At The New Deli, we discovered that a great time saver was to make a big batch of a spice mix, with a tomato paste base. The salt and vinegar in the mix make it keep well in the refrigerator, for months on end. We add the base spice mix to other foods, to make stuff like 1000 Island Dressing, Oriental Sweet and Sour dressing, in meatloaf, and in soups. We use a 7 lb. can at the deli, but even if you make a much smaller batch, it’s bound to save you time. Makes about 3 c.
1 lb. tomato paste (two 8-oz. cans)
4 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon garlic granules
Scant Tablespoon dried oregano
6 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons minced jalapeños, canned
1/3 c. honey
1 1/2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Blend all eight ingredients and keep mixture refrigerated, in glass mason jar, for two months or so.