There's more to ketchup than the red -- and now green -- stuff first bottled by Mr. Heinz in Pennsylvania in 1876. The history of this lowly condiment is extremely rich. Also known as catsup or catchup, the favourite french fry garnish is derived from a spicy Chinese sauce made from the brine of pickled seafood, not from Indian chutney, as most people believe. Although recipes usually contain tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, others are based on mango, nuts and mushrooms.
Here's a version that includes a most potent ingredient -- tequila! Roast 11/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds in a dry cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir until fragrant (about a minute). Allow the seeds to cool, then grind them in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Return the cumin to the skillet, whisk in 3/4 cup of commercial ketchup, 11/2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chilies, 1 tablespoon of spicy tomato sauce from the chipotle can, 11/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 -- what the hell, 2 -- tablespoons of tequila. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover the sauce and it will keep for a week in the fridge.