Homemade Ketchup and French Fries

IMG_2388I was driving home the other day thinking about, and craving french fries and ketchup. It made me start wondering if I can really even be considered a foodie, because I still do like to eat regular food, such as …well… french fries and ketchup.

Would a foodie be driving down the road craving french fries?
Maybe. Or maybe not.
I mean, what exactly is a foodie?

Well, according to Wikipedia:

“A foodie is a gourmet, or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger. While gourmet and epicurean can be used as synonyms they have fallen out of favor and bring to mind a stodgy or snobbish attitude.”

My interest in food is definitely ardent, or passionate, if you will…and sometimes it’s refined..although I truly cannot be called an epicurean. I admit that my knowledge of food is limited, but I’m continually learning, and growing in that knowledge.

Like most foodies, I enjoy trying new things…I’m one of those people who will “ooh and ahh” over a one inch cube of tuna tartare sitting in the middle of a fine china dinner plate… topped with a truffle paste, and a single pea, all drizzled in 1000 year old tahitian olive oil. I’ll enjoy that three second bite of it, and then rave about it for hours on end.

But then…

There are days like the other day, that I just want a pile of french fries with a dollop of ketchup on a plate in front of me, while I sit back for the rest of the night with the button on my jeans undone, watching an episode of Seinfeld that I’ve seen 100 times before.


So, in the end, can I really be called a foodie? You know what? It doesn’t matter. I get excited for something extraordinarily crazy and new….and I get excited for something comforting and familiar.

Call me what you want.
Foodie or not….I just love food.

Like ketchup. And french fries.


And of course, I prefer homemade. I prefer homemade everything…

There is such a freshness to it.
You know… it tastes real.

And there’s something about making everything from scratch…it’s satisfying. It’s fulfilling. It’s a little wiggle of the hips to the music in your head.. gratifying.


Life is good, it’s a “call me what you want, but just don’t call me late for dinner…” kind of good…

Sweet and Spicy Ketchup

This ketchup is a touch spicy, yet a touch sweet. It’s nice and thick, so it sticks to your fries, or your hot dog, burger, or whatever you love to eat ketchup on! It’s easy to make, but it’s always better the next day, so plan for keeping it in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Of course you can serve it immediately…but like most foods, it just tastes better when all of the flavors have time to get to know each other. It will keep up to four weeks in the fridge.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp jalapeño pepper, minced
12 oz can tomato paste
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup cider vinegar
4 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/3 cup water

Feeling a little frisky? Add a teaspoon or more of anchovy paste to the mix when adding the tomato paste and other ingredients to the sautéed onions!

In a medium saucepan, saute the onions, garlic, and jalapeño in the olive oil until translucent and tender. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, ground mustard, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cayenne pepper, cider vinegar, worchestershire sauce, and water. Simmer on low for about 1/2 hour. If it seems to be thickening too quickly, add about 1/4 cup more water.

Let cool completely. Pour the ketchup mixture into a food processor, and blend until smooth.
Transfer to a container with a lid, and refrigerate overnight. Keep refrigerated up to four weeks.

The French Fries

These are basically made the same way as my potato chips…except cut into fries, rather than slices.

4 large russet potatoes
1 cup vinegar
5 cups water
3 cups canola oil
sea salt to taste

Wash and dry the potatoes. Slice into 1/4” thick fries. Try to keep them as uniform in thickness as possible, so that they cook in the same amount of time.

Bring the vinegar and water to boil in a medium saucepan or dutch oven. Add one half of the potatoes and boil for exactly four minutes. Remove with a wire spider skimmer and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let them dry completely, flipping them so that they dry on all sides. Let cool completely. Repeat with the other half of the potatoes.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat the canola oil in a large saucepan (You want the oil to be at least 2” deep, so add more oil if you think you need it). I deep fry them when the oil reaches 350 degrees.

When the oil is ready, add a few potatoes at a time to the pan. Don’t overcrowd them. Deep fry for 3 minutes. Remove with a wire spider skimmer to a baking sheet with a cooling rack placed on top. Repeat with remaining potatoes, and let cool completely on the cooling rack, which by the time you’ve finished the last of the potatoes, the first batch will have already cooled.

At this point the fries will still be white and soft.
Now to bring a little color and crispiness to the fries….This is where you really need to stand over the pan and watch the french fries cook…Add 1/2 of the cooled potatoes back to the oil, and let them fry until they’re golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil with the wire skimmer, and drain them on the baking sheet with the cooling rack.  Keep in warm oven until the remainder of the french fries are cooked.

Serve immediately!


67 thoughts on “Homemade Ketchup and French Fries

  1. Yum, YUM Prudy! Sometimes being a foodie is all about an appreciation and mastering of the ‘simple things’…and yet again, you’re showing that you have both. I can almost taste this, what WONDERFUL spices in the ketchup, I’m sure that cinnamon/numteg/allspice give it such a unique flavor. Bottle it up and sell it, why dontcha! Great job ❤

  2. Hey Prudy! Well, from one foodie to another, thanks so much for this ketchup recipe! Sometimes I’m embarrassed to say that I do love ketchup on many things – burgers, fries, meatloaf, just to name a few. I have been faithful to my favourite brand of ketchup for decades, but now I am going to branch out and try your recipe! Who knows, maybe you have opened a whole new door for me! We’ll see! 😀

  3. Hi Prudy, once again you said it again, I really believe a true foodie is someone who appreciates all food prepared in a special way, maybe, sometimes…..you know what I mean. Love this recipe…..

  4. digging the ketchup recipe.. and what the heck is wrong with wanting to just eat fries? there are far too many blogs out there (let alone people) that think its all about the look… nope… not in my book..

  5. I think a foodie is whoever enjoys food for what it is. Any kind of food whether it’s fancy or not! It’s totally normal to crave french fries! I do it. As I’ve been on a cleanse these last four days, I’m really hungry… 😉 Could totally eat the whole serving of fries and ketchup! Looks really good and the recipe does sound easy despite the many steps… I’m defintiely going to make them!
    If I want to prepare them ahead of time, I best stop after I fried them for the first time, right? Would love to make these for my birthday! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Tina! I wonder how far ahead of time you’re planning on preparing them…. honestly? I think I would skip the par boil… I would soak them in the vinegar and water instead until you were ready to fry them. Then I’d do the 2 step frying right before you serve them. I’m not so sure that they would “sit well” after they had been fried once. ❤

  6. OMG, gorgeous. I have never made ketchup but need to. Oh yes, there are days when I want french fries and ketchup, not baked fries but those that are fried in oil, super crisp and tasty. Duck fat also makes a great french fry. I will try your recipe, it sounds delicious. I also like to add a dollop of mayo next to my ketchup and swipe the fry through both, Can’t think of anything better than watching Seinfeld reruns while eating this, YUM!!!

  7. I crave french fries and ketchup too! And it doesn’t get better than your homemade ketchup or your cooking method with these fries! Holy cow! I really need to make this ketchup. How many times have I picked up a bottle of ketchup and read the ingredients? It’s one of those condiments you can’t live without, but hesitate before buying because of the ingredients. The good stuff is so expensive and I bet not half as good as your’s! Sigh. xx

  8. Hi Prudy – I need a fix of these once a week to go with my turkey burger! Homemade is a great idea – I used to make my own ketchup when I grew tons of tomatoes.
    I just read about your son and for some reason I have not been getting your posts, so I did not know about your family’s scary ordeal. I am so thankful it was diagnosed and is manageable. There are many things we all wish we could do but to have one’s life is more important than anything else. Keep up that positive and happy attitude you have 🙂

    • Thank you so much Judi… I’d be interested in your recipe, straight from fresh tomatoes! I bet that is fabulous!
      Thank you…Mike s doing quite well, and we know what to look for now when it flares up, and how to handle it. He’s a strong kid.
      I so appreciate your kind words. ❤

  9. For the love of fries, what a great comfort food…and homemade ketchup.. Mmmm…and Seinfeld I never would have guessed

  10. My favorite food in the whole world! French fries dipped in ketchup! Why do you think I gave them up for Lent? It was a real sacrifice, I tell you. Never made ketchup before. Only a real foodie would think of doing that. That makes you a foodie, haha… Looks so YUM! I’m so having fries and ketchup tomorrow. Actually today, it’s already today. Ready for FF?

  11. Oh dear. I was going to make it to bed tonight without having a snack. I was making my way through the reader successfully until now – but this is too much. Now I really want homemade French fries. Homemade ketchup sounds rather amazing too – but honestly – any ketchup will do a this point. SO yummy. So fun. Great photographs too. xx

  12. Yum! I love going to restaurants who make their own ketchup, I don’t know why I never thought of making it myself but you can bet this is on my to-try list now!Thanks for sharing Prudy I can’t wait to try this out 🙂

    • I hope you do give it a try, Sarah! Let me know what you think! The beauty of this ketchup is that you can pretty much make it your own! Whatever you’re in the mood for, spicy or sweet, you can add or change the ingredidents up! ❤ Thank you so much..

  13. Wow this looks amazing! French fries are my favorite food and I will definitely by trying this ketchup!

    • Thank you so much…and thanks so much for stopping by! I’m so happy you did! Yep, I love fries, and it makes me happy to see that I’m not the only one! Oh, I hope you make the ketchup! Let me know what you think…. the beauty of that ketchup is that you can add pretty much whatever you want to it to suit your taste…. like more cinnamon flavor? Add more! Like it really spicy? Add more jalapeno! Add some hot sauce! Or add some cumin and chili powder to give it a Mexican flair! It’s so versatile, and so much better than store bought! ❤

  14. Wow!!! Nothing is intrigued me more than a homemade Ketchup; an everyday food that I can’t live without in a homemade form!!!! I always want to do this, so thank you SO MUCH for sharing. ❤ it

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