Do you love your slow cooker as much as I do? This week, the Virtual Potluck gang is celebrating the virtues of crockery cooking by throwing a party with Hamilton Beach and Harvard Common Press. We’re all giving away slow cookers and cookbooks too. More on that later. Thanks to Donna from Cookistry for hosting this potluck and to Milisa from Miss in the Kitchen for creating the giveaway graphic you see below.
Ever since I received my slow cooker and a copy of Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, I’ve been slow cooking like crazy. The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6-quart programmable model has both a temperature probe and a programmable timer. If you use the probe, it cuts off (but remains on a “keep warm” setting) when your meat reaches a specified temperature. If you use the timer, it switches to the “keep warm” setting after a certain amount of time.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve used my slow cooker to poach a whole chicken, make sloppy joes, cook whole-grain porridge overnight so it’s ready for breakfast, create vegetarian stews and make homemade ketchup. That’s right … zesty low-sodium ketchup without high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives.
The Grillmaster, who historically hasn’t been a huge ketchup fan, loves this homemade variety. He likes to cook up a bunch of lentils, plop a fried egg on top and slather this spicy ketchup over it all. The cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices make this condiment the perfect thing to serve with baked sweet potato fries. We ate it on our Garlic Home Fries with Kale too.
The original recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, but I had some jalapeño white balsamic in the pantry begging to be used. It gave just the right amount of kick. If you don’t want your ketchup to be spicy at all, use a milder vinegar and skip the red pepper flakes.
Why should you make your own ketchup instead of buying a bottle at the supermarket?
- It’s insanely easy to do in the slow cooker.
- You can control the amount of sugar and salt.
- You’ll know there isn’t any high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives in the final product.
- Most importantly, you’ll love how it tastes!
Disclaimer: I received a free slow cooker from Hamilton Beach and a free copy of Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann from Harvard Common Press. I also received a second slow cooker and copy of the book to give away. All opinions are my own.
Quick and Easy Tomato Ketchup (Slow Cooker)
Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
One 28-ounce carton or can of chopped tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup cider vinegar (I used a jalapeño-infused white balsamic instead)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (such as Colman’s)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, onion, shallot (if using), vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, allspice, cinnamon, mace, ginger, cloves and red pepper flakes. Blend until puréed.
Pour mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH, scraping down the sides and stirring a few times, for about 2-1/2 hours.
Remove the lid and continue to cook the ketchup on HIGH, scraping down the sides and stirring a few times, for about an hour or until the ketchup is the consistency you want. (Test to see if it “plops” off a spoon.) Season with salt and pepper.
Turn off the slow cooker and let the ketchup cool to room temperature in the crock. Scrape into a glass jar. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two months (but it won’t last that long).
Makes about 3 cups
Per serving (2 tablespoons): 19 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 27mg sodium, 4g carb, 1g fiber, 2g sugar, 0g protein
Nutritional Analysis: Feel free to eliminate the salt if you are watching your Sodium intake.
The Virtual Potluck team will be featuring slow cooker recipes all week. Check out what some of my other favorite bloggers are bringing to the party:
- Fennel Potato Leek Soup – Cookistry
- Split Pea Soup with Ham – Foodhunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Colorado Chile Chicken Enchiladas – Miss in the Kitchen
- Mexican Pork Chops – Cooking with Books
- Flank Steak Tostadas with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce – Thyme in Our Kitchen
- Blue Cheese-Sour Cream Mashers – 30AEATS
- Mustard-Glazed Chicken Wings with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce – Farmgirl Gourmet
Now, about that giveaway … all EIGHT of us are giving away a 6-quart programmable Set ‘n Forget slow cooker plus a copy of one of the following Harvard Common Press cookbooks: Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker for Two, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites or Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining.
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