Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Couple Hot Sauces

In the spring I made a hot sauce recipe I saw with habaneros and a carrot base. It was super-spicy, which is what I was craving at the time and paired well with most of our meals at the beginning of the summer. Needless to say, it was so good that it was gone by the time I got around to writing a hot sauce post. While I was looking for another recipe to write about I found that many hot sauce recipes are just chili purees, a base ingredient, and spices. Feeling adventurous, I decided to come up with my own recipe and post it here.

As summer came to a close a few weeks ago, farmers were unloading the last hot peppers of the season at the farmer's market. I picked up a few lbs. of "hot peppers" (I think they're cayenne) and let them sit in the fridge until I had some time last night to throw together some hot sauce.

Hot Sauce

The sauce is sweet on the nose with a spicy bite at the end. The cumin and coriander serve to balance the flavors in the middle. The tomato sauce makes an excellent base for any sweet and savory sauce. You might compare this to arrabiatta-style sauce but with a bit more balance and kick.

Spicy and Sweet Tomato-based Hot Sauce
Yield: 16 fl. oz.

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Cayenne Peppers (or 1 C chilies of your choice)
1/4 Large Red Onion (or 1/2 Small Red Onion)
1 Tbsp. Roasted Garlic (or 1 - 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic)
1 Cup Tomato Sauce or Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1/8 tsp. Paprika
1/8 tsp. Cumin
1/8 tsp. Coriander
1/4 Cup Vinegar

1. Finely chop (or blend) Chilies, Onion, and Garlic.
2. Saute Chilies, Onion, and Garlic in oil on medium heat until softened.
3. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer on low for 15 - 20 minutes.
4. Remove cover (be careful of fumes), and taste. If the sauce is spicy enough remove from heat and bottle. If it is not, simmer uncovered for 5 more minutes to cook off more liquid, then remove from heat and bottle.

Chunky Hot Sauce

The notes in parenthesis are alternative options that I think will work equally well. Blending will result in a much smoother sauce. As it stands, this sauce is a little thick; perfect for tacos, burgers, sandwiches, meatballs, etc.

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