Plum and onion ketchup

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Plum and onion ketchup
(Los Angeles Times)
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If you’re anything like me, you invite a group over for dinner, then realize that you’re stuck with the cooking.

But this informal menu preserves a day for the cook. Not only can this be prepared ahead, but the flavors benefit from advance preparation. It’s simple fare, too, the kind of food that works for lunch or supper and satisfies all ages.

The pork roast is roasted a day ahead, cooled completely, refrigerated overnight, then sliced and reheated in the oven. The plum and onion ketchup is gently reheated on the stove or in the microwave. The buns are warmed in the oven with the roast. Coleslaw, a selection of cheeses, a bowl of fresh fruit and chocolate chip cookies are easy add-ons, completing the menu.


Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and plums. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the plums disintegrate, about 10 minutes. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, pureed chipotles, salt and reserved pan juices from the roast pork. Stir well. Bring to simmer; cook, uncovered, until hot, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and chipotle puree. (This can be made several days ahead and refrigerated. To serve, gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave oven.)