Homemade ketchup lends a spicy sweet goodness to many meals. Knowing how to make your own ketchup can come in handy. For example, the gourmet cook may want to prepare her own ketchup, or catsup, to be certain of its quality for her summer picnic guests. Or, the gardener may use a ketchup recipe to take care of those many end-of-season tomatoes.
Basic Ketchup Ingredients
Apple cider vinegar
Spice bag: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, cayenne pepper, paprika, celery seed, mustard seed, whole allspice
Lemon juice or ascorbic acid
Sweet red pepper
Sugar or honey
Canning salt (non-iodized pure salt)
Cheesecloth or small squares of cotton cloth
Basic Ketchup Equipment
A stainless steel or enamel pan is a must. The acid in the tomatoes and the vinegar will corrode and pit the surface of an aluminum pan. It can also cause the ketchup to turn brown.
Stainless steel or wooden spoons with long handles
A food mill or food processor
Half-pint or pint canning jars
Two-piece canning lids and rings
A water bath boiler with rack and lid
How to Make a Spice Bag
Tie the spices in a piece of cheesecloth or smooth white cotton, like old pillowcase cloth. Cut a square of cotton cloth (4 x 4 inches). Place the spices in the center, tear off a short strip of the cloth and tie the bag. Be certain it is tied tightly in a double knot.
Ketchup Recipe Number 1
This recipe is best for canning and makes three pints.
Ingredients You Will Need:
4 quarts ripe tomatoes (about 25 large tomatoes) peeled
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 ½ teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 ½ cups vinegar
Combine tomatoes and onions in a stainless steel or enamel cooking pot. Cook until tender. Cool slightly and puree in a food mill or food processor. Return to saucepan, and cook until thickened and reduced in volume by half.
Tie the spices in a cheesecloth bag, and add this to tomatoes along with sugar, salt, and paprika. Simmer 25 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add vinegar, and simmer until ketchup is the thickness you prefer. Remove the spice bag, and keep stirring.
Ladle into hot jars leaving ¼-inch headspace. Cap with two-piece lids. Tighten rings, and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Remove jars from the boiling water, and cool on a dish towel.
Catsup Recipe Number 2
This recipe is good for serving with a picnic meal and makes three half-pints.
Ingredients You Will Need:
5 quarts tomatoes skinned and cut in chunks
1 ½ cups chopped onion
2 sticks cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey or sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons paprika
Dash of cayenne red pepper
Simmer tomatoes and onion for 30 minutes. Put through a food mill, or puree in a food processor. Pour back into pan, and continue cooking until the sauce is reduced to half its volume. Stir to prevent sticking and scorching.
Tie the cinnamon sticks, garlic and cloves in a cheesecloth or cotton bag. Tie knot carefully.
In another saucepan, measure the vinegar. Add the spice bag. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove the spice bag. Add the spiced vinegar, honey, lemon juice, paprika and cayenne pepper to the tomatoes. Boil and stir constantly about 35 minutes to thicken. Cool and store in an airtight container a jar or plastic tub.
To can, pour into canning jars. Adjust lids and rings and water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from canner and cool.
Mango salsa recipes go well with chips at lunch or grilled fish at dinner. They are also great with pork chops and in salads or mixed in with rice. By adding apples or other fresh fruit, such as pineapple, avocado, oranges or a little bit of coconut, you can create a taste that is reminiscent of the tropics.
Home made salsa has been a favorite for generations. Many families have a special family recipe that has been handed down to each family and they've continued on with the tradition of making their own salsa.
Born and raised in southern Arizona, I developed a sense of what is considered good Mexican food at an early age. My mother, especially, was important in this development as she was one of the finest Mexican cooks I had ever known.