Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sweet or spicy, chili sauce saves the day in summer

Recently my husband and I tried a couple of outrageously-easy recipes that still had a lot of flavour thanks to the use of sweet chili and spicy chili sauce.
   The recipes were Sweet Chili Dogs from BBC Good Food magazine, and Spicy-Sweet Glazed Shrimp from Everyday Food.
   Both were ideal for summer weeknights, as most of the work for each was done on the grill.

The Sweet Chili Dogs recipe (click for it) says to cook the sausages in a roasting pan in the oven, but that’s surely a step most people will want to skip this time of year. My husband cooked the sausages on the grill.
   As the recipe’s title suggests, this is the one that uses sweet chili sauce, which helps create a delicious and easy topping for the sausages.
   The recipe says two red or white onions, or one of each color, can be used, but I used two red onions. From past experience, I know that when red onions are cooked down they turn nice and sweet.
   The recipe curiously doesn’t let the reader know they should chop up the onions, but I rightly assumed that I should!
   The chopped onions are fried in oil (I did it at medium-high heat, not high as the recipe said) until softened and browned. Sweet chili sauce and tomato purée (I used tomato paste and a bit of water) are added to the onions and the mixture is cooked for a minute more.
   The sausages are served on the hot dog buns, topped with the onions.

Spicy-Sweet Glazed Shrimp (click for the recipe) is the recipe that uses spicy chili sauce such as Sriracha to give it its hot-yet-pleasing flavor. To cut back on the heat, use less sauce and increase the amount of honey.
   This recipe turned me on to a good shrimp-grilling technique: Using extra-large shrimp, two skewers are threaded through the head and tail of each shrimp, making a neat little ladder of shrimp that’s easy to flip on barbecue.
   The shrimp is grilled on the skewers until they turn opaque, then are flipped and brushed liberally with a glaze of spicy chili sauce and honey and cooked for a few minutes more.

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