Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sauces 1:Curry Ketchup

Ketchup is tomato paste, sugar, vinegar and assorted various spices. Most commercial brands have replaced sugar with high/fructose corn syrup. I wanted to create my own spice blend and reduce the overall amount of sugar. I haven't perfected my recipe yet (I feel that the last batch had to much vinegar) so I won't yet post exact amounts.

Note of interest: Supposedly ketchup is more to a childs taste and mayo more to an adults. McDy's burgers are more ketchupy than burger Kings which are more mayo-y with the exception of the Angus burger.

In short:
Take tomato paste. (Either from a can or make it from scratch if you have a garden like me, see bottom for thos directions.)
add sugar. low amounts but I find that sugar is neccesary to make it 'taste' like ketchup. Strange whoever invented this.
add apple cider vinegar. small amounts.
I like to add the following spices. Curry (Red or just turmeric), small amount of garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper (powdered), lemon or lime juice. Keep in mind with the lemon and lime that you already have vinegar which is also acidic. You don't want to much of these two.

Boil for a bit. If the sauce is already thick add a little bit of water.
I think letting this set for a while in the fridge helps the flavor tremendously. When sampling the mix try to have the flavors a little less intense than you like as they will increase the first couple of days of sitting. Delicious!

The standard way to make tomato paste is to blanch the tomatoes, peel the skin and then cut it open and remove the 'guts'. Blend the tomatoes to a pasty consistency. This is rather time consuming and may yield a very watery paste that will require a lot of boiling to thicken.
If you don't mind the seeds, you might be interested in my method. Microwave the tomatoes until they 'pop' in a dish with a lid as the popping can cause quite a mess. The guts will spill out and you scoop the tomato, now cooked and mostly de-seeded into the blender. Keep the guts in case you need more liquid later on.