It’s almost over, the canning year. Not that canning stock, making booze, and other preserving projects won’t continue, but the larder shelves are full. There are jars covering the dining room table. I’m measuring the space under the guest room bed. There’s just no more room.
In my beloved Gourmet Magazine, Ian Knauer’s recipes and articles always delighted me. He once had lunch with my friend Janet in Tepoztlan, Mexico, so I feel very familiar – on a first name basis, even, with Ian.
Food52 recently highlighted Ian’s “Genius” ribs – the photo alone made me crave ribs for days.
Because this was Ian’s recipe, I immediately trusted it, and began clattering through all the cupboards and recesses of the refrigerator for a counter full of additions to add to a pot full of tomatoes. Capers were a surprise, and I’ll admit I hesitated, but in the final product add something exquisitely salty, briny and subtle.
The recipe calls for hot sauce. Ian, in a tweet, said to use whatever was in the refrigerator. I pondered – Sriracha or Tabasco? I used Tabasco, and love the heat, but if I were cooking for kids, might use only 1/8 c., or omit it entirely, to make the ketchup more friendly.
Because I didn’t want any tomato seeds or skin in the end product, I started with a tomato sauce. Chop the tomatoes into a medium dice, crush them with a potato masher as they go into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.
Run the tomatoes through a fine disc food mill to remove the skins and seeds, return to the pot, add all the other ingredients, stir and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and get the ketchup simmering at a very slow rate. Do not cover. Stir from time to time until it gets quite thick, then stir constantly to avoid burning and sticking, until the consistency is right.
It’s a lazy day project and well worth the end result. I immediately roasted yukon gold fingerling potatoes. This ketchup deserved a perfect accompaniment.