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Save vs. Splurge: Fancy Ketchups

Alternative: Jazzing Up Store Brands

To feed a connoisseur's taste on a smaller budget, consider making your own gourmet ketchups from store-bought brands. Start with one cup of plain ketchup and a few basic recipes. Experiment with ingredients and amounts to find the perfect blend.

  • Fruited ketchup: Stir in a few tablespoon of fruit preserves.
  • Herbed ketchup: Add a half-teaspoon of dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary and fennel) or French herbs (parsley, savory, marjoram, tarragon and chives).
  • Thousand Islands ketchup: Blend in 1/4 cup mayonnaise and a tablespoon sweet pickle relish.
  • Sweet-and-sour ketchup: Mix in a few tablespoons pineapple juice, a squirt of mustard and a shake of ground ginger.
  • Cocktail Sauce Ketchup: Add a few tablespoons each of horseradish and lemon juice, plus a dash of hot sauce.
  • Barbecue sauce ketchup: Blend in a tablespoon of honey or molasses, a tablespoon of finely chopped onion, 1/8 teaspoon of minced garlic, and a dash of liquid smoke.
  • Cajun/Creole ketchup: Add a half-teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (cayenne and black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika) or Creole seasoning (Cajun seasoning plus oregano, basil and thyme).

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