I looked at the ingredients on the jar of ‘cocktail sauce’ in our refrigerator and was shocked to see that the first ingredient was corn syrup. Yep! No wonder it always tasted so sweet to me, and then further down the list was sugar and then molasses! Funny thing, the label said something about enjoying the ‘sweetness of the tomatoes’ – I don’t think so.
First I groaned, then I laughed, and then I vowed to make my own, where organic tomatoes actually were the first ingredient and there was no added sweetener of any kind. Most all of the recipes I found on the web started with catsup – nope – too sweet and too salty for my taste (a sure sign that the ‘lacking’ taste of tomatoes needs disguising).
I found one non-catsup recipe on the web for inspiration, and here is my own version. Easy, easy, easy, and finger-lickin’ delicious! Of course I used our own garlic (Purple Italian in this case, one of the longer-storing hard neck varieties).
- 1-6 oz. can organic tomato paste
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish (I need to plant my own next year in a spot where it can come up again and again)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar (I added 1 additional TBSP. at the end for a bit more tang to my taste and to thin it down just a touch)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about the juice from 1 lemon)
- 1/4 tsp. hot smoked paprika (to taste)
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse or blend on low. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator.
This recipe is thicker than what is typically in the grocery-store bottles (which also have this and that added as thickeners). I like it as is, but thin it down to your own desired thickness with either a bit of water or vinegar or even a splash of white wine would be interesting, perhaps a sweeter variety to complement the vinegar and lemon juice.
Another recipe I could eat with a spoon. In fact, there was a bit remaining that did not fit in the jar I chose, so I added it to some left-over rice for a snack. I should have savored it, but instead I found a bigger spoon! Yum, yum, yum…….no sweeteners needed to cover up the lack of flavor from the tomatoes!