Tweaking chili sauce?

angelaidJuly 14, 2014

Here's the recipe I'm trying for Crab Louie Dressing:

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup hot chile sauce
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
salt and pepper to taste

Husband brought home this Chili Sauce. Is it going to work in this dressing? How should I tweak it to make it "hot chili sauce"?

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It depends on what you're after. Actual chili pepper isn't necessarily a component of a louie. Ketchup is. Heinz chili sauce is ketchup with bits of onion and other extra spices in it. It'll give you that sweet pinkness that is in a traditional louie. If your recipe also calls for ketchup, however, use one or the other. If you want some zing, add paprika and or chili powder.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:10PM
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This the recipe I use for Crab Louis Dressing. i believe it is Nancy . i omit the egg and I use my own homemade chile sauce. it's a very good dressing.

I've included that recipe too so you can see how it differs from the Heinz bottled stuff that is very "blah" in my view. If you want to use a commercial Chile Sauce Willie makes an excellent one. i have never seen a chile sauce that actually contained chilies

Loise dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Chili Sauce
1/4 cup red or green pepper, chopped finely
1 egg, hard boiled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons green onions, sliced, including green tops
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
dash hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix ingredients together, cover and chill for flavors to develop.

Homemade Chile Sauce

Chile Sauce

11 Q basket of tomatoes
2 bunches of celery, chopped
4 small hot peppers, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
2 large red peppers , chopped
2 large onions , chopped
1 TBSP ginger
1 TBSP cinnamon
5 TBSP coarse salt
2 TBSP pickling spice, tied in a cheese cloth bag
4 1/2 cups cider vinegar
4 1/2 cups sugar.

Simmer (lid off) the chopped veggies for 2 hours then drain off two cups of liquid. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT sugar and simmer slowly another 3 hours until thick.
Add the sugar in the last hour of cooking.

NOTE: I divided this recipe amongst two large stainless steel pots .

yield 15 pints

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:30PM
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Chase, thanks for the chili sauce recipe! It sounds great. I've found other recipes that make the bottle a winner. :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Recipe looks like what my Grandmother would make, tho NOT in that kinda volume. She'd make it when tomatoes from her little patch were starting to pile up. She'd just chop and simmer for a LONG time till almost like ketchup. It was a little chunky and GREAT on pork roll sandwiches on a nice kaiser roll!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:24PM
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I've bought that before in a pinch on summer holiday...needing the punched ketchup base.
It is a bit sweet but that is ok.
I add horseradish, sriracha, and worcestershire, maybe a touch of stone ground mustard and ac vinegar.... A bit at a time to get the taste i want...

For a cod cake, crab cake...i add just a tbsp of plain greek yogurt. (as a side sauce)
Many variations...just find an added combination of flavors that suit..and test taste as you add.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:24PM
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I make a Louis dressing similar to Sharon's except that I add horseradish instead of eggs (although I put hardboiled eggs in the salad), and I use a pure chili sauce that it basically dried Ancho, Pasilla, and Guajillo chilies plus water and perhaps some garlic or vinegar. For me, chili sauce does not have tomatoes - if it has tomatoes, then I call it a tomato sauce with chilies. Typically, I keep tomato sauce and chili sauce separate but can combine them when needed. I use chili sauce much more than I use tomato sauce, however, but that's what I'm used to, I guess. You might not like it, but I think it's worth trying, and you can always add tomatoes to it.

Chili sauce should never be ketchup based, however, IMO. But you like sweet pickles, and so it may not bother you. If I order Crab Louis at a restaurant, I make sure to ask whether the dressing has sweet pickles (or any pickles) in it, and if it does, I ask for a different dressing.

I generally make chili sauce from chilies that I grow and allow to ripen. Then I grill them over Mesquite, put them through a food mill to remove skins and seeds, and combine the puree with vinegar and salt to preserve it. I grill both hot and mild ripe peppers to control the heat, but lately I've been adding Habaneros, which perhaps are not for everyone.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Lars, I totally get your disdain for calling a ketchup based product "chili" sauce, but it has been a commercial product under that name for longer than you or I have been alive. Certainly more than 80 years.

That's why the kind of sauce you make is usually called "pepper sauce". :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Anything 'heintz' will be sweet based catchup. It can be tweaked and stretched if bought by mistake and no need to waste it. Use it as a base and taste test. I've done decent adds and make it really a pinch.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:46PM
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For a sauce to be called pepper sauce, it has to have a high proportion of vinegar, and I generally do not use that much vinegar. The main ingredient in chili sauce is chilies, and that's the way I make it. The main ingredient in tomato sauce is tomatoes, and I make that also, but I do not confuse them. Many commercial products are labeled incorrectly and are not what they pretend to be. I will never buy a commercial product labeled "Chili Sauce" if it has more tomatoes than chilies because I prefer to add (or not add) the tomatoes myself. Such chili sauces often have very little chili flavor, and the whole point of a chili sauce is to add chili flavor.

La Victoria makes a red chili sauce that I like, as it has the ingredients that I prefer, and I will use this when I do not make my own chili sauce.

It took a while for me to find it (because I make it from memory), but here is my chili sauce recipe:

Chili Sauce

2 whole Guajillo chilies
2 whole Pasilla chilies
3 whole Ancho chilies
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt

Slit the chilies down one side and remove all seeds (and attached membrane). Combine chilies, onion, garlic, and water in a saucepan. Simmer for 1/2 hour until the chilies are very soft. Remove the chilies with 1/2 cup cooking liquid, blend them with a stick blender to a coarse chop, and then put them through a food mill or sieve to remove the skins. Return the puréed chilies to the pan and cook for 30 minutes more with the rest of the ingredients. Purée the entire mixture with a stick blender.

If you plan to store it for a week or so, add 1 tbsp white Balsamic vinegar.

This post was edited by publickman on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 22:04

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Well, okay, Lars, I see your point, but when standard American recipes, like Crab Louis, call for chili sauce, they're taking about a sweet tomato sauce with aromatics but no chili peppers in it. There are thousands of recipes of all types (though more beef than anything else) that call for it, many of which are very popular. No reason why you can't change it to your kind of chili sauce if you have a taste for it.

I tried to find a history for it, but the best I have found so far is a reference to Heinz making chili sauce in 1896 when they started advertising 57 Varieties (though they had more). I haven't been able to find out whether they invented it, or if it were a commonly made thing, like pickles. Ketchup originally referred to a Native American fish sauce, but Heinz tomato ketchup was a hit for them from the very beginning.

I did find that most people agree that Crab Louis comes from either San Francisco or Seattle or Spokane. Having read dozens of versions of the story, I think it's most likely that it was done in several places in SF--possibly do to the social interaction of the chefs--and carried to Washington from there. The name may come from Louis Davenport, a Spokane hotelier who was from SF, as was his chef, and whose establishment still serves it in great volume.

Thanks for posting your recipe. It sounds really good. :) I'll try it next week.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:46PM
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I can't help you with a hot chili sauce tweak, but this is my go-to T&T for Crab Louie Dressing.

Crab Louie Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup bottled chili sauce
1/4 cup minced green onion
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon horseradish
dash Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together.
Pour over shredded lettuce that has lump crabmeat on it, garnish with tomato wedges, hard boiled egg, and lemon wedges


    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I'm going to put a plug in here for Chase's chile sauce, I make it every year and it's delicious, my family fights over the last jars every year.

Plus, it won a blue ribbon at the County Fair a couple of years ago, double bonus!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:53PM
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I don't think I knew that Annie....if I did I forgot....which happens more and more often! That's neat.

For the record I am not spelling Chile wrong....well perhaps I am but the elderly lady I got this recipe from many, many Years ago spelled it that way . I still have her hand written recipe card and I can't bring myself to change the spelling It's called Elaine's Chile Sauce and always will be.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:35AM
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