Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dinner Silver Linings

Yeah, so dinner was a bust. I tried a recipe tonight that I have actually meant to try for a couple of years now. It's a chicken recipe that is topped with a watermelon salsa. I was intrigued. Perhaps my expectations were too high after wanting to try this recipe for so long.

I had read through the recipe and was sure I had most of the ingredients. So, I bought a few of the ingredients that I was missing...only to realize that I was missing a few more of the ingredients (some of them had been unexpectedly eaten by others).

I finally made it tonight after having been put off by one thing or another for two weeks. The watermelon salsa took forever to make. I had to make it during my older son's nap, which sometimes coincides with my baby's nap. However, my baby (who is usually a dream when I have to cook) woke up...and he fussed and cried the whole time I had to make the salsa. It was honestly a traumatic experience. But it was the only time today I could make it. If I'd realized it would be such a pain, I would have made the salsa portion of the dinner last night after my boys went to bed. Well, you live, you learn, I guess.

I had no other meal options that I could use for today instead when I discovered that I was still missing one ingredient! I thought I had it in my cupboard, but I was wrong. The missing item? Sweet chili sauce.

However, thanks to a quick Google search, I found a recipe for Thai sweet chili sauce and I moved forward with my recipe.

The result? The chicken with watermelon salsa was "meh." Nothing to write home about. Definitely nothing to blog about. Too much work for nothing special. But the Thai sweet chili sauce? Awesome! It tasted just like what you get at a restaurant.

So, I guess it was serendipitous that I forgot to buy the sweet chili sauce because the homemade stuff was so delicious and it was really quick and easy to make too. It's also ironic that while I didn't have the bottled sauce in my pantry like I thought I had, I had all the ingredients in my pantry to make it from scratch at home.

Maybe I was wrong--I mean, my husband loved dinner. But he's so sweet and he loves pretty much anything I make for him. But whether my taste buds were influenced by my experience making the watermelon salsa or not, I won't be making that recipe again. It wasn't worth the bother.

So, skip the fancy chicken with watermelon salsa and make some homemade Thai sweet chili sauce instead!

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce


1 cup water
1 cup rice vinegar (I used seasoned rice vinegar)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced (I used bottled ground ginger)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons hot chile pepper, minced (I used 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons cornstarch


Pour water and vinegar into saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in sugar, ginger, garlic, chile pepper, and ketchup; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch. Remove saucepan from stove to cool. Then transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by WOOBSIEE (called Sweet Chili Thai Sauce)

This is one of the comments that accompanied the recipe:

"A savory sauce to use as a dip with shrimp or spring rolls, in stir-fries and noodle dishes, even on whole wheat pizza crust instead of typical pizza sauce with feta, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and vegetables."

Notes: I changed the title because it made more sense to me to put "Thai" first. :) I also put all the ingredients, except cornstarch, in the pan all at once and brought it to a boil. I mixed the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to make a slurry. Once the mixture was boiling, I added the cornstarch. I whisked the mixture until it thickened. I then removed it from the heat. It was awesome!


  1. Interesting. It looks a little like that bottled sauce that they serve at Iggy's and that's wonderful!!! I will have to check this out. Looks easy. And I can't believe that you had fresh ginger root on hand.

  2. I actually used bottled ground ginger in place of the fresh ginger root. The funny thing was that I actually DID have fresh ginger root on hand because it was one of the ingredients in the watermelon salsa.

    But the boys were getting antsy and it took a long time for my hubby to get home, so I didn't have the time or energy to bother with peeling and grating fresh ginger.

    The ground ginger tasted great in the sauce, in my opinion.

  3. I had a very similar experience in the kitchen this week. Not that I serendipitously found an awesome recipe, but that I had no choice but to let my son scream for several minutes while I finished making what would have normally been a simple recipe but then turned it to way too much work and traumatized me for a while. (Talk about your run on sentences!) Anyway! Because of that I am making all crock pot dinners this week!

  4. WILL TRY ....................