Friday, 31 August 2012

John Torode's Sweet Chilli Sauce

One of the things that inspired me to start this blog was watching 'Sleb Masterchef last year.  During one task, they were asked to make a chilli dipping sauce from scratch.  It suddenly made me realise that I would have no clue where to start on this so I figured that I should learn.

The notion has been in the back of my head all year and I keep putting it off.  But with just under four weeks to go, I need a mental tick in the box or this year will have been for nought.  I usually buy Blue Dragon sweet chilli sauce with kaffir lime and although it's probably not quite the done thing, I like to eat it with Waitrose vegetable samosas.  Convenience food at its best.

They're not wood shavings, they're vegetable crisps
So today I set about answering the question of is it all worth the effort to make your own.  The ingredient list was simple enough - a deseeded red pepper, two deseeded red chillis, white vinegar, caster sugar and water.  Boil, blend and boil a bit more.  And yes, an hour later I have a small bowl of sweet chilli sauce.  I also have a sticky sauce pan, a sticky blender and a small post for my blog.

Was it worth it?  Probably not.  The taste of the bell pepper is a little overbearing for my liking.  And I like the piquancy that the kaffir lime lends to the Blue Dragon one.  I could have replicated that by putting lime juice in I'm sure, but for once, I don't have a single lime in the house.  Which is rarer than me running out of butter.  Cost wise, it certainly saved me from letting the pepper and chillis rot slowly in my veg drawer, but if you took them at face value, for the amount of gas it took to do the boiling bit, it's probably no cheaper to make your own than buy shop bought.

Of course, it's not chock full of preservatives which is a bonus.  But I'm willing to compromise on that one for not having to wash up my sticky blender in future.

In summary, I now know how to make a sticky chilli sauce should I ever find myself challenged by the Gruesome Twosome.  But I won't be doing it again otherwise.

The original recipe for this sauce was to accompany scallops.  I'd intended to do this last week when I had scallops but Ocado never turned up with my fresh chillis.  I think the tequila scallops that I made were far better than they would've been with this sauce.

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