Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hot Sauce Boss? Maybe...I am in training.

It is an absolutely beautiful day in Austin. There's not a cloud in the sky, and it is only about 80 degrees today (give or take). I've had my windows open all day, drying clothes and blankets on my porch, took Carmen on an awesome walk this morning, and now I am ready to get down to business and start cooking something. Right now, as I type this blog entry, I am on my porch with my dog Carmen, who has made a lair/fort with my drying blankets. As a side note, there is just something about air and sun dried fabrics that is just nostalgic. It reminds me of spending time with my Mommom after the beach, with all of our towels on the porch or chairs drying out. Mmmmm.

Carmen in her fort/lair on our porch. 

I've decided today, that I am going to make some more hot sauce. The wall of peppers at my local Whole Foods store is somewhat bewildering, which is how I came to make this decision today. In my selections I have: red peppers, jalapeños, habaneros, thai chili peppers, and a package of ghost peppers that I am frankly terrified to handle. I have my onions, coconut oil, salt, garlic, and beer ready to go. My goal today is to make a good tangy hot sauce that won't make me explode. Graphic, but necessary.

Remember September Hot Sauce
5 large red peppers 
4 jalapeños 
3 habaneros
8 thai chili peppers
1-2 tablespoons of local honey 
1.5-2 cups of white wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon salt 
1 teaspoon whole pepper corns 
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger 
5 large garlic cloves 
1/2 of a large yellow onion (you can do the whole onion too if you want) 
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Directions: Use a pan that is large enough to evenly cook all of these ingredients. Today I chose a risotto pan (flat bottom, large). Give the onions and the red peppers a decent chop and add them to the pan with the oil. You can also grate your ginger over the ingredients at this point.

YOU WANT TO BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL PREPARING ANY KIND OF HOT PEPPER! You can wear gloves, and probably should if you don't usually wear gloves with peppers. The oils can stay on your skin even after washing with soap and water.

With each of the peppers (with the exception of thai peppers), you want to cut them in half long ways, and then remove the ribs and the seeds. If you leave the seeds in, your sauce will become a lot hotter than you anticipate. After the peppers have been prepared, then give them a pretty good chop and add them to the mix in the pan.

For the thai chili peppers, I cut off the tops and then gave them a rough chop. They are so tiny that it's kind of hard and tedious to try to take the seeds out.  Add these to the pan.

Let all the ingredients sauté for about 5 minutes so that every one is getting to know each other. Then add the vinegar and honey. Let this simmer for about 10-20 minutes.

A view of right after you add the vinegar. 

At this point, I like to see where my sauce is at and either add more vinegar or just leave it alone. I like to let it sit and cool for at least an hour, if not overnight. Tomorrow, I will put it into my food processor or may even try it in the nutribullet (no hot liquids allowed!) and blend and then strain. If you refrigerate it, it should last up to one month.

Simmering in action! 

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