Yesterday’s tomato harvest was out of control! It was obvious that I had to do something with them, because another huge harvest will be ready this weekend. I decided to pull out the stops and do something I’ve only been talking about for the last few years. Make ketchup!
Here’s what you need, more or less….I forgot the Worcestershire and tomato paste in the photograph….
First, you have to get the skins off of the tomatoes. Score the bottoms with an “x”, using a sharp paring knife.
Put a small pan of water on to boil. When the water boils, carefully put in a few tomatoes at a time and blanch for a minute or two, until the skins begin to peel back.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and put immediately into an ice water bath to stop the cooking and to make them easier to handle. Continue blanching tomatoes in batches until they are done.
The skins should peel off easily. Go ahead and core the tomatoes too.
I weighed my tomatoes so I could make the recipe. I just like the picture. It’s colorful! Like my cheapo IKEA scale? It only cost $5 and really, it works great.
Put your tomatoes in your blender, whiz them up and set aside.
Pretty, huh? It’s not very red because I used a variety of different tomatoes.
Heat 4 Tbsp. olive oil (next time I’m using bacon fat) in your heavy-bottomed pot and saute a medium yellow onion until soft, about 6 minutes. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and continue to cook another minute.
Remember that tomato puree? Pour it in with the onion and garlic.
Add the tomato paste, vinegar and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until thick.
Return tomato mixture to your blender and whiz up again.
Pour into a bowl and add your seasonings–oyster sauce (“food for connoisseur”), Worcestershire, soy sauce, a dash of sriracha, and yes–anchovy paste.
Now, come on, don’t give me any grief about anchovy paste. Anchovies are good for you and they make food taste great. Trust me on this.
At this point, put your ketchup in the fridge and go over to Masullo and get a pizza and a bottle of prosecco. The blueberry and goat cheese tart is good too.
When you get back from dinner, the ketchup should be nice and cool and ready for bottles!
Doesn’t my ketchup look happy in my condiment door?
-adapted from “Umami Ketchup” in the September 2009 issue of Saveur-