Anyone can make a burger.
To really impress your Labor Day BBQ guests, serve this homemade ketchup from local food writer Vanessa Barrington’s new cookbook, D.I.Y. Delicious. (Fancy condiments are the new jam, after all).
If you want to take it up a notch, so to speak, use the ketchup as a base for Barrington’s zingy barbecue sauce. She slathers it on Texas-style brisket; we think it adds kick to any meat or veggie.
Makes almost two cups
2 28-oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes or 3 lbs. fresh Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
½ medium yellow onion, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
½ c. cider vinegar
¼ c. sugar
1 2- to 3-inch stick cinnamon
2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. whole cloves
½ tsp. celery seeds
6 black peppercorns
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
½ tsp. salt
1. Put the tomatoes and their juices in a blender. Add onion and garlic and blend until smooth. Pour mixture through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon. Discard (or compost) the solids.
2. In a large pot over medium-low heat, bring tomato mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half and beginning to thicken (about an hour).
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar, turn off heat, and let sit while tomatoes continue to reduce.
4. When tomatoes are reduced by half, strain the spice-infused vinegar into the tomatoes; discard the spices. Simmer, stirring often, until thick (20-30 minutes). Taste for salt and spice; adjust to your liking.
5. Transfer to a jar and seal. The ketchup will keep, refrigerated, for two to three months.
Makes about one cup
¾ c. Real Ketchup
½ c. apple cider vinegar
¼ c. lightly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. In a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and flavors are blended (about 10 minutes).
D.I.Y. Delicious is available online at chroniclebooks.com, $25.
Photo: Chispita_666 / Flickr
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