June 5, 2009

hot sauce

I've been experimenting with making hot sauce from last summer's dried chili peppers. Lots of the hot sauce recipes out there have many ingredients, but I found a simple recipe foundation on Bob DuCharme's weblog:

Basic Ingredients:
2 or more peppers of any kind
1/2 c. vinegar
1 t. salt

Update: These three ingredients are the sole ingredients of Tabasco sauce, which is aged for up to three years in white oak barrels before being sold.

Remove stems from peppers if fresh. Boil the vinegar and blanch the peppers for 2-3 minutes (if fresh) or enough to soften up dried peppers. Puree all ingredients and funnel into a container. Don't stick your nose in the blender--this stuff burns! You might want to open some windows too. The flavor will improve with age, so wait a week before using the sauce.

Here's the three variants I've made so far, using our "hopped-up honey vinegar" that we accidentally made from our "braggot" (hop mead). It isn't a strong vinegar and may still be part alcohol. It tastes a bit like lemonade; the hops gives the hot sauce a slightly fruity or citrus flavor.

(front left in photo)
1/2 dried habanero peppers
1/2 c. hopped-up honey vinegar
1 t. salt

#2 (front right in photo)
1 t. seeds of various peppers
1/2 c. hopped-up honey vinegar
1 t. salt

#3 (hiding in the back in photo)
3-4 dried chiles de árbol, seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c. hopped-up honey vinegar
1 t. salt
1 t. arrowroot powder

And here's a bunch of additional ingredients/options to try:
Grill/roast/smoke the peppers


Lime/lemon juice
Apple cider or other vinegars

Cocoa, cinnamon, sugar (for mole-type sauce)
Tequila or other alcohol to replace vinegar

Some form of starch (flour, corn starch, arrowroot, etc.) can be added to make a thicker sauce.

So far, I like #3 best, because of the slightly thicker consistency and garlic. The habanero one (#1) is good also, but I think all three of them could be hotter. I don't know though, maybe I'm just building up a tolerance for hot sauce from tasting these. Julie says they're all plenty hot.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, looks tasty! I've resurrected a hot sauce from the depths of our refrigerator that might provide some inspiration: avocado hot sauce!