcasing two incredible custom recipes for at-home cooking, featuring The Jersey Tomato Co. sauce in which he currently maintains a role as Culinary Consultant and Brand Partner.
Tom Colicchio, Head Judge and Executive Producer for 17 seasons of the Emmy and James Beard Award-Winning series ‘Top Chef’, is the owner of both the fast-casual concept ‘Wichcraft and the full-service restaurant group Crafted Hospitality, which includes Craft (New York & Los Angeles), Riverpark, Temple Court, Small Batch, Craftsteak & Heritage Steak. Tom has three best-selling cookbooks, is the winner of 8 James Beard Awards, and is a Founding Member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
In reference to his “Citizen Chef” attribution, Tom has been doing incredible work during the Covid-19 pandemic as a leading Food Activist to support local restaurants and bars affected, especially in New York City, and beyond. Tom is a founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which was formed to save the local restaurants and bars affected by COVID-19 and the subsequent economic fallout. He is truly an example of what those with a high profile platform should be doing to lead the way, supporting those without a voice, and working for change. For more information, visit www.saverestaurants.com
The Jersey Tomato Co. partnered with the dynamic Colicchio for the brand’s 2020 relaunch, complete with new packaging featuring the notable Chef Colicchio’s face on every bottle. Tom joined The Jersey Tomato Co. serving as both a brand ambassador and culinary consultant to drive innovation in early 2020. The tomato sauce line offers Jersey tomato-based products which emphasize vine-ripened, garden-fresh taste and naturally healthful attributes. The brand is currently in over 1,400 retail stores nationwide, with flavor profiles available to consumers inclusive of Marinara, Tomato Basil, Spicy and the newest flavor to hit the shelves, Roasted Garlic. The Jersey Tomato Co. sauces are naturally low in sodium, with no fillers or additives resulting in a clean label product, plus they are all gluten free, Non-GMO, naturally low in sodium, vegan, certified Kosher, have no added sugars, no citric acid, and zero preservatives. Being born and raised in New Jersey, Colicchio was instantly drawn to the line.
We caught up with the notable chef to give us some insight on the partnership.
Bradley Cruise: What excited you about being a consultant for The Jersey Tomato Co., which of course now features your face on the bottle, cannot get more personal than this?
Tom Colicchio: I am thrilled to officially be on board with The Jersey Tomato Co. As a chef and proud Jersey Boy, JTC is the first sauce I’ve found with the careful balance of sweetness and acidity I strive for in my own home-cooked version.
Tell us about the recipes featured to our readers that you crafted in your home kitchen using the sauce?
The recipes I’ve created using JTC are intended to showcase the product’s versatility and recreate the flavors of my Elizabeth, NJ childhood for any home cook who wants twice the flavor in half the time.
What makes Jersey bred tomatoes so unique? (The JTC line exclusively uses Jersey bred tomatoes.)
New Jersey gets a lot of heat, and may be the butt of a lot of jokes, but we have this thing, this tomato, that nobody else has. And a lot of people don’t know about it, but we are proud of it. We grow these beefsteak tomatoes that no one else has, that we love.
The brand is also equally excited about the Colicchio partnership. Founder + CEO of Keen Growth Capital, Jerry Bello, the parent company of The Jersey Tomato Co, who co-hosted a dinner with Tom back in February to preview the partnership at Colicchio’s Riverpark, added, “We are proud to bring to market products made with tomatoes grown in New Jersey with a focus on taste, sweetness, freshness, health and innovation. By enlisting New Jersey native and renowned chef Tom Colicchio, we are delighted for the next chapter of this brand and what it will offer to consumers. There could not be a more perfect alignment. Colicchio’s refined palate, relatability, passion for food and skillful cooking will bring JTC to a new level of perfection.” The brand can be purchased at retailers such as Bristol Farms, Sprouts and Harris Teeter, with the full list online at www.thejerseytomatoco.com
Two of Colicchio’s custom created recipes utilizing the sauces include Seafood Cioppino Featuring ‘Spicy’ flavor and Pork Involtini Featuring ‘Roasted Garlic’ flavor.
Colicchio’s Seafood Cioppino
1 fennel bulb, chopped, fronds reserved
1 large leek, chopped (white and pale green parts)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp. fennel seed
Salt & pepper
1 lemon, zest peeled and julienned
1 lb mussels
8 sea scallops
12 large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 lb monkfish, trimmed and cut in chunks
½ cup white wine
25oz Jar The Jersey Tomato Co. Spicy Sauce
Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot medium heat. Add veggies and let them sweat (do not add color). When the veggies start to sizzle, turn down the heat.
Add fennel seed, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until veggies are softened and fragrant.
Add ¼ cup white wine.
Add clams, cover and steam until they open, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add mussels and lower heat to simmer until all have opened.
Add the scallops, monkfish and shrimp.
Add Spicy sauce, julienned lemon zest and juice of one lemon.
Allow to simmer until seafood is cooked.
Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and lemon juice.
Colicchio’s Pork Involtini
The new Roasted Garlic flavor features a delicious mix of garlic, olive oil, basil, tomatoes, sea salt and black pepper for a flavorful addition to any dish; an updated take on an old world classic, at only 40 calories per serving. The new recipe by Colicchio, “Pork Involtini,” highlights the 4th flavor to join the popular tomato sauce line.
8 slices pork loin, each about ¼ inch thick
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbs. olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 jar The Jersey Tomato Co. Roasted Garlic Sauce
On a work surface, lightly pound the pork loin slices until they are ¼ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine ¾ cup Pecorino and ¾ cup herbs. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the herb mixture over each pork slice and roll into a cylinder. Secure each pinwheel with toothpicks. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the flour and ¼ Pecorino in a pie plate. In a bowl whisk together 1 egg and yolk.
Coat the involtini in the flour & Pecorino. Dip in egg wash and dredge in breadcrumbs until entirely coated. Repeat until they are all coated, tapping off any excess flour.
In a large skillet, heat the oil until simmering. Add the Involtini and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 3 to 5 minutes. It can be done in batches to not crowd the pan.
After browning, transfer to an enamel pot or Dutch oven and deglaze the pot with chicken broth.
Add the tomato sauce and simmer, uncovered until the involtini are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the involtini to a plate, sprinkle with remaining herbs and serve.
Follow on social media @TomColicchio @TheJerseyTomatoCo