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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Seafood Cocktail Sauce (home canned)

A lot of people have the impression that home canning is all about saving money but in reality that couldn't be further from the truth. Oh sure the cost of canning is very important which is why I often bring up the economics of canning but that's not the real reason for canning, rather a pleasant side effect. It really is about putting wholesome, healthy foods in your pantry that are not laden with excess salt, sugar, preservatives and other harmful additives or contaminants. At the same time home canners are able to put custom made foods tailored to their family's tastes as well as unique products on their pantry shelves. This is one of the best reasons to can because these are products you cannot buy in the grocery stores.

Seafood Cocktail Sauce

I think we have all been at the point where we need seafood cocktail sauce but don't have time for a special trip to the grocery store so we pull out commercially made ketchup and mix in some horseradish sauce. It works in a pinch but commercially made ketchup contains high fructose corn syrup something that is on my hit list of ingredients to avoid. I came across a recipe in Bernardin's, Tomatoes Canning & Speciality Recipes for home made seafood cocktail sauce suitable for canning. Immediately I thought this would be a nice product to have on the pantry shelves put first I tweaked the recipe.

Pictured are 7 - 250 ml (half pints) of seafood cocktail sauce as well as almost and eighth jar. The sauce looks quite pretty in the jars! Notice the plastic storage cap on this jar. I use these for storing partial jars of home canned food in the refrigerator. Oh and don't you think the short, wide mouth jars are simply adorable? I only have about a dozen so might have to put a request for more on my Christmas list if they can be found. I haven't seen them in the stores here for quite some time.

I made a few modifications to the recipe so the following recipe is the one I created and used. This is a recipe you could make year round if you can find good tasting paste tomatoes. I have to tell you one taste is enough that you won't go back to store bought seafood cocktail sauce and you will never want to use that old ketchup trick. This sauce is amazing wonderful! I honestly cannot believe how flavourful the sauce is. It has a nice amount of zip.

Seafood Cocktail Sauce

6½ c prepared tomatoes
2 c prepared horseradish
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ c organic granulated sugar
½ c white vinegar
1 tsp pickling salt
½ c tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp black pepper

Wash tomatoes. Run through a food strainer to remove seeds and skin. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently until reduced by half. Stir in all of the ingredients except the horseradish. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the horseradish. Mix well. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving ½ - inch headspace. Wipe the rim. Adjust two piece lids. Process in boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Yield: about 7 - 125 ml (half pint) jars


I was rather pleased that there was almost a full jar of the seafood cocktail sauce left-over for the refrigerator. We've been quite busy the past couple of weeks so I wanted a nice, relaxing yet pampering dinner. The left-over seafood cocktail sauce determined the appetizer.

You just can't go wrong with shrimp for an appetizer. If we were having company I would have lined the plate with leaf lettuce or used individual shrimp bowls but my husband was more interested in getting to the shrimp rather than presentation. The seafood cocktail sauce was a definite hit with my husband. This will be one sauce that I will be making again.

T-bone Steaks

It was a pleasant fall afternoon, perfect for grilling. We grill year round both indoors and outdoors but still the colder weather means more cooking is being done indoors. As the tantalizing aroma of the grill filled the air I couldn't help think of the cold days to come that will soon turn the sparkling water a duller tone.

Dinner was grilled T-bone steaks served with a steamed potato and carrot mix, sautéed onions and sautéed mushrooms. A simple garden salad completed the meal. My husband's steak was grilled to rare then smothered with sautéed mushrooms and onions. He managed to side step the carrots in the steamed vegetable mix. My steak was grilled medium rare.

Carrots and potatoes are a nice pairing whether left in chunks or mashed. I use this combination quite often. When mashed with a little chicken stock they are a nice low fat side. To add a bit of a different twist I will add in cabbage then mash. I think the mix is better hand mashed to give more texture but an electric hand mixer can be used for a smoother texture. So if you are bored of the same plain mashed potatoes try adding carrots and/or cabbage. You will be pleasantly surprised!

8 food lovers commented:

tahtimbo said...

I will be trying your Seafood Cocktail Sauce. I have been trying to find something that goes well with shrimp, but haven't gotten anything beyond the usual honey-mustard. Since I serve shrimp as an appetizer at Thanksgiving, I can now have something to go with it. Thank you!!

Meg said...

My sister and I have always been in charge of making the cocktail sauce at family dinners, but our version is not half as good as yours. I will try your recipe next time!

Garden Gnome said...

Tahtimbo and Meg, this seafood cocktail sauce is getting rave reviews from everyone who has sampled. It is a real keeper. The nice thing is you can make up a batch anytime through the year and since it only needs to be boiling water bath processed no expensive equipment is needed. I hope you both try it and report back on how you liked it.

Becky said...

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I'll be giving it a try this summer!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Becky :) You're quite welcome and I'm sure you will enjoy the recipe. It tastes a lot better than store bought!

Anonymous said...

I love your seafood sauce. I was wondering if you have a Sweet and Sour Sauce for canning????
My hubby eats the S & S Sauce on everything!
I love your recipes....
Debbi/Cental Calif

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Anonymous and thanks for visiting. I'm glad you like my seafood cocktail sauce. I don't have a Sweet and Sour Sauce for canning. I'll have to work on one and will post the recipe once I've worked it out.

Jenn said...

When you say 6 1/2 c prepared tomatoes, do you mean that is the measurement after you have peeled and run them through a food mill? How many pounds would I need to make this recipe?
Thank you