Have you ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point? In it he addresses the ketchup conundrum – the fact that mustards have evolved over the years, and yet no food company seems able to touch Heinz ketchup, which manages to satisfy all five of our senses of taste – “it began at the tip of the tongue, where our receptors for sweet and salty first appear, moved along the sides, where sour notes seem the strongest, then hit the back of the tongue, for umami and bitter, in one long crescendo.”
I still love ketchup – on hot dogs and eggs and mac & cheese and grilled cheese. And while I love the idea of homemade ketchup, it’s never quite the same as the stuff in the bottle. Which isn’t to say it’s not delicious, it’s just not the same thing – when it’s homemade, I know to expect something like a pureed sweet-sour tomato chutney. This year I’ve been on a bit of a salsa kick, and starting to get to know and love Sriracha, and so Joy inspired me to do a Sriracha ketchup. Sweet, sour and spicy for your summer dogs.
W has this thing going on when we’re out in Tofino – something we must have done years ago that stuck – after spending a good long time at the beach jumping waves and getting wet and sandy and cold, he likes to come back and hop immediately in the bath, and have someone bring him a hot dog with ketchup. 98% of his yearly quota of hot dogs is eaten in this manner, post-beach. (I’m sure most of us do the majority of our hot dog consuming during July and August.)
So, this Sriracha ketchup – it seems a waste to use canned tomatoes when fresh ones are so abundant at this time of year – if you want to swap fresh tomatoes, peel them if you like (cut a thin X in the bottom, blanch in boiling water, then dip in ice water and peel) and add a good big dollop of tomato paste to the mix.
olive or canola oil, for cooking
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can San Marzano-style tomatoes (whole, in puree)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider or white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Sriracha (or more to taste)
1 tsp. salt
Heat a drizzle of oil in a small pot set over medium-high heat and saute the onions for 4-5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, Sriracha and salt and bring to a simmer.
Cook, stirring when you think of it, for 45 minutes to an hour, until it thickens and looks like chunky ketchup. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot, or let cool and pour into a blender to puree until smooth. Transfer to jars and store in the fridge for up to a month, or freeze.
Makes about 3 cups.
August 22 2013 08:10 pm | preserves