The Fabulous Foodie

The Fabulous Foodie, hosted by Chef Aimee, is an online account of one amateur chef's kitchen successes and mishaps, recipe and product roadtests, and food experiences. Chef Aimee's philosophy is that Food Is Love, and her blog contains reflections on the connection between fabulous food, a happy marriage and solid-gold friendships.

Friday, August 26, 2005

A Bottle of Chili Sauce, an Evening of Pain...

Now every once in a while, my day job gets ahead of me... and it overcomes my mission to cook wonderful, beautiful food for our dinner. And really, on a day to day basis, wonderful, beautiful food satisfies my needs more than my husband's, anyway. If I'm honest with myself -- and therefore with you, dear reader -- while I believe Food is Love, my husband thinks that allowing him to watch the Yankee game is Love, and so there you have it. So while I'd like to think that my desire to nurture our spirits, bodies and relationship through the gift of food is a crucial part of our marriage; my husband would likely tell you that in fact he didn't marry me for my cooking, and would be perfectly happy eating Wise Barbecue potato chips for dinner if I let him.

This digression is really to set the stage by establishing that the following story is made worse by virtue of my husband's record of eating -- happily -- just about anything you put in front of him.

So Chef Aimee had a busy day ahead of her. Chef Aimee had heard great things about a sweet and spicy meatball recipe that could be made -- effortlessly -- in that love-it-or-hate-it appliance called a Crock Pot. First, let me say that I am not a Crock Pot lover. I consider the Crock Pot a necessary evil, and potentially the one thing that can make a homemade meal possible after a busy day -- and for that reason, and that reason only, I registered for one when I got married, received one at my shower, and very occasionally use it. I can hear working women all over middle America saying, "What the hell is wrong with a Crock Pot, you flippin' snob!?!" Nothing... I'm just saying that I prefer to take a more active role in my cooking... and I tend to question some of the ingredients typically found in Crock Pot recipes. I have also never seen a Crock Pot meal that looks beautiful... need evidence? Click here! (I should add that the
Aimee from Aimee's Adventures is not Chef Aimee!)

Anyway... all that aside... Chef Aimee flew in the face of her gourmet sensibility and decided that just because the recipe called for a 1/2 cup of ketchup didn't mean that it wasn't a great dish... and just because it was something that would "cook itself" while I was working away all day didn't mean that it wouldn't be a fabulous meal.

Chef Aimee was dreadfully wrong.

But surprisingly, the ketchup was not the problem.

The 12-ounce bottle of chili sauce was the culprit.

The recipe, which I originally found in Cooking Light and also had recommended to me by friends, calls for slow cooking small meatballs (turkey or beef) in a sauce made with 1/2 cup of ketchup, a 12-ounce bottle of chili sauce, a can of cranberry sauce, 1T of lemon juice and 2 T of brown sugar...

When I tell you that this sauce was spicy, I mean SPICY. I mean spicy of the "you best not have chapped lips" variety... I mean spicy of the "keep the Rolaids handy" variety... I mean spicy of the "are you trying to kill me" variety.

Which is what my husband -- who as I said is a human garbage disposal -- said to me. He took a bite, turned to me, his bride of under a year, and said, "Are you trying to kill me?"

This is from a man who regularly orders vindaloo at our local Indian joint.

That oughta tell you something.

So Chef Aimee's lesson for today: if you are considering a recipe that calls for a 12-ounce bottle of chili sauce just for the sake of a homecooked meal... run, don't walk, for the nearest takeout menu. The road to heartburn is paved with such good intentions.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Nic said...

What kind of Chili sauce did you use? It seems like that recipe called for the Heinz kind, which is much more tangy than spicy. I hate non-specific recipes!

At 10:58 PM, Blogger debbie said...

Yeah, I'm with Nic. They must've meant that Heinz stuff. Did you use an Asian variety?

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Chef Aimee said...

Hmm. Perhaps I don't spend enough time perusing the chili sauce aisle, as I didn't even know there were different kinds. I used the Asian kind, indeed... how many scovilles you think 12 ounces of THAT was?

At 2:05 AM, Blogger blaze said...

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At 10:05 AM, Blogger Gazza said...

I have a zucchini recipe site/blog. It pretty much covers zucchini recipe related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


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