---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
  
       Title: Mushroom Ketchup
  Categories: Condiments, Sauces, Vegetables, Dips, Vegan
       Yield: 4 cups
  
   1 1/2 lb Mushrooms, firm & fresh
   1 1/2 tb Pickling salt
       1 oz Dried boletus mushrooms
       3 c  Hot tap water
       2 c  White wine vinegar
       3 lg Shallots, peeled -=OR=-
       1 sm Onion, peeled
       1 ea Garlic clove, peeled
      10 ea Whole allspice -=OR=-
     1/4 ts Ground allspice
       4 ea Whole cloves
       3 lg Mace blades
       2 ea Bay leaves
     1/2 ts Ground ginger
     1/2 ts Freshly ground pepper
     1/4 c  Medium or dry sherry
  
   Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth, or brush them clean.  Avoid
   washing them if possible; if it is necessary, swish them rapidly
   through a bowl of water and lift and drain them promptly.  Trim off
   any discolored stem ends or damaged portions.  Slice the mushrooms
   thin (a food processor fitted with the thin-slicing disc makes short
   work of this task) and mix them thoroughly with the salt in a ceramic
   bowl. Cover mushrooms with a cloth and let them stand 24 hours,
   stirring occasionally. They will become very dark (the finished
   ketchup will be approximately the color of black bean soup).
   
   At least an hour before the end of the salting period, combine the
   dried boletus mushrooms with the hot tap water; let them stand,
   covered, until completely soft.
   
   Lift the soaked mushrooms from their liquid with a slotted spoon
   (this is to eliminate any grit that may be in the liquid) and place
   them in the container of a blender or food processor.  Let soaking
   liquid settle for a minute or two, then carefully pour it over the
   mushrooms, stopping before any grit is poured out.  Puree the soaked
   mushrooms, then pour the puree into a preserving pan.  Without
   rinsing the blender container, puree the salted mushrooms; add this
   puree to that in the pan.
   
   Place about 1/2 cup of the vinegar in the blender and add shallots and
   garlic; process them to a puree.  Add this puree to the mixture in
   the pan, together with the rest of the vinegar, the allspice, cloves,
   mace, bay leaves, ginger and pepper.  Bring the mixture to boiling
   over medium-high heat, lower heat, and simmer the ketchup, uncovered,
   stirring it often, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the tiny fragments
   of mushroom are very soft, almost jellylike, and the ketchup is thick.
   
   To test for correct consistency, pour a spoonful onto a saucer and
   let it stand 10 minutes, with the pot off the heat; if very little or
   no liquid seeps from the solids, the ketchup has thickened enough. If
   it does not pass this test, resume the cooking for as long as
   necessary.
   
   Press ketchup through a sieve to remove the bay leaves and whole
   spices, then puree it again, in batches if necessary, in a blender or
   food processor, running the machine until the texture is velvety
   smooth.
   
   Return ketchup to the rinsed-out pan and bring it to a full boil
   again over medium-high heat, stirring it constantly.  Stir in the
   sherry.
   
   Ladle the boiling-hot ketchup into hot, clean half-pint or pint
   canning jars, leaving 1/4 of headspace.  Seal jars with new
   two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions and
   process for 15 minutes (for either size jar) in a boiling-water bath.
   Cool, label and store the jars. Let ketchup mellow for a few weeks
   before serving it. Keeps for at least a year in a cool pantry.
   
   Helen Witty, “Fancy Pantry”  Posted by Cathy Harned.
  
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