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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Home Made Ketchup Made Easy.

Fresh out of the pot and delicious.
Hey, it's summer right now, and it's time to grill and barbecue (yes, there is a difference) all over. Ketchup is one of the main condiments of summer, whether on a burger or hot dog or in your secret home made BBQ sauce.

Thing is,  I'm not a big fan of using commercial ketchup in something I use on my BBQ.... so I came up with something that is easy, uses ingredients that are inexpensive and for the most part already in your home. It keeps well in the fridge and makes an even better base for any tomato based sauce you can dream up. Give it a go!

You'll need:
1 796ml (26oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp Kosher salt (makes a difference, trust me)
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. celery seed, crushed to powder in a mortar or celery salt
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Keep on hand: 1 box (liter) vegetable stock

Heat a small pot at medium low. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, and vinegars. As they heat, add the remaining ingredients. Simmer until thickened, adjusting consistency with vegetable stock if needed.

Once desired consistency is achieved, take it off the heat and let it cool. Use right away or store in airtight container in fridge for up to two weeks. Can also be frozen (useful to have a vacuum sealer at this point.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Creole Seasoning.

Fresh made, right in my kitchen.

Creole seasoning is the sweet sister to Cajun seasoning. They both have their roots in Louisiana's best recipes, but unlike the raw spiciness of Cajun seasoning, Creole also adds a multitude of herbs that give it a multidimensional flavor. I love to use it in my dirty rice and jambalaya. It also keeps  for several months in an airtight container.

(Now, while this recipe works, I replaced most of the cayenne with chipotle and Old Bay. Some in my home can't do all the heat.)

You'll need:
10 tbsp. paprika
  4 tbsp. onion powder
  4 tbsp. garlic powder
  4 tbsp. dried basil
  4 tbsp. dried oregano
  4 tbsp. sea salt
  1 tbsp. dried thyme
  1 tbsp. dried crushed rosemary ( I use a mortar and pestle)
  2 tsp.   black pepper
  2 tsp.   white pepper
  1 tsp.   cayenne pepper
          -- OR --
  1 tsp.   chipotle powder
  1 tsp.   Old Bay Seasoning
1 dash   cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk  until completely mixed. Use right away or store until that ol' Creole hunger comes a'knockin'!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Old School Hot Dog Chili Sauce.

One of the best things to ever happen to a hot dog. Mine, sans mustard.

Hot dogs. Almost as much an American pastime as baseball. Every city has their own way of making them their own, but they all have one option in common: chili. Every chili is as different as the city in which they are created.

But what if you can't get to Boston, Montreal, Cincinnati, New York, or Chicago? Well, some people buy it pre-made (canned.) Me? Not an option, and not just because they don't sell it here. It's too easy to make yourself!

The recipe I came up with is a mix of several good sauces, along with my own touch. It's simple, I love it, and I'm sure you will too!

You'll need:
1 lb, ground beef
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion or 1 shallot, very finely chopped
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
2-3 tsp your favorite hot sauce (best choice I found - Tobasco or Tapatio)
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp kosher salt

beef stock or broth on hand (1 ltr. box)
(all above measures are subjective - feel free to adjust to your desire.)

Put a little oil in a pot and saute the onion/shallot at low - medium heat until slightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and brown, stirring to break it down as it cooks.

Once sufficiently browned, add the crushed tomatoes and dry ingredients. If it seems too thick, add some stock - it only adds to the flavor. Add your hot sauce to taste.

Let it simmer on low heat, thinning it if it gets too thick too soon. Taste as you go, add stuff if you want - I do recommend chipotle powder. A little more salt doesn't hurt, either. Once it's thick, it's ready!