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RCP: Catsup

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Howie Hart

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RCP: Catsup

by Howie Hart » Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:46 pm

The following recipe is from an old book I have titled "The Joy of Making Your Own". I figure I'll combine a double batch of this as a substitute for the Catsup in Chef Carey's BBQ Sauce, which I have to make up for some ribs I'm making for a Labor Day picnic. I may even use the new pressure cooker. :wink:

CATSUP
This recipe makes a little less than 1 quart of catsup, depending on the size tomatoes you use. You will not need to bottle and process this amount, just pour it into a refrigerator container and keep it chilled.

Ingredients
¼ cup white or cider vinegar
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon, broken in small pieces
½ teaspoon whole cloves
½ teaspoon celery seed
6 large ripe tomatoes
½ cup water
¼ cup minced onion
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper

1. Measure the vinegar, cinnamon, cloves and celery seed into a saucepan and boil 1 minute. Remove them from the heat, pour into a custard cup or other container and set aside.
2. Cut the stems from the tomatoes and quarter them into a saucepan. Add the water and onion and heat to boiling. Stir with a wooden spoon to mash the tomatoes.
3. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 20 minutes.
4. Press through a sieve or food mill. If you do not mind chunky catsup with a few seeds, blend the catsup in a blender.
5. Return the puree to the saucepan, stir in the sugar, salt and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 30 to 45 minutes or until reduced to about Vt its original volume.
6. Strain the vinegar-spice mixture into the catsup and simmer another 10 to 30 minutes (depending on how thick you would like your catsup).
7. Remove from the heat and cool.
8. Store in the refrigerator in a clean container with a tight-fitting lid.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Max Hauser » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:18 am

Celery seed? cinnamon? cloves??

It doesn't look like the tomato catsup the fast food chains pass out in little packets with French fries, at all. (Or sell in 128-ounce institutional squeeze pouches -- for brevity, I omit a peripheral but novel story.)

I guess Howie you know about the evolved meaning of catsup/ketchup/ketsiap in US over the last couple of generations, if you have been looking at older cookbooks. It's one of those famous shifts of meaning. The recipe looks interesting, please report results.


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Avec une complaisance sans limites, M. le Baron Pichon a bien voulu mettre à ma disposition les trésors de sa bibliothèque ...

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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Howie Hart » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:04 am

Will do!
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Jenise » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:21 pm

Max and Howie, on my first trip to Vancouver, I had a snack of Bison Ribs with Homemade Catsup at the Rain City Grill on Denman St. I, not a ketchup fan at all, ordered it out of sheer curiosity for both, and it was a revelation of spice and tang. This was a delicious sauce, and it gave me my first view into the original creation that predated the bottled goop, which since it is ubiquitous and had been around all my life, I had never wondered about the origins of. This recipe looks like it would get to about the same place as the Rain City version.

Just thinking about it makes me want a batch of French Fries.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Max Hauser » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:07 pm

Many dipping sauces flatter fried potatoes. Hoisin, sweet-hot pepper sauces (both fresh chile type and specialty sauces like Pickapeppa, beloved of Jamaicans); steak sauces, especially the British H-P which resembles a thicker, sweeter Lea and Perrins; chutneys, horseradish sauces or seafood "cocktail" sauces (often "chili" tomato sauce blended with some horseradish), savory mayonnaise-based sauces (like blue-cheese salad dressing), and of course what makes Belgium famous for "French" fries: good fresh mayonnaise.

During my lifetime, US tomato catsup (or "ketchup") got sweeter, to where by the 1970s some form of sugar became the dominant ingredient. This is what certain classic French food writing means when characterizing US fondness for "sweet sauces." (Maybe its use on the de-facto French national dish, fried potatoes, made them sensitive.)

Reciprocal cross-reference: More on catsup history in footnote in current posting re Morrison Wood.

By the way I privately lobbied the much respected Frank Deis, so popular on other food fora, to post here. I don't think he has done so yet, but I answered a recent private request of his, to post on the wide subject of Macaroni and Cheese, so he owes. (the requirement for registration "approval" here might be off-putting. Were there only a way to bypass that, for known VIPs ...)
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Jenise » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:31 pm

Max Hauser wrote:Many dipping sauces flatter fried potatoes.


Agreed. Not long ago I had French Fries served me that had been drizzled with a balsmamic vinegar syrup: quite nice. That was in White Rock, Canada, and very likely an Italianated version of the famous Canadian dish, Poutine, which features gravy and cheese on fries. I have had exactly three versions of that. The other two, besides the above, were pendulum swings apart from vapid to sublime. The first had nothing more than a packaged gravy mix and wimpy cheddar on fried-from-frozen potatoes, but the second, in one of Whistler Mountain's best restaurants, was a a big bowl of skinny, twice-fried sticks of fresh potato drizzled with a delectable and absolutely correct veal demi-glace plus crumbled goat cheese and parsley. OOH LA LA. French fries as an art form? You can have it at Whistler.

Speaking of twice-fried, not to quibble with you (though you love being quibbled with, I can tell) but I'd say that's what makes Belgium famous for french fries (in fact, I believe the friers have three stages, not two). The mayonnaise is merely the most popular of the 100 or so sauces you can get with your fries. But then, I would have that view because on pain of death you couldn't get me to dip a french fry into mayonnaise. It looks like snot.

During my lifetime, US tomato catsup (or "ketchup") got sweeter


It's also become more glutinous, using corn syrup best as I can tell, and unpleasantly so, to eliminate separation and moreover, ensure the ease with which ketchup will exit a squeeze bottle and sit up in a bead, like caulk. Euw.

I'm sorry Frank would be put off for the need to register; you mention the Parker board, registration is required there, too, and I can tell you from expeience that Mr. Squires has a deadlier command of things than does our Robin. Unfortunately, it's absolutely neccessary these days, for without it you'd have to put up with posts from penis enlargers and other vermin who do not have our best interests at heart. There is no other motive, and everyone benefits.
Last edited by Jenise on Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Max Hauser » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:23 pm

I was only speculating about registration being an obstacle, I don't know that it's an issue at all. And (as a couple Usual Suspects quickly reminded me privately today) the spamming is indeed a terrible problem, made worse by automated crawlers and inadequate use of the guillotine.

Jenise wrote:[Ketchup has] become more glutinous, using corn syrup best as I can tell, and unpleasantly so, to eliminate separation and moreover, ensure the ease with which ketchup will exit a squeeze bottle and sit up in a bead, like caulk.

"Sit up in a bead, like caulk." THAT is good, Jenise. That is going into my Food Quotations file, along with many other things You Won't Find In Bartlett's (tm). From time to time I dip into it, as below.

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"... the Belgians, who are reputed to make the best french fries in the world, swear by horse fat." -- Russ Parsons, 2001 (ISBN 039596783X p. 12) [Russ, in Los angeles, has been writing books combining cooking and agricultural perspectives. Recommended! --MH]
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Jenise » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:58 pm

Max Hauser wrote:I was only speculating about registration being an obstacle, I don't know that it's an issue at all.

Good. Tell Frank to get his butt over here. :)

and as a couple Usual Suspects quickly reminded me privately today


We call them The Bawd Squad.

"Sit up in a bead, like caulk." THAT is good, Jenise. That is going into my Food Quotations file


{proud look}

Russ Parsons


Definitely one of the best food writers in the business.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Howie Hart » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:51 pm

Jenise wrote:Max and Howie, on my first trip to Vancouver, I had a snack of Bison Ribs with Homemade Catsup at the Rain City Grill on Denman St. I, not a ketchup fan at all, ordered it out of sheer curiosity for both, and it was a revelation of spice and tang. This was a delicious sauce, and it gave me my first view into the original creation that predated the bottled goop, which since it is ubiquitous and had been around all my life, I had never wondered about the origins of. This recipe looks like it would get to about the same place as the Rain City version.

Just thinking about it makes me want a batch of French Fries.
The recipe I posted is in the "Picked Foods" section of the book. I believe Catsup was originally a way to pickle, thus preserve, fresh tomatoes.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Max Hauser » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:59 pm

(Sorry about this slightly wider discussion, Howie, but it's convenient and does come from catsup. And it's viscous, and it flows.)

Jenise wrote:[Russ Parsons is] definitely one of the best food writers in the business.

I might ask him if he wants to post here also, though he's pretty loyal to eGullet. (Last email exchange I had, he was on his way to a radio interview by Terri Gross of NPR. I don't know if it aired yet.)

Jenise wrote:
Max Hauser wrote:... about registration being an obstacle, I don't know that it's an issue at all.

That said, registrations can still be an obstacle even if they're necessary. That you, for instance, know they're necessary and only for spam protection doesn't mean that the applicant knows that (unless you make it very clear).

Suppose (hypothetically of course) I prevailed on Russ Parsons (or Alice Waters or Paul Draper or Carlo Petrini) to post something apropos here, then unless they decided to hang out here, which I think improbable, I believe they'd be cool to the idea of submitting a registration and waiting a day or so for "approval" before posting anything. In practice then I'd likely just post for them. (I don't mean to argue against manually approved registration, only to acknowledge that it has costs along with benefits.)
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Stuart Yaniger » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:46 pm

But then, I would have that view because on pain of death you couldn't get me to dip a french fry into mayonnaise. It looks like snot.


I would disagree. Pus, not snot.

The balsamico idea sounds pretty cool- it's reminiscent of the malt vinegar dip used in England.

The interesting thing about catsup is the pseudoplastic rheology. It's a good illustration of thixotropy.

OT: hey, Max, you made me famous!
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Max Hauser » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:56 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:OT: hey, Max, you made me famous!

Happy to do so. Very pleased to meet you at last.

Were you referring to the first contributed review on amazon.com of the McCoy Parker biography, two years ago, available Here? Or to something else?

FYI Stuart, you have been for some time in the same Quotations File, Food Division, I mentioned to Jenise upthread. Here from a posting on another forum, same topic and same time as above (July 2005):

Woe unto anyone who dares question the new orthodoxy. Realities at issue need not even come into play. Stuart Yaniger, in McCoy's new Parker biography The Emperor of Wine, is quoted as learning on the Prodigy online service the unacceptability of questioning Parker’s ideas or methods. Following “dodge” answers from P. would arrive “thirty or forty or fifty emails from the Human Shield ... `how dare you imply the great man is anything but a paragon of honesty. Clearly you are a horrible person and how jealous you must be of the Great Bob.’ ” “Religious reactions” was Yaniger’s characterization. His experience of the Faithful is consistent with mine online for 20+ years, predating Prodigy.

Actually I have some experience with ideologists of other kinds, and the people who have harassed me on this exact topic online for years fit the model pretty well and would make good subjects for scholarly study. We should compare notes. Below, a passing comment by one famous student of ideologies per se. Offered with profound apologies to any reader disappointedly expecting catsup.

I cannot see any reason why anybody should work in the social sciences, and generally in the sciences of man, unless he honestly wants to explore the structure of reality. Ideologies, whether Positivist, or Marxist, or National Socialist, indulge in constructions that are intellectually not tenable. That raises the question of why people who otherwise are not quite stupid, and who have the secondary virtues of being honest in their daily affairs, indulge in intellectual dishonesty as soon as they touch [social] science. That ideology is a phenomenon of intellectual dishonesty is beyond a doubt, because the various ideologies after all have been submitted to criticism, and anybody who is willing to read the literature knows that they are not tenable, and why. If one adheres to them nevertheless, the prima facie assumption must be that he is intellectually dishonest. The overt phenomenon of intellectual dishonesty then raises the question of why a man will indulge in it.

-- Eric Voegelin (just after recalling his flight from the Gestapo in 1938).
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Stuart Yaniger » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:54 am

A man will indulge in it because it pays.

Keep your eyes open for the new George Tabor book. I think I've got a pithy quote or two in there, too. Pith, that's what we do around here. Especially after the wine.

Sorry for the OT. Back to catsup.
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Re: RCP: Catsup

by Howie Hart » Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:55 am

Well, I made a double batch of the catsup last night. It's pretty tasty, but takes a long time to cook down and thicken up. However, it's probably not worth the time, cost or trouble. The cloves add a nice kick though. I filled a wine bottle with it and used the rest to make Chef Carey's BBQ sauce. I could have bought ketchup at the supermarket for less than I paid for the tomatoes at the market. However, if I was growing tomatoes and had an over abundance, it would be a different story.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.

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