Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jalapeno Sauce via Hot Sauce!

     Our garden is producing peppers at such a rate that we have had to get creative in using them up. I can only freeze so many peppers. It was only a matter of time before I turned to a book the wife got me for Christmas. She knows I love hot sauces, so she figured she'd be irresponsible and give me a manual on how to make them at home. That manual, Hot Sauce!, is indispensable to someone starting out making hot sauces. Up to this point, I have only ever really made a couple pepper pastes, fondly called Master Ridley, Latimer (bonus points if you understand why I used these names), and a concoction known as Shrieking Anus Paste. It was time to branch out. My first attempt at a new recipe would be the Jalapeno Sauce from the book. It made sense since the garden is dropping a dozen large jalapenos a day. So how is this sauce? It has a very bright flavor, almost like salsa verde, but with a fierce punch of heat right up front. The flavor and heat play well together.
This is a fairly accurate depiction of my wife trying out the sauce.
     In the end, the overall flavor of the sauce is more than worth the initial burn. I popped a can of this when a friend came over for dinner. He and my wife ate over half a pint of this stuff, just scooping it up with nachos. The thickness of the sauce will vary from batch to batch, depending on the size of the peppers you use. The larger the peppers, the more this will lean toward a very thin salsa. Smaller peppers and it becomes more of a straight sauce. As always, any changes or notes will be in blue.

Jalapeno Sauce
via Hot Sauce! by Jennifer Trainer Thompson

  • 12 fresh jalapeno chiles, stemmed and cut into chunks (use bigger peppers if you want a thicker sauce)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (we worried the cilantro would overpower the sauce, so we went with a little over 1/4 cup)
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree.
    Fire in the hole!
  2. Transfer the puree to a nonreactive saucepan (if you're not familiar with the term, enameled or stainless steel pans are nonreactive. What happens if you use a reactive pan?) 
    It's probably better if you don't use a reactive pan.
    Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Let cool, then pour into bottles. You can eat it right away or place in sealed bottles for future use (we packed ours in half pint jars and processed in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes. Again, read up on canning if you haven't done it before. I will continue to state that I'm not responsible when you inevitably poison yourself.)
Good times!

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