Monday, October 15, 2012

Ketchup Mix

There's always that one food you run out of but keep forgetting to buy every time you go shopping and for us lately that's been ketchup. One day I REALLY needed ketchup for my grilled cheese, but the baby was sleeping and I was home alone with no car. I knew I had to make do with what was in the house.

I looked at dozens of ketchup recipes and did 3 different test runs to get it just right. It's not exactly Heinz (if it were someone would probably have to kill me), but I have tasted and tasted until I've got it close enough.

Ketchup Mix (single use)

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch cloves
pinch allspice

Big Batch (makes about 8 uses)

1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice

If you're making a 'single use' batch you should use brown sugar, as it will give that hint of molasses taste that's in commercial ketchup. I wouldn't suggest it for the big batch though as brown sugar tends to clump when stored over time. White sugar will also taste fine.

What else you'll need

1/3 cup hot water
1 can tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar

Combine 2 1/2 tablespoons of mix with water and stir well, then add vinegar and tomato paste. The hot water will dissolve everything and prevent lumpy, grainy ketchup.

The end result is so good that I might just switch to homemade. It's SO much cheaper to make your own and this way you know there isn't any MSG in it. It certainly did the trick for my grilled cheese...

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