Tomato-less Cocktail Sauce

tomato with a red 'no' sign over it
I’ve mentioned in the past that my body doesn’t get along with tomato products very well. And while I can sometimes get away with a little bit here or there without too many problems, shortly after Thanksgiving I was due to take some tests and tomatoes (as well as several other foods) were on my no-no list for several days beforehand so as not to skew the results.

So I had two options: forgo the wonderful crab dip made with cocktail sauce or find a clever way around it.

I went with the latter, of course–denial really isn’t in my make-up–and researched some plausible cocktail sauce recipes. The condiment is pretty simple, really: tomato sauce, horseradish and chili sauce. One recipe I found, however, presented a more creative ingredient list and a more promising flavor. The way I see it: the more interesting the recipe, the more opportunity to hide my red bell pepper substitution.

Tomato-less Cocktail Sauce

3/4 cup Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree
3/4 cup Chili Sauce
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Prepared Horseradish
1 1/3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Onion Powder

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until combined. Chill until needed. Makes approximately 16 oz.

For a previous sushi dinner I’d purchased a bottle of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce often seen in various restaurants sporting a rooster on it’s bottle. This is what I used for the chili sauce and it made for a very VERY spicy cocktail sauce. Alternately, a Thai chili sauce or your standard store brand could be used for a milder heat level or you could use, say, 1 cup of puree to 1/2 cup of chili sauce. Feel free to play with it to suit your preference.

As spicy as it was, though, once layered on top of cream cheese and crab claw meat it was the perfect level of spice and all of our guests enjoyed it on both occasions we served it that weekend. No one could tell that it wasn’t “normal” cocktail sauce and those that were told were intrigued and wanted the recipe.

And now we have half a bottle of cocktail sauce ready for the next time we have seafood!

But cocktail sauce wasn’t the only staple to get a make-over this past Thanksgiving; next week I’ll share my take on a popular side dish sans canned convenience products.

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