Save vs. Splurge: Fancy Ketchups

DIY: the Gourmet Ketchup Kitchen
No one said you can't have fancy ketchup for breakfast.
No one said you can't have fancy ketchup for breakfast.

If you're an inventive home chef, you might go a step further and make your own ketchup from scratch. A simple recipe looks something like this:

  • 1 cup plain tomato sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each onion powder, dry mustard and cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix well and store in the refrigerator.

You can customize homemade ketchup, too. For a sweeter taste, add finely chopped or grated bell peppers or Vidalia onions. For something a bit hotter, add chile peppers or hot spices like ginger, cayenne pepper and allspice.

To bring out more complex flavors, make cooked ketchup. Start with whole tomatoes seeded and peeled, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes. This can be refrigerated or processed in jars. If you're really impressed, write down the recipe. Someday, your ketchup could be the newest addition to the local gourmet shop or farmers market.

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