pepper sauce, sriracha, and other spicy things

August 3, 2009

Filed Under : condements

I’ll just admit it straight out: I’m addicted to spicy foods. Tabasco sauce, pepper sauce, sriracha … anything that adds spice and flavor and heat. I love it. I put it on and in everything; eggs, casseroles, stir fry, you name it.

This past weekend I found ripe, red serranos at the farmers market and of course my first thought was homemade hot sauce.

I washed the chilis and trimmed off the tops, then threw them in my food processor.

I whirled them around until they were completely ground up.

I moved them to a medium sauce pan, threw in a very generous pinch of salt, and poured in enough plain white vinegar to cover. Then I set the heat to medium and brought the mix to a low boil. Word of warning – don’t stand over this while it’s cooking. The fumes from the peppers will knock you over!

I let it cook for about 20-30 minutes and then moved the whole thing to a strainer.

After I strained out the liquid, I tasted the leftover chili “paste”. When I tasted it, it still had a good bit of bite and flavor to it and I wasn’t about to let that go to waste. So I got to thinking about my favorite chili garlic sauce – sriracha. I grabbed the jar out of the fridge and looked at the ingredients to see this: Chili, Salt, Garlic, Distilled Vinegar, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfate, and Xanthan Gum. Bingo! I put the paste back in the pot, added a little more vinegar (maybe 1/4 cup, just to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan), and about 8 ground up cloves of garlic.

After letting that simmer for another 15 mins or so, then popped it back into the food processor for a quick 5 or 6 pulses to thoroughly blend everything together. I let it cool and then filled a 1/2 pint canning jar (with a little left over). It’s actually pretty darned good – nicely spicy and tangy. I pushed it to the back of the fridge and I think I’ll let it sit for a couple of weeks before I start using it.

So out of 1.5 lbs of peppers, I wound up with about 50 oz of homemade Tabasco-type sauce Most of it went into 2 large bottles in the back of the fridge to age, but I did pour off some into smaller bottles for immediate use …

And I wound up with a little over a pint of homemade sriracha type sauce.

Not a bad haul. (Oh and as you can see, I made some green pepper sauce as well – just because I had leftover peppers and I could!)

I’m thinking of bottling this up after it’s aged a while and giving it for Christmas gifts to selected friends and family.

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