Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ketchup and relish - why not?

If pickling cucumbers, might as well make ketchup and relish too. I’ll be ready for a gourmet barbecue when the pickles are finally ready!

I happened upon an interesting relish recipe in this month’s Food and Wine and decided to give it a try along with Ball’s classic ketchup recipe. The former required a lot of chopping but was otherwise simple. I made quick work of the latter by using Pomi chopped tomatoes instead of peeling and chopping my own, an effort I don’t think pays off since canned tomatoes are often more flavorful and consistent than ones that can be found in the grocery on an average day (and let’s face it – boiling and peeling tomatoes is a pain).

Both recipes require aging in jars once canned but thankfully not as long as the pickles so I’ve been able to enjoy them already. The relish is sweet, crisp and flavorful. The ketchup is a classic tomato ketchup that’s more complex and caramel-y than our friend Heinz.

I’m planning on making some barbecue gift bags with the pickles, relish and ketchup and found some adorable tomato squeeze bottles to put the ketchup in once opened. Truth be told, finding the squeeze bottles was the inspiration behind making the ketchup. They were just too cute to pass up!

Chow chow (as printed in Food and Wine magazine)
(makes 6 quarts)

4 pounds green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 pounds red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 pounds green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 pounds sweet onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
One 3 1/4-pound head of green cabbage, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup kosher salt
6 cups sugar
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon celery seeds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

In a very large bowl, toss the bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and cabbage with the salt; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Drain the vegetables, discarding the liquid. In a large, heavy pot, bring the sugar, vinegar and water to a boil. Add the mustard seeds, dry mustard, crushed red pepper, celery seeds, ginger and turmeric and stir well. Add the drained vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the relish is thick and saucy, about 1 hour. Pack the chow chow into 6 hot 1-quart canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top, and close with the lids and rings.

To process, simmer the jars at 180° for 30 minutes and monitor the water temperature with a thermometer. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before serving, to allow the flavors to meld; store unopened for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.

Tomato ketchup (Ball Blue Book of Preserving)
(yield: about 3 pints)

4 quarts chopped, peeled, cored tomatoes (about 24 large)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
½ cup chopped sweet red pepper (about ½ medium)
1 ½ teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 ½ cups vinegar

Combine tomatoes, onion, and pepper in a large saucepot. Cook until tomatoes are tender. Purée using a food processor or food mill. Cook purée rapidly until thick and reduced by one-half. Tie whole spices in a spice bag. Add spice bag, sugar, salt and paprika to tomato mixture. Simmer 25 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove spice bag. Ladle hot ketchup into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Anonymous said...

Award-winning photo. Who knew there's cinnamon in ketchup?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a huge amount of work in the kitchen.Your photo is mouth watering. Both your ketchup & relish sound delicious. You're going to have one great barbeque!

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