I am hijacking my wife’s blog to bring you an entry about a type of food (a condiment really) that she does not have the stomach – or respiratory system – for. In fact, the very fumes of it send her reeling for the door. Hot sauce. Her culinary kryptonite. Luckily for her, I’ve got this one covered.
WARNING: Be very careful when handling hot peppers and inhaling the fumes of the sauce. And by that I mean don’t touch your eyes after you touch the peppers, and don’t put your head over the pot of sauce to take a sniff. You may want to wear gloves and/or a breathing mask if you have one handy.
WARNING #2: This is my completely original recipe and I will come after anyone who attempts to steal it and sell it.
What you will need for this recipe:
7 Tbsps white distilled vinegar
2 Tbsps fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp garlic (about 1 large clove)
1/2 Tbsp onion
1 jalapeno pepper
2 habanero peppers (ripe orange ones)
3 red chile peppers
Yield: one 5 oz bottle (standard hot sauce bottle size).
I like to divide the process into two parts. First, I make the vinegar-lime solution. This is simply the mixture of all the ingredients except for the peppers. The order of the following steps is not important.
1) Using a minichopper (or by hand), mince the garlic and onion and add to a 2 cup measuring cup or small mixing bowl.
2) Pour vinegar into same vessel.
3) Squeeze lime into same.
4) Add salt and stir until ingredients combine.
Voila, you have your vinegar-lime solution!
Now for part two. Rinse the peppers and cut off the stems.
Drop whole peppers into blender.
Pour vinegar-lime solution over peppers.
Secure lid on blender (key word being “secure”) and pulse until mixture is completely smooth.
WARNING: when you remove the lid of the blender, strong noxious fumes will emanate. This may surprise you since the ingredients are still raw, but trust me, you don’t want to be sticking your face over the blender the moment you remove the lid. Hold your breath and use a spoon to check the consistency.
Just one more step to go! Pour blended liquid into a small sauce pot and heat uncovered on medium heat until sauce simmers (keeping the sauce uncovered ensures that it does not boil).
Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn burner off. From what I have read, this will kill any bacteria.
Unfortunately, this is also the part that kills my wife. Open the garage door, turn on every ventilation fan in the house, and especially the exhaust fan over your range. Remove small children and the faint of heart from your home. The sauce will release quite powerful fumes as it simmers.
Finally, you will need to bottle the sauce. These directions are based on this article from a bottle company called Leeners:
Place the bottle you would like to use in a pot of cold water (make sure there is enough water to cover the bottle). Bring the water to a boil (do not boil the plastic cap for obvious reasons). Once the water comes to a boil, bottle for 5 minutes. This will sanitize the bottle and kill any bacteria.
Remove bottle from boiling water with tongs, fill with sauce using funnel, and screw on lid very tightly. Turn bottle upside down and let sit for 5 minutes. The acidity of the sauce should sanitize the lid.
And voila! You’ve got your tri-pepper hot sauce!
I recommend that you refrigerate the hot sauce to preserve it as long as possible. From what I’ve read it should last at least a few months.
If this sauce is too spicy for you, there are a few ways that you can tone it down. You can decrease the number of peppers or increase the amount of vinegar, or substitute milder kinds of peppers. You can also cut out the membrane from the center of the peppers and use only the outside, which will decrease the heat significantly but retain most of the flavor.
On the other hand, you can kick it up a few notches by adding more habaneros.
Either way, I hope you enjoy it! I know I am.