Homemade Ketchup

homemade-ketchupI visited my sister a little while ago and had an eye opening experience.  One of her children has problems with digesting anything that contains high fructose corn syrup and consequently she has become a bit of an expert on what contains it and what doesn’t. The eye opening part came when we were out shopping and I offered to buy some frozen waffles for the kids to eat in the morning.  It seemed like it was the least I could do since me and my swarm of locus had descended on her house.  I said that I thought I’d get the generic one and she told me not to because it had high fructose corn syrup in it.  I checked it and sure enough it did!  Why do waffles need high fructose corn syrup?  This got me checking labels better and the next week I made an even more alarming discovery.  The brand name applesauce that I’d been buying for my kids school lunches had high fructose corn syrup.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?!  If I’m trying to give my children a healthy snack in their lunch, I probably want it to be healthy.  Is that too much to ask?

So the question is, has this experience made it so I never buy anything with high fructose corn syrup and we now eat everything organic and unprocessed.  Umm, no.  But it has made me decide to start to make little changes in our lives.  One of the things that I decided to start with was our ketchup.  I found that companies charge a lot to buy the kind that they make that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it and it doesn’t come in large quantities, which is kind of a requirement for me considering how quickly ketchup disappears around here.  I found this recipe on topsecretrecipes.com for a homemade “Heinz Ketchup” and after reading the good reviews that it got, I decided to give it and try and see if I could convert my family and it worked!

AnneOpinion

This recipe makes a thick ketchup that is very, very close to Heinz.  We loved it and really couldn’t tell a difference.

You will notice that the ingredient list has corn syrup.  There is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.  Regular corn syrup does not contain fructose. (surprise!)  Do be careful when you buy your corn syrup though because some companies add high fructose corn syrup to their corn syrup.  It’s everywhere people, everywhere.

If you don’t want to use corn syrup, honey is a good alternative, but it will change the flavor.

I would suggest doing what I did and make a small batch (the regular recipe size) and see how you like it.  If you do like it and go through lots of ketchup too, multiply the recipe to make a bigger batch.  When making a bigger batch, a slow cooker works great.  Just set it on low and let it go for a few hours.

I was amazed at how easy it is to make my own ketchup and I love that I feel better when my kids ask for ketchup with their corn dogs.  Yes, I know that corn dogs aren’t a healthy food, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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Homemade Ketchup
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Homemade Ketchup
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk until smooth while cooking over a medium heat. After mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and cover pan. After ketchup has cooled, pour into container and store in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion recipe from topsecretrecipes.com

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Cuban Sliders

cuban-slidersI love everything in miniature. Slinkys, cupcakes, and babies to name a few.  Sliders have always had a place in my heart for that reason.  The little round buns, the cute little hamburger patties.  What’s not to love?

There’s only been one time that I remember not being impressed by sliders. For a number of years date night, for my husband and myself, consisted of one of us putting kids to bed and the other going and picking up take out and a movie.  On one such night I had ordered the sliders from Chili’s, which always looked adorable in their commercials.  When I got home I was dismayed to find that I had gotten a full size hamburger, cut into quarters, with a toothpick in each quarter.  Oh, and I got to pay a couple of dollars more than a regular hamburger for the privilege of having them do that.  Just for the record Chili’s, I was not impressed.

Alright, rant over.  So, I found these Cuban sliders from House of Yumm and they looked so good (and cute) I knew I had to try them.  They reminded me of the fabulous Ham and Cheese Sliders on The Girl Who Ate Everything with a little bit of a twist, and I’m always up for a good twist on a recipe.

AnneOpinion

The original recipe looked delicious but I couldn’t figure out what made it a Cuban. It seemed like it was just a ham and cheese sandwich with pickles and Dijon mustard. Really good, but nothing special.  Since I’d never had one, I did some research and found that a traditional Cuban has ham, salami, pork (prepared with a special blend of spices), Swiss cheese, pickles and Dijon.

I immediately knew I could add the salami.  The pork presented the harder part.  The point of making this is that it’s something easy to assemble and takes little prep work.  I didn’t feel like making a pork that had to cook for 24 hrs qualified. 😉  I decided that the simplest thing to do would be to forgo the pork and add the spices to the melted butter and mustard mixture that you pour over the top of the sliders.  I found a recipe on The Fork ran away with the Spoon that was for “sazon complete,” a Cuban seasoning mix.  I referred to this as a guideline for what to use and what ratio to keep things in.  The results were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

I used baby Swiss cheese because I don’t like the strong flavor of Swiss.  I also decided to make my Hawaiian rolls because I had some pineapple juice on hand and needed to use it.  The rolls were perfect with it, but you can buy them just as easy.  The store bought ones are about half the size so adjust the recipe accordingly if you use them.

Everyone in my family loved them!  They were also great the next day in lunches and as after school snacks.  They can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds. They also would make a great party or buffet food.

So, make some of these, crank up the Will Smith, and “Let’s go to Miami!” (did I just really date myself)

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Cuban Sliders
Print Recipe
These cute little sliders are bursting the flavors of Miami. Perfect for a crowd, but can easily be scaled down.
Cuban Sliders
Print Recipe
These cute little sliders are bursting the flavors of Miami. Perfect for a crowd, but can easily be scaled down.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to Cut rolls in half, horizontally, and place in 2 9x13 pans. Cut ham slices in half. Fold each slice in half and place one on each roll. Cut slices of cheese in half and place one half on each roll. Place one slice of salami and one pickle in the center of each roll. Replace top on each roll. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Slowly pour over sliders, making sure to cover each with the mixture. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Uncover the pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was made using homemade King's Hawaiian Rolls.  If using store bought, they will all fit in one 9x13 pan and some adjusting of ingredients may be needed.

Recipe from AnneOpinion adapted from House of Yumm

 

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