Wednesday, January 13, 2010

what's cooking wednesday - sweet chili thai sauce

This week's recipe is great for a few reasons that really have nothing to do with the recipe itself. I have said it before, but it bears repeating... blogging is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. One of the things I enjoy most is the friendships I've developed with people that I've never actually met in person. One of my longtime blogging buddies is Karen from Virtually There and if it wasn't for her I'm not sure I would have deemed this recipe a success. When I realized I had mucked this one up I sat right now at my trusty hp desktop and dashed off an email and basically begged her for help. She got back to me right away with an "if I were you I'd try this" sort of email and I was off to the races. That's the power of blogging right there at work folks. I couldn't even tell you at this point how I found her or how she found me or who found the other first, but I am mighty thankful that we hooked up. Next on the agenda.... meeting her in real life. It'll happen sooner than later Karen, promise!

This is a canning recipe so you'll need the appropriate canning supplies, like jars, lids, canning pot for processing the finished project and such.

Sweet Chili Thai Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp salt
6 cups cider vinegar
6 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup hot pepper flakes

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

In a small bowl, combine garlic and salt, set aside.

In a large stainless tell saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Add suagr and still until fully dissolved. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add garlic mixture and hot pepper flakes, stir well.

Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headpsace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Recipe Notes: Well I followed the recipe exactly and when I was finished the end product was more of a syrup than a dipping sauce. Cue Karen (the canning Queen) and her helpful advice. I ended up dumping in all back in the pot and boiling it down for another hour or so with an extra 3/4 cup of sugar. Karen suggested the extra sugar when I complained that the vinegar taste was pretty strong. After the reboiling and the reprocessing I ended up with a nice sweet, tangy and spicy sauce that was suitably thick enough and that Mike and I have been enjoying on chicken strip night. And one more small word of advice..... boiling vinegar is even worse than it sounds. I would recommend waiting to make this until a time of year you can comfortably have the windows open because boy oh boy it's nasty.

And one more reason this recipe was/is great.... Mike really enjoys helping out with the canning. Usually the cooking/baking is my deal, but this he really takes an active part in. And for those of you who have enjoyed our strawberry jam..... he actually did most of the work. It's been great working on these canning projects together.

What is What's Cooking Wednesday and how can I play?

What's cooking Wednesday was born out of a desire to get out of that what's for dinner rut. Playing is easy, on Wednesday post a recipe that has been tried and tested by you and then pop over here and add your name to the Mr. Linky. When entering your name also add the name of the recipe in brackets and make sure you link to your What's Cooking Wednesday post and not just your blog's front page. *All front page links will be deleted!* Don't make me be a jerk. And don't forget to link back here, the home of What's Cooking Wednesday.

So for example I would write Shan (Speedy Chicken Stir Fry) in the name section. For the URL section I would post this:

I'll let you in on a little secret, my WCW recipes are almost never made on a Wednesday. So feel free to cook and photograph whenever you have time and join us posting on Wednesday


michelle | bleeding espresso said...

This sounds lovely! And kudos to Karen on the save ;)

Kaci said...


Karen said...

Awww, you make me feel so good! I'm glad that it worked out. When things like that happen with canning... sometimes it's guess-work to fix it.

I think I'm going to try this recipe next summer (good tip on the vinegar cooking issues by the way... I wouldn't have thought of that).

Melissa said...

We've been buying this dipping sauce in bottles, but it's so high in sodium. Thanks for an alternative!