I might have mentioned before that we had a lot of habeneros (and by “a lot” I mean we only planted 2 plants but even 1 of these plants would have given me ten times more than I needed, so with 2 plants you can only image the amount of hot peppers that are going to waste). After making my Red Pepper Flakes I figured how hard could hot sauce be…
There are TONS of different recipes for hot sauce out there (ok, maybe not tons – but at least tons of variations). I decided after careful review that I was going to base my sauce after one that I found on Chow & make it a lightly cooked hot-sauce (I know that cooking lessons the heat a bit and figured it might be more edible that way).
Now here is some interesting information as well as a story for you…
Remember when I made Red Pepper Flakes & I mentioned that the house felt a little spicy? Well, compared to this process the drying of the flakes smelled like roses and chocolate!!
After about 2 minutes of the peppers being in the boiling water I started to sneeze and didn’t really think anything of it. Then after maybe 5 minutes or so I could not stop sneezing and my nose and eyes were watering and burning. Rich asked me what was wrong and I said it must ‘just be a little spicy from the peppers’. A few minutes later and the coughing can’t stop. Rich comes out of his office and is immediately overtaken with fumes and tells me in a very assertive voice to “get outside and bring the dogs with me because their noses are even more sensitive”. Finally after feeling like I had created war-grade pepper spray that was filling the house, the boil time was over. I brought it outside to set for a while and once the house was clear (a few hours later) I finished the process.
This whole experience just might have scared me off from ever making my own hot sauce again. I even asked a local hot-sauce company their advice on the heat, they said “open windows” and “face masks” and “yeah, you kinda just have to deal with it”.
SO – if after all of this you still decide that the store-bought sauce isn’t good enough and you have the urge to make your own hot sauce, I have some suggestions. They are: use milder peppers, use a no-cook method, be sure to have lots of windows open with fans, or have a face mask ready to protect yourself from this (and let me know if you come up with a better method).
Habanero Hot Sauce
adapted from Chow.com & makes about 16 ounces
- 15 habanero peppers
- 4 cayenne peppers
- 3 carrots (or use mini carrots – total about 1 cup chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Take the stems off your hot peppers. Throw them with the carrots and garlic in a small pot & cover with water. Boil for about 15 minutes. Let set/cool. Drain off the liquid then place the peppers with the liquid & salt into a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a container (I used an old Frank’s Hot Sauce container) & let set for a few days before using.
IMPORTANT WARNINGS: Wear gloves when cutting raw peppers, avoid touching your face/eyes during any step of this process, wash your hands well & often
Oh yeah, here are some other great sites I found online for Habanero Recipes (even if I didn’t use most of them): Habanero Recipes Blog, Habanero Madness, Chocolate Habanero Muffins which were tasty, & a recipe for Chocolate Habanero Ice Cream that I never made
And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what food have you always wanted to try making but upon making it realized it wasn’t worth the process?