Homemade ketchup is a cinch to make and takes only a few minutes of time. And the difference between store bought and from-scratch is extraordinary. The ketchup is a little spicy and full of flavor. And then when you use that as a base for barbecue sauce? You have an incredible barbecue sauce that really is finger-licking good. Oh, and it will clean out your sinuses too. So, top a nice grilled pork chop with the sauce and serve a jimaca slaw on the side and you'll have a healthy and gorgeous dinner that will bring everyone to the table.
A couple of years ago my grandmother told me something that changed my life. I was lamenting the gazillion pounds (no exaggeration*) of tomatoes that I had received as a gift, but after the first 10 pounds they felt like a practical joke. I couldn't process them fast enough to even feel like I was making a dent in the sheer poundage.
And my grandmother said: “You know, you can just freeze them.”
I was astounded. “Honest and for true? I can just...freeze them raw?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” my grandmother said. “You can't use them in a salad or anything like that, but they're great for sauces. And that way you have beautiful summer tomatoes - that are a little freezer burned – but still miles better than winter tomatoes.”
So, every summer I freeze pounds and pounds of tomatoes – just for a recipe like this one.
Homemade Ketchup Recipe
Yield 1 ½ cups
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (Because mine were frozen I just ran them under lukewarm water until they defrosted.)
1 dried chipotle pepper
½ cup of boiling water
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of allspice
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
¼ cup of brown sugar
Pour boiling water over chipotle pepper and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Blend the tomatoes together with the chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon of the cooking water. In a medium pot, saute the onion with olive oil, salt and pepper over medium-low heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mustard, allspice, vinegar, tomato paste and brown sugar. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Yields 1 ½ cups of sauce.
1 ½ cups of apple vinegar
¾ cup of homemade ketchup
1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of pickled jalapenos, diced
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat. The sauce will be reduced by half. Remove from heat.
Grilled Spice Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe
4 boneless pork chops
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of chipotle powder
1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Preheat grill. Mix the olive oil and spices together on a paper plate. Coat the pork chops all over with the olive oil/spice mixture. Grill pork on each side for approximately 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 150. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
½ of a jicama
2 carrots, shredded
2 scallions, chopped
½ of a red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
Cut the jicama in half and peel the skin off. Shred the jicama with a box grater or in a food processor. Combine the jicama, carrots, scallions and red pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, dijon, pepper and salt. Pour this vinaigrette over the slaw and refrigerate for 1 hour, to let the flavors meld.
Serve the pork chops with barbecue sauce and slaw.
*Ok, I didn't literally have a gazillion pounds of tomatoes. But I had an awful lot of them. Boxes and boxes stacked on top of the kitchen table as a gift from my father-in-law's garden. Just to clarify, I knew what I was getting into when he asked if we wanted “some” tomatoes. The man has a green thumb, and must grow twice his body weight in cherry tomatoes each summer. But, there's just no way that I can say “no” to more tomatoes than I know what to do with. I. Just. Can't. Say. No.
(© Photos by Launie Kettler)