I was so happy when I received my first blog assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. I’m new to the group, hosted by Amanda at Amanda’s Cookin’, and have been looking forward to this event and to meeting new bloggers. Amanda’s concept is simple. Each month participants are assigned a blog of a participating blogger and instructed to chose any recipe and write a post about it. Our assignment is a secret and isn’t revealed until the day we publish our posts. I was thrilled when learned that my assigned blog this month is The Urban Baker and I had a difficult time deciding which of Susan’s many wonderful recipes to choose. I first thought her Blueberry Crumb Cake would be a good choice, or perhaps decadent Chocolate Lava Cakes would be the way to go, but when I saw Susan’s recipe for Homemade Ketchup I knew I found what I was looking for. My family likes ketchup, a lot, and as we get into tomato season I had been thinking that I would like to try a homemade version of one of our favorite condiments. I’m very happy I chose this recipe because it has so much more flavor than the bottled stuff and is delicious with meatloaf and schnitzel. I served it with hashbrowns and eggs and everybody loved it. I bet you will love it too.
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1-1/2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- ⅛ teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2-1/4 pounds tomatoes, stem removed, chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 small hot chili peppers, stem and seeds removed, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- Combine cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, celery seeds, chili flakes and allspice in a layer of cheesecloth and tie into a little bundle.
- In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, sea salt, vinegar, sugar, onion, spice bundle and chopped chili peppers. Using a garlic press, squeeze the garlic into the saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, 35-45 minutes until tomatoes have broken up and onions are very soft.
- Puree the mixture in a blender. Press the mixture through a mesh strainer set over another saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 20-30 minutes. Taste for seasonings. You may want to add a little more salt or sugar.
- Let cool completely. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
I can’t say I won’t buy bottled ketchup in the future, but when I have vine ripened tomatoes and am looking for a delicious way to use them this is a recipe I will turn to. I used the same ingredients that Susan used in her recipe. I just assembled them a little differently. Although Susan strains her ingredientss after partial cooking I went ahead and peeled the tomatoes and removed some of the seeds before cooking. It just takes a minute to drop them into boiling water for a few seconds and then cool them off in a pan of ice water. When I tried to strain the mixture I found that my mesh strainer was too fine for the job and removed too much of the pulp so what I was left with was essentially tomato juice. Since I had removed the skins I just blended the mixture in my blender for a few more seconds and thought it was perfect. I like a little bit of texture to the sauce anyway. As Susan suggests, the seasoning can be adjusted after the mixture has cooked and at that time I added a little more sugar, salt and red pepper flakes because we like it a little spicy. No question about it, this recipe gets two thumbs up!
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