Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Habanero Hot Sauce

I'm really excited to share today's recipe. Obviously, you can tell by the title what it's going to be, duh. Well, we had a good little supply of habanero peppers growing in our garden and I was sort of at a loss for how to use them because they are so spicy. Doy, make a hot sauce with them, lady!
This hot sauce is actually really delicious and not just a fireball creator. It's got a lot of natural sweetness and the heat from the peppers doesn't hit you right away and once it does, it doesn't last too long on your tongue. It's kind of a ghostly spiciness in that it sort of sneaks up on you and then drifts away just as soon as you realize it's spicy, if that makes sense.

Ingredients:
5 to 6 habanero peppers
¼ sweet onion
½ orange bell pepper
½ cup baby carrots
1 tomato
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cilantro
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
olive oil, salt, and pepper

Roughly chop up the bell pepper, onion, tomato, and smash the garlic. I used an orange bell pepper to keep the color of the sauce pretty and vibrant. Place everything on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss. Place it in a 375F oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Check on the pan about halfway through the cooking time and give it a little toss with a pair of tongs just to make sure everything cooks through evenly.

The ratio of habaneros to the rest of the ingredients should be something like 1:2 or 1:3. Again, if you can't handle your spice all too well, I'd suggest using an entire bell pepper and a bit more onion and maybe another handful of carrots. The more "filler" you use, the less spicy the end result will be (duh).
The roasted vegetables should be soft and tender and have a bit of golden brown on the edges. But, they shouldn't be so soft that they fall apart too easily. That's when you know they're ready. Set them aside to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, grab your hot peppers. My habanero peppers came from my garden. They grew up so pretty and vibrantly orange. Oh, and they were/are mega spicy, bay-bay.
Chop the habaneros in half and remove the stems. I pulled out some of the seeds but left in all of the ribs, which is where the spice really lives. If you're not great at handling spice, I would recommend you remove the ribs. Wear gloves and be careful. I had a coughing fit after cutting these open because they were that potent.
Put the cilantro, habaneros, and (still warm) roasted vegetables in a food processor. The warmth of the roasted vegetables will warm up the habaneros a bit and help release a bit more heat.
Pulse until everything is roughly chopped up. Next, add in a splash of vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar and pulse again for as long as you want until you achieve the consistency you want. I like something in between chunky and smooth, where it's spreadable but you can still see a bit of texture.
Give it a quick taste but be v. frugal with how much you put in your mouth! It's spicy. At this point, you can decide if you want to add in a bit more vinegar and/or sugar. I prefer a less vinegar-y sauce. But yeah, that's it! So simple and delicious. At this point, you can just jar up the sauce and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.
This stuff tastes amazing with some chips or in fish tacos or spread on a burger or whatever you want. It's delicious.
But use sparingly unless you know you can handle it.
Here's the recipe page:

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