Does anyone else read the ingredients on nutrition labels? One of the things that drives me nuts is to see “spices” as an ingredient. It is not AN ingredient. This only irks me, but I just imagine some poor soul with an obscure allergy being unable to partake in certain foods because they never know what’s truly in there. One of the biggest offenders of this labeling crime is ketchup. Partly, I understand. You can’t give your secrets away, or people like me will make copycat recipes. The thing is, people like me are going to make copycat recipes whether you list all of the ingredients or not–and with a sense of pride!
One of my college friends mentioned this a few months back, so I asked her for the recipe. Someone unknown made the original, Jen at Bakerette adapted it to taste, my friend adapted it to her taste, and then I adapted it to mine. That’s how cooking works, right? Tweaking community recipes. The original recipe calls for honey, Bakerette uses agave instead, and my friend doesn’t like the taste of those so she used maple syrup. I am in favor of whichever sweetener you prefer.
This recipe is, like I said, adapted from Bakerette’s, cutting the sweetness and adding some additional flavors. The first attempt was fine, but not exactly how I wanted it. The second try made my 17-year-old brother say “Okay, this is good”, which everyone knows is the highest of compliments. Get some fries from your favorite red and yellow restaurant chain, and it’s the perfect match. You might not want to buy a bottle again.
Yield: about 1 cup
3 oz. tomato paste
1 T. honey (or agave syrup, or maple syrup)
¼ c. white vinegar
¼ c. water
½ t. salt
¼ t. onion powder
1/8 t. garlic powder
2 whole cloves
Whisk all ingredients together in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will sputter–keep a screen over it if possible. Once the desired consistency is reached (it will thicken slightly as it cools), remove from the heat and fish out the cloves to discard. Let cool then store in the fridge!