Hot Dog!: Ketchup and Mustard

You might have tried to avoid it, but sooner or later during the summer we will almost all be faced with the option of a hot dog as part of a meal. You may be surprised to find that I really enjoy hot dogs.  As I have said many times here, moderation is the key.  Enjoy what you like... just don't over-indulge. If nothing else, you cannot dismiss its convenience even if it forgoes some nutritional value.

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This month is National Hot Dog month.  Grilled, boiled or otherwise prepared, the frankfurter has gotten itself deeply rooted into American culture.  Hot dogs are served up many ways.  Although toppings may vary, there are two that make it to nearly every picnic table.  So while we celebrate the dog, I am devoting this post to making ketchup and mustard. 

There is no magic to making ketchup or mustard.  In fact, I am not sure that there is a significant cost savings.  What I do know is that making it at home gives you control of the ingredients.  You can imitate the mass-produced version or, with just a few adjustments, make a more adult version.

This is a perfect opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen.  Cooking with kids is such an important part of their childhood.  It teaches them about food, food safety, diet and nutrition, math, science, and much more.  It bonds and creates memories that last a lifetime.  These two recipes are simple and illustrate that just about any food you can purchase at the store can be made in your kitchen.

savour... valuable lessons

Get the rest after the jump...

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Ketchup and mustard

Before you start:

This ketchup includes many spices which are in the store-bought kind.  Some are more pronounced in the flavor of this ketchup.  You may prefer to dial back some of the spices.

You could certainly make this by cooking your own tomatoes first or using some that you have canned already.  We have cut that step out here.

Add, change, delete any spices you wish.  For ketchup, you may want to add some red pepper flakes to spice it up.  You might enjoy mustard with just a little horseradish.

Ketchup

The ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

16 oz tomato sauce (two small cans)

The method:

  1. Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Place onion in sauce pan and cook over medium low heat for 6-8 minutes (until soft and translucent)
  3. Add sugar and spices.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens (2-4 min)
  5. Stir in tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium low again.
  6. Simmer mixture until very thick (around 20 minutes).
  7. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a blender.
  8. Blend until smooth.

Mustard

The ingredients:

4 tablespoons dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

pinch of garlic powder

pinch of paprika

1/4 cup of water

3 tablespoon white vinegar

The method:

  1. Place all dry ingredients in small saucepan.
  2. Slowly pour in water and vinegar while whisking vigorously.
  3. Continue whisking until smooth over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down to low and allow mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir frequently.
  6. Remove from heat and allow it to cool uncovered for 1 minute.
  7. Cover with lid and allow to cool completely.
  8. Store in refrigerator.