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If You Can’t Stand the Heat . . .

January 28, 2010

I don’t usually use red-colored condiments when I eat Vietnamese food. That means no sriracha and definitely no chili-garlic sauce. Ever. The only explanation I have to offer is that I’m not a fan of ketchup. Ketchup does not have a good look (until you doctor it up with some horseradish, lemon juice and Tabasco – which is also, coincidentally enough, red and is also something I’ve just recently learned to accept as a decent condiment) and maybe that’s where it translates over. Not sure, but that’s the current theory.

Something changed last week. I was sifting thru (who else?) Andrea Nguyen’s blog and saw a posting on homemade chili garlic sauce. Looked easy enough and I needed a recipe that would use up leftover serrano peppers. Even if I wouldn’t eat it, I knew that The Boy would find use for it.

Guess what – VERY easy to make and to my surprise, VERY good (if you’re into spicy things). I loved it although it burned my stomach a little. The Boy was also ecstatic and found many uses for it. The chili-garlic concoction has gone on meat loaf, chicken and mashed potatoes so far this week. It’s a winner.

I took it a little further and made a larger batch for two of my coworkers – Jamie and Bob. Every summer, they both bring peppers – everything from the mild jalepenos to the scorching haberneros –  amongst other vegetables from their respective gardens. While everyone stakes claim on the tomatoes and cucumbers, the peppers are always left sitting, never to be chosen. I can’t understand why. (Ha.) To pay tribute to these spicy characters, I offer Jamie and Bob their own jars of chili-garlic sauce. If anyone can appreciate the heat, I’m sure it’s these two.

Jamie's Chiri-Garric Sauce (left) & Genghis Bob's Chili-Garlic Sauce (right)

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