Sure, you can buy cocktail sauce. You can even make it by combining catsup and horseradish. But this homemade version transforms cocktail sauce from a tired old standby into something terrific.
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 1 quart peeled, chopped and drained tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 2 c. diced red bell peppers
- 1 c. diced onion, NOT super-sweet
- 2 T. kosher salt
- 1 1/3 c. cider vinegar
- 1 c. sugar
- Drained bottled horseradish
Put celery seed and cloves into a spice bag and tie up tightly. Simmer all ingredients except the sugar in a large pot in a large pan until thick, stirring occasionally. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the spice bag. Add the sugar and simmer about 20 minutes more, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. The sauce can be left as is – slightly chunky – or puréed in a blender for a smooth texture. Add drained horseradish to taste – from as little as 2 T. to half as much horseradish as the sauce. Makes 1-2 pints.