Although we all know ketchup as the thick tomato-based condiment served with French fries, it started out as a pickled fish condiment popular in China that then evolved into an accompaniment made from a variety of ingredients from nuts to mushrooms. It wasn't until New Englanders in the late 1700s introduced a tomato version that the name ketchup grew to become synonymous with tomatoes.
This is a non-tomato ketchup made of mushrooms and spices. It is a great condiment to serve with meats and poultry. Make sure you plan ahead--the mushrooms need to stand 24 hours during the first step of the recipe.
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (firm and fresh)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons pickling salt
- 1 ounce boletus mushrooms (dried)
- 3 cups hot tap water
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 3 large shallots (peeled, or 1 small onion, peeled)
- 1 garlic clove (peeled)
- 10 whole allspice berries (or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice)
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 large mace blades
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup medium sherry (or dry sherry)
- Wipe fresh mushrooms clean with a damp cloth, or brush them clean. Avoid washing them if possible; if it is necessary, swish them rapidly through a bowl of water and lift and drain them promptly. Trim off any discolored stem ends or damaged portions.
- Slice the mushrooms thinly (a food processor fitted with the thin-slicing disc makes short work of this task) and mix them thoroughly with the pickling salt in a ceramic bowl. Cover mushrooms with a cloth and let them stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally. They will become very dark (the finished ketchup will be approximately the color of black bean soup).
- At least an hour before the end of the salting period, combine the dried boletus mushrooms with the 3 cups hot tap water; let them stand, covered, until completely soft.
- Lift the dried soaked mushrooms from their liquid with a slotted spoon (this is to eliminate any grit that may be in the liquid) and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Let soaking liquid settle for a minute or two, then carefully pour it over the mushrooms, stopping before any grit is poured out. Puree the soaked mushrooms, then pour the puree into a saucepan.
- Without rinsing the processor or blender container, puree the salted mushrooms; add this puree to the saucepan.
- Place about 1/2 cup of the vinegar in the blender and add the shallots and garlic; process them to a puree. Add this puree to the mixture in the saucepan, together with the rest of the vinegar, the allspice, cloves, mace, bay leaves, ginger and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, lower heat, and simmer the ketchup, uncovered, stirring it often, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the tiny fragments of mushroom are very soft, almost jelly-like, and the ketchup is thick.
- To test for correct consistency, pour a spoonful onto a saucer and let it stand 10 minutes, with the pot off the heat; if very little or no liquid seeps from the solids, the ketchup has thickened enough. If it does not pass this test, resume the cooking for as long as necessary.
- Press ketchup through a sieve to remove the bay leaves and whole spices, then puree it again, in batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor, running the machine until the texture is velvety smooth.
- Return ketchup to the rinsed-out pan and bring it to a full boil again over medium-high heat, stirring it constantly. Stir in the sherry.
- Ladle the boiling-hot ketchup into hot, clean half-pint or pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Seal jars with new two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions and process for 15 minutes (for either size jar) in a boiling-water bath. Cool, label and store the jars. Let ketchup mellow for a few weeks before serving it. This keeps for at least a year in a cool pantry.
Recipe Source: by Helen Witty (Workman)
Reprinted with permission.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||1 g|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|