Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quest for Condiments: Paleo Ketchup: Recipe Adapted from Paleo Perfectly Sloppy Joes

When I made the Sloppy Joes from Paleo Perfectly, one of my first thoughts was how much like real ketchup the sauce tasted for that recipe.  I wondered if the entire cooking process contributed to that flavor or whether I could just take out the sauce ingredients, simmer them a bit and have a great "Heinz" tasting ketchup to end my quest for paleo ketchup all together. 

I basically used all of the spices and tomato products from the Sloppy Joe's and omitted the honey.  For convenience, here is what I used: 

15 oz   Tomato Sauce
6 oz     Tomato Paste
4 T       Apple Cider Vinegar
2 t        Garlic Powder
1 t        Onion Powder
Pinch of Cloves
1/4 t     All Spice
3 t        Sea Salt
1 t        Paprika
1/2 t    Black Pepper
1/2 t    Dry Mustard
1/4 t    Chili Powder
1 T       Balsamic Vinegar
1 T       Coconut Aminos.

I added all of the ingredients to a small sauce pan, perhaps too small (1.5 quart).  I brought the ketchup to a simmer and then turned the burner down to low for 20 minutes stirring occasionally .  

Once it was done cooking, I poured the sauce in a mason jar with the help of a canning funnel.  The texture was already pretty commercial ketchup like.

I put the jar in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors meld.  

The Condensed Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  My quest for paleo ketchup has ended!  This ketchup has that Heinz ketchup flavor I grew up with.  I see no need absent a specific request to continue my search any longer.  If you've been looking for a good Heinz-like paleo ketchup, give this one a try.  
Second Stop on the Quest:  Grilled Tomato Ketchup from Primal Cuisine

Shortly after posting my first review in my quest for paleo ketchup, Pauli Halstead commented on my google+ page that she had a good ketchup recipe in her book Primal Cuisine, Cooking for the Paleo Diet.  I dont' have her book, but thankfully, an excerpt of the book with the ketchup recipe can be found here

I gathered the ingredients.  

I decided to broil the vegetables rather than grill them as I figured most everyone will have access to an oven and maybe not a grill.  The recipe lists many alternative ingredients.  I used the first in the list wherever an alternative was offered figuring that the first would be the preferred ingredient.  I opted against using cilantro as that doesn't sound like the ketchup I'm looking for.  

I brushed the vegetables in sesame oil and broiled them until they had charred.  My sesame oil was probably not the "cold-pressed" that she calls for but its what I had.  Once charred, I put them into the food processor and processed until it was fairly smooth.  

I put it into a storage container and refrigerated it overnight.  It took me a total of just under 27 minutes to prepare this ketchup recipe. 

The Condensed Paleo Review:  Meh for the purposes of my quest, but Thumbs up as a general condiment.   Before refrigerating, I took a quick taste and was shocked that it tasted more like the ketchup than I expected it to based on how it looked which was not very ketchup like.  After a night in the refrigerator, it was thick and the flavor was very close to what I recognize as ketchup, but the texture just isn't right.  Its not spicy despite the jalapeƱo.   I don't think processing it more would help and I think its the onion that prevents it from getting truly smooth.  It reminds me of my experience making barbecue sauce.  While this recipe tasted better than my first stop on my quest, my quest cannot end here.  While this sauce doesn't fulfill my ketchup quest, it can be a tasty accompaniment for meats if you're looking for something a little different.   

The first stop in the quest...

And so it begins, my quest for paleo ketchup.  A few months ago, I mentioned that I was going to try start testing condiment recipes to fill flavor gaps that I have been missing since adopting a paleo diet.  Ketchup is a huge flavor gap for me.  

As most of the recipes I've found for paleo ketchup are pretty short, so I'll update this post as I go along.  Of course, if I find a really good one and this quest can come to an end, that recipe will get its own post.  Without further ado, the first recipe in my quest.

Recipe #1 Simple Ketchup

This recipe for "Simple Ketchup" is from The Paleo Lifestyle Diet.  As usual, I started by gathering my ingredients.  

Simple pretty much says it all.  You basically measure out all of your spices, combine everything, and refrigerate it overnight.  I started taking pictures of all this but decided it would be pretty boring to look at.

I mixed my ingredients in a storage container so it could go straight into the refrigerator.  

Here is the completed ketchup.  

The Condensed Paleo Review:  Meh.  You should be able to find all of the ingredients for this recipe at your "big box" grocery store.  It's super easy to mix up.  The flavor for me was just not right.  I need to spend some time trying to figure out exactly which spice is out of proportion as most ketchup recipes have some variation of these same spices.  The quest continues.  

Do you have any ketchup recipes that I should include in my quest?  Give me your suggestions in the comments or through the recipe suggestion widget.  

Blog Note:  I've actually had this post in my queue for a while and haven't wanted to post it as I fear some might find it boring.  Well, every quest has to start somewhere and at least I think ketchup is important!  I'm have a pretty busy week non-blog wise, so today seemed to be the right time to publish it.  If this is your first time to the blog, take a look at some other main dish posts.  I can't believe I've already posted over 70 recipe reviews since last July and most are really good recipes.  I try to have at least one main dish a week.  I've got a great post with a recipe from Practical Paleo in the works for Friday.  Stay tuned!