Ketchup is a cornerstone of the American pantry. This condiment, with its familiar, sweet tang and cheerful red color is synonymous with hamburgers and hot dogs, French fries, and the comforts of home. Kids love ketchup for its amiable flavor--bonus if they get to squeeze the bottle--but as we get into our adulthood and our palates mature, we look for other things to put on our food. Something spicy, something tart, or with some smoky depth. We often leave ketchup behind.
It doesn't have to be this way. Ketchup can grow up right alongside you, and give savory, pleasing flavor to even the most sophisticated palates. We're here to introduce you to adult-style ketchup.
We started with whole peeled tomatoes and tomato paste; the whole tomatoes give vibrant freshness, while tomato paste is concentrated and delivers a rich, tomato-y punch. But ketchup is more than just tomatoes. A litany of spices are adrift in our condiment; Cayenne Chile Powder and Ground Yellow Mustard add a little “zip,” Ground Allspice and Organic Bay Leaves give the sauce depth, and the light brown sugar and Granulated Molasses give complex, savory sweetness. Our tomatoes are cooked with some aromatics like softened onion, ginger, and garlic, cooked with Ground Mustard, Ground Jamaican Allspice, and Cayenne Chile Powder. We used spices rather than herbs because spices tend to get more fragrant and bring out more flavor by getting heated, where herbs tend to get lost if they’re cooked too long.
Once you have a delicious base, you can dress it up with any number of seasonings and spin your ketchup into a new creation. Our taste testers couldn't decided if they liked Curry Mango, Chipotle Cumin, and Chili Lime ketchup best. The great news is that you could make one batch of the base and divide it into thirds so you could try all the different versions; just downsize the spices so you don't end up with overpowering flavors.
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups onion, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger root, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Ground Yellow Mustard
- ½ teaspoon Ground Allspice
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne Chile Powder
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2-28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 Organic Bay Leaves
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Granulated Molasses
- Kosher Salt to taste
- In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add minced onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, Ground Yellow Mustard, Ground Allspice, and Cayenne Chile Powder. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes, and tomato paste and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
- Let mixture cool for a few minutes. In a food processor, puree mixture in batches. Add Organic Bay Leaves, light brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, and salt to taste. Place mixture back in pot, and bring to a simmer. Reduce temperature to low, and cook about 1 hour, or until desired consistency. Remove Bay Leaves and let cool. The ketchup will keep for about 2 weeks refrigerated.