Friday, September 04, 2015

The Condiments We All Love!

Everyone has a condiment they adore on just about anything? Although what if I mention that you can easily prepare your own homemade versions that are full of flavor as well as healthier then any store bought brand. Well you now have the opportunity with Jessica Harian cookbook "Homemade Condiments" where she shares plenty of innovative recipes that are developed with fresh as well as natural ingredients.Just think about it? ketchup,mustard,mayo,
salsa,BBQ sauce, the list goes on.
So for starters,we have a chapter dedicated to a very popular condiment that is a favorite on burgers,hot dogs,fries and anything one desires.The classic ketchup is a tomato based sauce that includes a variety of flavorful versions.This time we have a homemade version of the classic.

 Making fresh tomato ketchup from scratch is surprisingly simple,especially when you have helpful, guided directions.The recipe is also pretty inexpensive and creates enough ketchup to enjoy for a up to a month. However with this sauce it does acquire extensive prep and will be time consuming.So it's certainly a recipe that can take a few hours to prepare,although the duration is well worth the reward in experiencing this new flavor.

The classic fresh tomato ketchup is entirely different from the store bought.This is where you can truly enjoy the vibrant flavor and sweetness of the Roma tomato.This version is healthy and is not overly salty or syrupy sweet.This sauce is thick and smooth along with a light seasoning of a variety of spices.It is layered with flavor and the longer it infuses the better it tastes.

So in the end the homemade and store bought differ in many ways such as color,texture,flavor and ingredients.Its almost hard to compare them since I love both of them for their differences.Nevertheless its all about what you like anyways.You may favor the healthier alternative with the natural tomato flavor or you may not?. For me,I love them both for their own unique attributes.

So I give this recipe a two thumbs up! For a healthy option that is full of flavor,along with a straight forward recipe that is unique .You must try it for yourself.

See You Next Time.....Where we try out BBQ sauces!!

Fresh Tomato Ketchup

6 pounds Plum or Roma tomatoes
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Brought a large pot of water to a boil and filled a large bowl with cold water and ice.

Prepared the tomatoes while the water was heating.Used a paring knife to cut out the cores and cut an X in the skin on the bottoms of each. 

In batches, I added the tomatoes to the boiling water for 1 minute and quickly plunged them in the ice bath for 1 minute. 

When the tomatoes were cool enough to handle the peels easily came off.Then I quartered the tomatoes and removed the seeds and pulp.Kept the extras in a bowl to use towards a homemade pasta sauce.

Then I placed the tomatoes in a large pot,then proceeded to add the cider vinegar,chopped onions,brown sugar and celery seeds. Then I brought it to a simmer over medium heat and then reduced it to medium low and let simmer,uncovered,stirring occasionally,until mixture reduced to on quarter of the original volume,about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.Then I removed it from the heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

With my food mill with a medium disc over a large glass bowl.I passed the tomato mixture through the mill.Saving any solids that didn't pass through the sieve to my extra bowl for pasta sauce.

Then I poured the tomato liquid into a medium saucepan over medium heat.Added the cinnamon,allspice,cloves and salt.

Brought to a simmer over medium heat and then reduced the heat to low and let simmer,uncovered and stirring occasionally for 30 minutes to 1 hour.Until reduced by half, while thick and dark red. Then I let the mixture cool and spooned into a sterilized glass jar.Keeping up to 4 weeks in a refrigerator.

Tip :Its also possible to can this ketchup for a longer shelf life and refrigerate once opened!

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