Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pique Sauce via Hot Sauce!

     We're still looking for fast and simple ways to use up the peppers that are starting to pile up. Naturally, I turned to Hot Sauce! for some inspiration. I found a base recipe for Pique, a Puerto Rican style hot sauce that couldn't be easier to put together. If you've eaten at Steak & Shake, you've no doubt seen that jar of peppers and vinegar on the table. Fundamentally, that's Pique. It's just peppers and some herbs floating in white vinegar. There's a lot of freedom to pick and choose the peppers and herbs. It's also nice because it's not likely to spoil, seeing as the liquid is entirely vinegar!
via Hot Sauce! by Jennifer Trainer Thompson


  • 10-12 fresh chiles (try different colors, lengths, and shapes, such as green serrano, red Tabasco, and yellow habanero) (we went with cayenne on one batch and jalapenos for another)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 cups distilled or white wine vinegar
  • 5 or 6 sprigs mixed fresh herbs (we used lemon basil and oregano with the cayenne and cilantro and parsley with the jalapenos)
  • Whole peppercorns in assorted colors
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut off the stems and a bit of the top of the chiles (or if you prefer the look of the stem, make a slice in the chiles) so the vinegar can get inside (we like the look of the whole pepper and went with the slice)
  2. Add the chiles and garlic to the boiling water, leaving them there for a few minutes to soften up the chiles. Divide the garlic and chiles between sterilized bottles that will hold 6 cups total. 
  3. Heat the vinegar to just below boiling in a non-reactive saucepan.
    Remember our talk on reactive pans?
    Pour the vinegar into the bottles. Add a few sprigs of herbs to each for flavor and looks (add the peppercorns at this step if you're using them), making sure to push them down below the surface of the vinegar (or just add the herbs first and pour vinegar in carefully). 
  4. Seal the bottles and allow to sit for 2 weeks in a spot that's not too sunny, turning occasionally (the bottles, not you) before using. The longer the sauce sits, the hotter it gets. 
Good times!

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