Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hot, hot, hot

My brother has been on a hot sauce kick. As in, he has been making hot sauce like crazy. Like the mayonnaise I made the other week, making my own hot sauce had literally never crossed my mind. But, when every pepper plant in my yard seemed to be full of ripe peppers daily, I needed some way to use them all. A bit of whiskey secured my brother's services for the evening and we were ready to go!
My brother has made countless hot sauce batches in the last few days so he had lots of suggestions. You can cook it, just blend it, use all the same peppers, use a mix, add red bell peppers for color, add garlic . . . my eyes started to glaze over.

When I'm trying something new, I tend to go with the one with the best chance of success. Chris had spent all day trying out different concoctions, but I decided that I'd go as pure as possible. And that I wouldn't cook it. And (foreshadowing) that I wouldn't seed the peppers.

Back to the recipe. What I loved so much about Chris's recipe was how amazingly simple it was (have you noticed that simple is my mantra?). The ingredient list for my basic hot sauce is as follows:
  • hot peppers
  • vinegar
  • sugar
  • salt
You can seed the peppers so they are less hot if you want. Then all you do is cut the peppers in half (this is just to help the blender chop them up, if you have a better machine, you can skip this step) and toss them in the blender. For every cup of peppers, add about a tablespoon of vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of sugar. Then blend.
I used a little bit of garlic in the first batch and a small red pepper in the second batch. I blended both batches in my blender on "liquify". After the first batch was done, I jauntily dipped a spoon into the bright red sauce and tasted it before passing it to my brother to taste. So very hot! So very very hot! My desire for a simple, pure sauce (with seeds!) had yielded one of the hottest sauces I've ever had. Delicious, but so hot we will have to use it sparingly.

For the second batch, I added a gorgeous red pepper hoping it would temper the heat a bit. And it did . . . a bit. This hot sauce is still hot as balls, but it has a sweet start so that helps. And they are both gorgeous!
Play around with this recipe, that's the best part, You can make small batches and then tweak them until you get the right mix for you. Play with the amount of vinegar, the salt, the sugar, everything! I love how hard it is to mess this sauce up.

For this recipe, the total prep time was maybe 20 minutes, and that included picking the peppers. Takeaway? I made hot sauce!! At this rate, maybe I won't have to buy condiments ever again!

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