RED PEPPER CATSUP (about 3 pints)


In the American south, ketchups made with a range of ingredients are used in cooking and as condiments.  The author of this recipe recommends it as a dip with fried seafood, particularly oysters. 

1/3 cup peanut or olive oil

5 or 6 red bell peppers (2-½ pounds) seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces (9 cups)

2 large onions, chopped (5 cups)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1-¼ teaspoons ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1  bay leaf, finely crumbled

½ cup water

2 cups cider vinegar

2 cups light brown sugar

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot, and add the chopped red peppers. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.  Add the onions and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic, salt and pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and crumbled bay leaf.  Stir well to blend in the spices evenly and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Pour in the water and simmer, covered, until the peppers and onions are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  1. Transfer everything to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the cooking pot and stir in the cider vinegar and brown sugar.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until the catsup thickens and has the consistency to tomato catsup, about 30 minutes.
  1. Transfer to sterilized jars and refrigerate. Or process following the jar manufacturer’s instructions.


from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, The Gift of Southern Cooking


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