March 23, 2009

Homemade Cocktail Sauce

3/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/4 small onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
juice of 1 lemon

Place the tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt, pepper and lemon juice into a food processor, blender or Vitamix. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add the horseradish and pulse until evenly distributed. Refrigerate leftovers.

My thoughts:

I admit that I love cocktail sauce. Since I loathe ketchup, it is what I go to when I need to dip a fry (especially when I am eating crabcakes which I don't think need condiments) or a clam strip and of course it is a necessary component of a shrimp cocktail. However a lot of commercially prepared cocktail sauces are on the sweet side. I don't really care for anything sweet outside of desserts so I was inspired to make homemade sauce. When I went to look for existing recipes I was confronted with my nemesis, ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup. That was totally unacceptable and I quickly realized I just need to do some kitchen experimentation. Tomato paste was the logical first ingredient and it added a pure, naturally sweet, concentrated tomato flavor that paired wonderfully with the other robustly flavored ingredients. The horseradish, Worcestershire, garlic and lemon make for a winning cocktail sauce without a hint of unnatural sweetness. Try it, but I warn you-there is no going back to bottled after one bite.