Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is it HOT? Well, well, well, well...


I like flavor. I love things that make my mouth happy. That’s why I love hot sauce. Not just your plain, ordinary tabasco sauce, although that’s okay if you’re just looking to add heat. But if you want to add heat AND flavor, you need a good hot sauce. I’ve tasted many hot sauces. Then last year I decided I was done playing around and was going to make my own hot sauce. Well, it turned out sooo good that now I can’t let myself run out of it. I have it on my breakfast sausage biscuit or steak biscuit, on pizza, in soup, on just about anything that needs a kick. I have given some away, and most everybody that has tried it seems to like it. But I like mine hot, mind you. VERY hot!!! My mouth gets happy just thinking about it…

Well, today was hot sauce making and canning day in the holler. It is a simple cold sauce that I make in the blender. The heat comes from six nice sized jalapeño peppers and six habañero peppers. But remember, I like mine hot, so you can control your heat by the number of habañero peppers you put in yours. You might choose to use eight or ten! My dearly beloved wife usually deals with the jalapeños for me while I work on chopping and adding the rest of the stuff to the blender. We have a box of those disposable plastic gloves that we use when dealing with the peppers, and I would advise you do the same unless you want a case of the chili eyes, or worse! She roasts the jalapeños on the fire. We have a gas stove, so we just put a small grate over the eye of the stove and lay the peppers on it. She chars the peppers until they have black burn marks on them, not completely, but enough to say they’re roasted, then drops them in a small paper bag to steam a few minutes with the residual heat. Then she moves them over to the sink and runs them under some water, rubbing the charred skin off of them, pulling the stems off and drops them, seeds included, into the blender. Meanwhile, I cut the stem off of the habañero peppers and drop them in the blender, including the seeds because that’s where a lot of the heat is. The first few times we roasted the habañeros also, but they really have a slight citrus flavor, so they are best just added raw. I cut up two small or one large onion into chunks and add it. I peel about six to eight cloves or garlic and drop them in. I always add some sort of herb. I prefer to use Thai basil, if I have some, but I have used regular basil, cilantro, and even plain parsley. The nuances of the herb won’t be that noticeable in the finished product, so just put a good handful or two in. You’re just building flavor. Then I add a teaspoon of salt, two and a half tablespoons of brown sugar, and a heaping half teaspoon of each of coriander, turmeric and cumin. Then I fill the empty space in left in the blender with white vinegar; I would say about three cups or so. This is not one of those recipes that is an exact science with me, so I just eyeball it. Then put the lid on good and tight and run the blender (I hope you have a good, powerful one) on liquefy for a few minutes, until it is no longer hitting any chunks and everything is, well, liquefied. Let me warn you, when you open the lid you will be tempted to stick your nose over it and smell in the aroma deeply. It smells so good, it’s hard to resist. I did this the first three times I made it. Yeehaw!!!! I only do it now if my sinuses are so stopped up that I am ready to take a drastic measure to clear them.

At this point, you could just funnel it into jars or old hot sauce bottles, put it into the refrigerator, and use it as you wish. We funnel ours into mason jars and can them. We boil the jars for about 45 minutes, and that way, once they have cooled and sealed, we can keep the jars in our pantry until they are needed. However, they don’t stay around long. There seems to be a building demand for them. The word is out with my co-workers about JP’s hot sauce.


This looks like something that one of our dogs dug up in the yard and dragged in to chew on, but it’s not. It is our salt and pepper shakers. My mother bought them for us. She loves dogs also. She is just crazy about Violet. You haven’t met Violet yet, have you? I’ll let Mrs. JP introduce her next. Speaking of my lovely bride, she’s in the kitchen making her delicious ginger chili chicken. It’s beginning to smell really good in here, so I need to wrap it up. :oP

Have a great weekend! Be sure to praise God with some of your fellow grace recipients tomorrow!!! God bless…

4 comments:

Bell said...

We are the big fat weenies when it comes to heat. I could hardly stand to READ about your hot sauce. We would have to call medical professionals if I was to try it. I am sure it is good though---to non-weenies.

Maybe you should go into business making hot sauce! :)

YD said...

I love hot stuff! Although I think I'm getting "tame". I used to be able to eat those Thai bird chili pepper straight up but not anymore. I did make a small batch of habanero hot sauce using my own home grown habanero. That was excellent and HOT!
Do you grow your own peppers?

JP said...

@Bell: I used to be a heat weenie too, but you start out sprinkling a tiny bit of tabasco sauce on your slice of pizza and next thing you know, you're a chili head.

@YD: We haven't tried any major gardening yet. We do usually grow some herbs every year in a pot on our porch, and last year we planted some blueberry bushes and peach trees out in the yard, but we know how much work goes into gardening and we haven't committed to that yet. We want to try it, sometime. Maybe this year? :o)

YD said...

JP, gardening is definitely a commitment but it's addicting, especially growing your own hot peppers! I actually planted those habanero peppers by mistake. My neighbot gave me some hot peppers plants but they were mislabeled. I thought I planted Serranos but turned out I got the really hot one!