ketchup

Turkey Burgers with Avocado Ketchup

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A long time ago I read that ketchup began in the far east as a kind of fish sauce and it was ages and ages later that some smartie decided to make it with tomatoes.

The rest, as they say, is history. When you say "ketchup," most people picture the thick, red, viscous condiment.

In my family we don't argue over what ketchup means. We don't even argue about what kind to buy, because even though I've cooked my own tomato ketchup from time to time, our brand is Heinz. 

But I do make other kinds of ketchup too. Plum ketchup, for example. They're sort of like smooth chutneys that go well with grilled chicken, beef, lamb and so on. 

So recently, now that it's outdoor grill season, I made avocado ketchup, which is the perfect condiment for turkey burgers. No cooking involved (except for the burgers).

Is it really just a simplified form of guacamole, pureed to a fare-thee-well?

Maybe. But I call it ketchup.

 

Turkey Burgers with Avocado Ketchup

 

  • 1 large, ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 medium scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium Serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, optional
  • 8 slices toasted bread
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced

 

Cut the avocado into chunks and place the pieces in a food processor. Add the tomatoes, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and some salt and pepper and process until thoroughly blended and uniform in color (mixture should have the consistency of ketchup). Set aside. Place the turkey, scallions, Serrano pepper, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and mix to combine the ingredients evenly. Shape the mixture into 4 burger patties. Grill the burgers on an outdoor grill OR heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the burgers for about 2 minutes per side or until crispy and cooked through. Place 4 slices of toasted bread on each of four plates. Place tomato slices over the bread. Top with the burgers. Top with equal amounts of the avocado ketchup. Cover with remaining toast slices.

 

Makes 4 servings

Basic Beef Stew and Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup

I don’t like ketchup.

Is that un-American?

Almost everyone else I know douses french fries with ketchup. They use it on hamburgers. Even hot dogs.

NONONO, hot dogs are supposed to get mustard!!

My husband Ed gets the ketchup out whenever I grill a steak, make pot roast or serve anything he doesn’t really love, like fish.

NONONO, you don’t splash ketchup on branzini!!

Do you?

A neighbor of mine poured ketchup over scrambled eggs and into his mother’s homemade chicken soup.

OHNO! Absolutely not.

During the Reagan administration the USDA declared ketchup a vegetable, suitable for school lunch.

WHAT??????????

Fortunately, that decision was later reversed.

Okay ketchup lovers, do your thing. Have ketchup on whatever you wish. I am not convinced.

Except I got this new kind recently. I will confess here that it was given to me by Traina Foods, who asked my stubborn, anti-ketchup self if I would try it. If they could convince me I suppose, it might be a winner.

It IS!

No, I still would not, IMHO, ruin homemade french fries with ketchup of any kind. And I wouldn’t use it for steak.

But this stuff is splendiferous with braised brisket or other kinds of pot roast, beef stew and grilled burgers. It’s got more of a tang than standard ketchup, so the taste is roasted-toasted and tomato-y, not sweet. It’s thicker than most other ketchups too.

If you see this in the stores, it’s worth a try. Here’s a good, warm-you-up winter Beef Stew recipe you can use it with:

Basic Beef Stew

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2-1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck roast

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1 cup red wine

3-4 carrots, cut into chunks

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Traina Foods sun dried tomato ketchup

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the flour, thyme, salt, pepper and paprika in a dish. Cut the meat into large chunks, about 2-inches. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture, coating all sides. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large, heat-proof casserole over medium-high heat. Using a few chunks at a time, cook the meat on all sides for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not crowd the pan. Remove each piece to a plate as it browns. When all the meat has browned, add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Pour in the wine. Return the meat to the pan. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 1-1/2 hours. Add the carrots and potatoes, cover the pan and cook for another hour or until the meat and vegetables are very tender. serve with sun dried tomato ketchup.

Makes 4 servings

Ketchup, the new condiment. Really?

Really. There were all sorts at New York’s Fancy Food Show a few weeks ago. Curry. Chili. Etc.

I guess ketchup will finally hit its stride and take a proud place among the other bottles of sauces, salsas, oils and chutneys that line the shelves of upscale food shops. Critics have always cast aspersions on the stuff but Americans never cared. We are unabashed ketchup lovers (during the Reagan administration the USDA declared ketchup a vegetable, suitable for school lunch. That decision was later reversed.).

My neighbor growing up splashed ketchup on the usual burgers and fries. Also scrambled eggs and chicken soup. Millions of Americans have found astonishing uses for the condiment.

Ketchup is not new of course. It was invented centuries ago, but it wasn’t tomato ketchup then. It started out as a salty fish-based sauce that English sailors brought back from their travels to China. Some clever cook then substituted mushrooms for the fish and the first vegetable ketchup was born. In the old days there was cranberry ketchup, and grape, walnut, cucumber and so on.

Tomato ketchup is a relative newcomer, invented sometime in the 1700s. But it wasn’t an iconic ingredient in the culinary establishment until the 19th century, when sugar became cheap and easy to process.

So now are we coming full circle?

I can’t say what’s in store for the store shelves. But if you’d like to take a crack at a new kind of ketchup here’s one for Plum Ketchup. You’re in luck — red plums are gloriously in season now so you’ll find plenty of them.

Plum Ketchup

4 pounds ripe red plums, pitted

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 teaspoons grund cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1-3/4 cups cider vinegar

Place the plums and onions in a large, non-reactive saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until the ingredients are tender. Drain. Return the cooked plums and onions to the pan. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, mustard, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and vinegar. Stir to blend ingredients. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick. Let cool. Keep refrigerated (you can bottle this using jars, lids, etc.; process according to manufacturer’s instructions). Makes about one quart

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Heinz Ketchup

fuckyeahcondiments : 
 
   Originally, ketchup was tomato free.   Ketchup apparently began in China, as a sauce called  ke-tsiap,  made from fish brine mixed with herbs. (pic via  flickr ) 
 
 Yes indeed and then all of a sudden someone used mushrooms instead of fish and the first vegetable ketchups were born. Along came cucumber ketchup, grape, walnut and lots of others. 
 I’ve made tomato ketchup (and other kinds of ketchup too). The tomato ketchup was really tasty, thick and tangy so I thought I would try it out on my father-in-law, who was a ketchup devotee. He said “this ketchup is delicious but it isn’t Heinz.” I said I knew that, but did he like it? And he said again “it’s delicious. It isn’t Heinz.” 
 To this day I don’t know whether he was just comparing the two or whether he liked Heinz — or mine — better. 
 But in case you’re at a Farmer’s market and can buy a load of tomatoes, (maybe this will have to wait till the end of summer), and you want ketchup that’s tasty, thick and tangy, try my recipe: 
 Ketchup 
 8 pounds tomatoes, quartered 
 4 medium onions, finely chopped 
 2 cups white vinegar 
 1/2 cup brown sugar 
 1/2 cup white sugar 
 2 teaspoons celery salt 
 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
 1 cinnamonstick 
 1 tablespoon ustard seed 
 2 dried hot chili peppers, optional 
 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 
 1 teaspoon whole cloves 
 Place the tomatoes and onions in a large, deep pot and bring to a boil over high heat. (Do not add water.) Lower the heat and simmer the vegetables for about 30 minutes or until they are soft. Strain the vegetables through a sieve or strainer extracting as much liquid as possible, and reserve the juices. Wash the pot and pour in the reserved juices. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, white sugar, celery salt, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Place the cinnamon stick, mustard seed, hot peppers, black peppercorns and whole cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth (tie it closed with kitchen string) or in a small muslin cooking bag. Place the bag of spices in the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the mixture is thick. Discard the spice bag. Pour into jars prepared for bottling (follow manufacturer’s instructions) or spoon into plastic containers and keep, covered, in the refrigerator. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts

fuckyeahcondiments:

Originally, ketchup was tomato free. Ketchup apparently began in China, as a sauce called ke-tsiap, made from fish brine mixed with herbs. (pic via flickr)

Yes indeed and then all of a sudden someone used mushrooms instead of fish and the first vegetable ketchups were born. Along came cucumber ketchup, grape, walnut and lots of others.

I’ve made tomato ketchup (and other kinds of ketchup too). The tomato ketchup was really tasty, thick and tangy so I thought I would try it out on my father-in-law, who was a ketchup devotee. He said “this ketchup is delicious but it isn’t Heinz.” I said I knew that, but did he like it? And he said again “it’s delicious. It isn’t Heinz.”

To this day I don’t know whether he was just comparing the two or whether he liked Heinz — or mine — better.

But in case you’re at a Farmer’s market and can buy a load of tomatoes, (maybe this will have to wait till the end of summer), and you want ketchup that’s tasty, thick and tangy, try my recipe:

Ketchup

8 pounds tomatoes, quartered

4 medium onions, finely chopped

2 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons celery salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cinnamonstick

1 tablespoon ustard seed

2 dried hot chili peppers, optional

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon whole cloves

Place the tomatoes and onions in a large, deep pot and bring to a boil over high heat. (Do not add water.) Lower the heat and simmer the vegetables for about 30 minutes or until they are soft. Strain the vegetables through a sieve or strainer extracting as much liquid as possible, and reserve the juices. Wash the pot and pour in the reserved juices. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, white sugar, celery salt, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Place the cinnamon stick, mustard seed, hot peppers, black peppercorns and whole cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth (tie it closed with kitchen string) or in a small muslin cooking bag. Place the bag of spices in the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the mixture is thick. Discard the spice bag. Pour into jars prepared for bottling (follow manufacturer’s instructions) or spoon into plastic containers and keep, covered, in the refrigerator. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts