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Sweet Chili Sauce

Earlier in the year I posted a great Thai Shrimp recipe that uses sweet chili sauce.  I noted that I should start making my own but never got around to doing so.  Ripley also posted a fried green tomato recipe that uses sweet chili sauce and noted that the Chef’s fav is Mae Ploy.  With good premade ones already out there, it is hard to get motivated to make your own.  However, it is simple with few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge.  Making it at home means no preservatives and additives.  – ts

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar, adjust according to your desired sweetness
6-8 small red chili peppers, chopped finely
1/2 tsp red chili paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 (2 inch each) orange peel, julienned finely

Thickener:
1 – 2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

  1. Combine ingredients for thickener in a small bowl and mix well then set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, chili, garlic, orange peel, chili paste. Heat over medium heat . Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Simmer until all ingredients has softened.
  4. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook until it thickens. NOTE: Add cornstarch mixture slowly so as to avoid becoming too thick. If you accidentally add too much cornstarch mixture and the sauce becomes too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little bit more water and cooking it a little bit longer.
  5. Remove from heat and cool before serving or refrigerating.
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Filed under Asian food, Dips, Marinades, Sauces, Toppings

Blue Ribbon Margarita

Buenos Dias ‘rita lovers. Today I bring you a recipe that has been a long time coming. (I realize the typical Mardi Gras drink of choice is a Hurricane, but those are a tad sweet for my taste, so I’m sticking to what I know.) This fantastic concoction won the Margarita Contest at Sarah’s house last October, and it has been dancing around my brain ever since. If I recall correctly, people actually fought over who got to drink the last of it.

I, of course, was above such petty bickering. Possibly because I may have been tipped off about which chip I needed to pull from the bag in order to land a slot as a judge. And you know what? I’m not sorry. Margaritas and me go way back, and it would have been a crime against tequila for me not to have been involved.

Anyway, Sarah was kind enough to get this recipe for us from her friend Pete Young, so you don’t even have to lie and cheat to get your hands on one.

6 shots tequila
2 shots Grand Marnier (or Gran Gala as Meeks suggested)
4 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 shots simple syrup
Splenda
salt

  1. Make the simple syrup. (This simple syrup is unique for 2 reasons: (1) you use Splenda rather than sugar to make it, and (2) it’s 2 parts Splenda to 1 part water, meaning it will be sweeter than traditional simple syrups.)
    To make this, simply boil water and add Splenda, stirring until dissolved and slightly thickened. (I’d probably do 2 cups Splenda and 1 cup water because you can hang on to the leftover syrup for a few weeks.)
  2. Mix together simple syrup and rest of the ingredients. Pour into salt-rimmed glass and bask in the goodness. (These proportions should make about 3 margaritas.)

The most time-consuming (but also most crucial) part of this recipe is juicing the limes, so you may want to buy a juicer, hunker down and get some done in advance if you’re serving these at a party. People will want seconds, so it pays to be totally juiced. Like The-Situation-juiced. GTL MVP!

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Mexican food, Party food

National Margarita Day 2K11: Beer Margaritas

Morgan, in a much-appreciated effort to make sure we don’t miss any opportunity to celebrate tequila, informed me weeks ago that tomorrow is National Margarita Day. As most of you know tequila is very close to my heart and never very far from my mouth. Probably because Martin used to tell me that “but for a bottle of tequila I wouldn’t be here.” That was heartwarming (and confusing) to hear as a 5-year-old, but I grew to understand it.

This recipe is something that someone at Blair made a few summers ago, but none of those idiots can remember who, so I’m just winging it. You may want to add a little more beer because this recipe makes some strong ritas, and you can adjust the level of sweet by swapping the sprite for water if. Either way, it’s easy and delicious. And you’re getting 2 alcoholic servings into 1 beverage, and I think that’s what the FDA recommends.

12 oz can of limeade (or “1 green can” as Emily would say)
4-5 12 oz Coronas
12 oz tequila
12 oz sprite zero (or water)

Mix and serve over ice. For fancy, garnish with salt and lime. Ole!

*Make sure to check back tomorrow on official ‘rita day for Brett’s classic marg recipe. We had them last weekend, and they’ll set you right. Or upside down. Whatever; theyz good.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Mexican food, Party food