dried pepper

Everyone has a favorite condiment. Ketchup reigns supreme for many fry enthusiasts (the healthy oven-baked kind, of course!). Some rustic pretzel lovers go crazy for grainy mustard. And spice junkies? Well, heat enthusiasts adore lip-blistering pepper sauce at every meal.

If you find yourself going through multiple bottles of hot sauce per week (a charge I’m guilty of), you may want to consider making and bottling homemade hot sauce. The following homemade hot sauce recipes are simple to make, and will make any summer meal sizzle.

Before you start to prep your spicy peppers:

  • Obvious statement of the week: some peppers are hot! Always handle peppers with precaution. Wear gloves and a protective mask if peppers are very hot and wash your hands after handling spicy peppers. Do not touch your eyes after handling a hot pepper.
  • A pepper’s membranes — the part of the pepper that contains seeds — are the spiciest parts of the vegetable. Customize the heat of your sauce by using just a few or all of a pepper’s seeds.

Heatsy Sauce (from the Etsy Blog, “How-Tuesday: Make Your Own Hot Sauce, by Michelle Fuerst)

Ingredients

2.5 ounces of dried New Mexico chilies

4-6 chili de arbol (depending on desired spiciness)

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons salt

1 cup apple cider or white distilled vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon aged sherry

Method

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Clean chilies with a damp cloth, remove stems, and place chilies in a medium bowl. Pour just enough boiling water over the peppers to cover, and place a small plate over the chilies to submerge them in water. Set aside for 20 minutes, or until the chilies are rehydrated (soft and pliable). Place chilies in a blender. Add garlic, salt, and vinegar. Puree on high until a uniform paste forms. Thin paste with water or, if it’s palatable, with the soaking liquid. Blend again. Add sherry. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Yields approximately 2-3 cups

Homemade Hot Sauce (from Eating Well)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 medium chile peppers, such as poblano, New Mexico or Anaheim, diced

2-4 habanero peppers, or other small hot chile peppers, stemmed, halved and seeded

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups)

1 cup distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

1-3 teaspoons sugar

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, chile peppers, habaneros to taste, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown (3-4 minutes). Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down (about 5 minutes). Carefully move tomato mixture to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth (Note: use caution when pureeing hot ingredients.) Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Pour pureed mixture through the sieve, pushing on the solids with a wooden spoon to extract all liquid (discard solids.) Let sauce cool to room temperature (about 1 1/2 hours).

Yields approximately 2 2/3 cups

Resources:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-make-hot-sauce-zmrz11zalt.aspx

Image: goaliej54