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Making Hot Sauces – Recipes, Techniques, etc.


aliwaks
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For years I have made a tomatillo sauce like this -- cook up some tomatillos (take off the paper outer skin) in a little water with some garlic, serrano or other hot peppers and onion until soft.

Blend until smooth -- cool. Then add cilantro chopped, vinegar and salt.

You will like this stuff.  It will keep well in the frig for weeks.

Enjoy,

Jmahl

I've been making tomatillo sauce for a while, using tomatillos I grow in my garden. Once you plant a couple plants, they spread across the garden each succesive year, so I cook them up, pour them in a ziplock freezer bag, drop them in the freezer, and thaw out and finish the sauce when needed.

I generally use a habanero for the pepper (1/2 seeded for the weaker members of my family) and the juice of a lime, along with garlic, salt, and cilantro.

And don't forget fruit salsas or chutneys with those peppers...and jerk marinades...

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“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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ive been over roasting any overripe fruit i find (favorites are all sorts of citrus, as well as mango and papaya) and simmering them with the chilies in wine vinegar (any red wine vinegar, i make my own).

i blitz the mix in the blender and then put it in large jars for a few months before bottling. it makes one of my best received gifts for friends.

i use spanish pil pil peppers that i grow (tiny ultra hot red chilies) but ive made the sauce with various other peppers with good results.

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Thanks for your responses everyone, I will be sure to try them.

Jack - I would be very interested in seeing your file, you can use my e-mail gabriel.begin@gmail.com if that's alright.

markemorse - Tamarind and Habanero? That sounds like a very interesting combination, even seems like it might work quite well though it's hard to imagine exactly how it'd come out. I'd be very interested to see the recipe if you manage to dig it up.

I have been making a lot of salsa verde and other tomatillo salsas. The version I have been making is similar to other peoples versions except that I occasionally fry the salsa after blending and and some stock, this makes for a rich and flavorful salsa verde. Also, I usually add some chopped cilantro and onion a short while before I plan to eat the bulk of it ( I don't always prepare my salsas to eat right away).

ive been over roasting any overripe fruit i find (favorites are all sorts of citrus, as well as mango and papaya) and simmering them with the chilies in wine vinegar (any red wine vinegar, i make my own).

i blitz the mix in the blender and then put it in large jars for a few months before bottling. it makes one of my best received gifts for friends.

i use spanish pil pil peppers that i grow (tiny ultra hot red chilies) but ive made the sauce with various other peppers with good results.

Interesting, I don't think I'd ever have considered roasting a mango. Do you roast them the same way one roasts a poblano or the like? And you mention that you simmer them in vinegar, it seems like you would need a lot of vinegar to simmer in, are you doing huge quantities? I agree on the use of overipe fruit, where the texture isn't necessarily as important, I usually let my tomatoes overipen for salsa or anything where I am going to cook them.

Do any of you make salsas with dried chilies? I've found recently that I have to dilute many of my salsas too much in order to get the thin, smooth consistency I sometimes want. I am thinking of correcting this by holding back on the onions or any other thickeners. This doesn't seem to be as much as a problem with dried chiles though, as they are much more potent and can usually stand for more dilution.

edit: spelling and grammar errors

Edited by Gabriel Lewis (log)
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I like to take jalapenos and shallots, grill (or roast) them until charred. Peel off the outer skin and take out some of the seeds (not all). Throw in a blender with a little rice wine vinegar, cilantro, and salt. The sauce is great.

This year I have my first garden with a ton of poblanos, jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros. I will have to try some of the ideas here on EG.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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Anyone got ideas for those tiny Thai bird peppers? We have several dozen ripe on our bush.

I use so many of those in cooking that they go pretty quickly, but I often make simple sauces with them like these three. Making a chile paste from scratch (in a mortar and pestle), while being a lot of work, is incredibly satisfying and produces an excellent curry. I use atleast 20 thai chiles in a batch that will make one very large curry that serves 8-10 or more.

Or you could make some nahm prik for steamed vegetables, or to go with a classic thai meal like in this recipe.

I love those little peppers, they have such a pleasant glowing heat.

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Interesting, I don't think I'd ever have considered roasting a mango. Do you roast them the same way one roasts a poblano or the like? And you mention that you simmer them in vinegar, it seems like you would need a lot of vinegar to simmer in, are you doing huge quantities? I agree on the use of overipe fruit, where the texture isn't necessarily as important, I usually let my tomatoes overipen for salsa or anything where I am going to cook them.

Do any of you make salsas with dried chilies? I've found recently that I have to dilute many of my salsas too much in order to get the thin, smooth consistency I sometimes want. I am thinking of correcting this by holding back on the onions or any other thickeners. This doesn't seem to be as much as a problem with dried chiles though, as they are much more potent and can usually stand for more dilution.

... i just cut the mango open and roast in a hot oven until it starts to caramelize. with citrus fruit i slice into thick slices and do the same.

i make about 30 bottles (6oz ea.) at a time for myself and friends, so the amount of vinegar in a smallish pot is about 1-1.5 winebottles? call it about a liter.

ive used dried chilies that have been soaked overnight but i prefer fresh. i am using quite small potent chilies so texture is not a problem. if it is, run the whole mess through a ricer or tomato press and that will give you a more runny sauce.

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I often make hot sauces for specials I'll run at the restaurant I work at. Typically I'll use whatever peppers we have in season, also roasting some sweet peppers, red onion and tomato with them. I'll then puree them with some dried peppers (we usually have anchos and chipotles), apple cider vinegar and s&p. I like to add the liquid the seeps out of the peppers after roasting (you know the stuff that seeps out of the peppers when you have them steaming in a covered container). It has a nice sweet smoky flavor to it and really perks up the sauce.

Line Cook and Food Geek, Seattle, WA

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Lindy, how do you usually roast your peppers, in the oven? I usually roast mine on the barbecue so never have any juices saved. I assume you peel the peppers before adding them? Maybe I will try roasting some in the oven ar using a tray on the barbecue..

About the dried chiles, do you bother to rehydrate them or do you just add them straight up? Ever have any problems with them not distributing in the sauce properly? Sometimes I like to try and leave a bit of texture when using a blender/food processor and don't like to overprocess. Also, do you toast your dried chiles? If not you might want to try it sometime, it "wakes" them up quite nicely. Just shake them back and forth on a cast iron pan over mediumish heat until they are quite pliable and have darkened somewhat, but be careful not to burn as they will turn violently bitter.

Your sauces sound quite tasty, any combinations that you remember as having worked particularly well together?

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I do the peppers on a gas fired grill, although an oven would work just fine.

The liquid I refer to comes from after they are pulled off the fire. When you're done with grilling, I was taught to put them in a container and cover the lid with plastic wrap (allowing the peppers to steam and help release the skin from the meat). Liquid seeps out of the peppers while steaming and into the container ... this is the liquid I refer to.

I usually peel the peppers, although sometimes I'll leave about half of them with the skin on (it doesn't add a burnt flavor) ... I'll also sometimes roast the dried chiles over an open flame like you describe (one of the mexican cooks showed me this technique). I made some the other day that we served for family meal with tacos made out of "boche" (I think that's how it's spelled - pig tripe).

Recently I did some with jalapenos, anaheims, serranos, and poblanos, along with a few red bell peppers, red onion and tomatillios. The flavor was tangy, a bit sweet and nice and spicy.

Line Cook and Food Geek, Seattle, WA

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For the thinner consistency, consider aging the sauce for a few days, then straining out some or all of the solids. The flavor should have permeated the liquid, so the vegetable fiber can go.

However, there is a lot of flavor left in that pulp. Freeze it to add to your next batch, then strain it again. Eventually, you will have this mess of fiberous stuff that tastes great, but looks and feels funny. Use it to season soup or chilie con carne. You could even use it to flavor vinegars or oils, sort of a lower level hot sauce for weaklings. Just call it "squeezins".

Or dry it out in a thin layer in the oven and grind it up. Use the powder in any recipe that calls for crushed or ground pepper.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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  • 9 months later...

I hope this thread isn't completely dead. I'm curious about hot sauces as well, but I want to make a hot mash to turn into a hot sauce similar to Crystal. So, I'm wondering what it takes to make the mash, age it, and then bottle it as hot sauce. I would imagine that the simplest way to do it would be to select the peppers, salt them, wait for the juice to run, then add vinegar during the aging process. Age in a barrel for one year, strain, and bottle.

If that sounds about right, any recommendations about how to go about this the best way?

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I am addicted to something called Red Chile Sauce that I found in Epicurious. It uses dried guajillos and and New Mexico chilis.

I put it in little containers in the freezer and put it on lots of things, especially a nice steak/avocado/tomato/black bean salad.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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For years I have made a tomatillo sauce like this -- cook up some tomatillos (take off the paper outer skin) in a little water with some garlic, serrano or other hot peppers and onion until soft.

Blend until smooth -- cool. Then add cilantro chopped, vinegar and salt.

You will like this stuff.  It will keep well in the frig for weeks.

Enjoy,

Jmahl

To revise my 2006 post I recently have been adding some chipotle to my tomatillo sauce. It adds a smoky flavor dimension.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I love to make hot sauce! I usually let it rest up in the refrigerator until late Fall or early Winter-- most sauces seem to (like mustard) benefit from a snooze. My favorite so far was inspired by Marie Sharps-- habaneros, key lime juice, salt, carrots. It was pretty good.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I came across this thread while browsing and though if anybody was still interested I'd submit my recipe which is a clone of a locally available sauce here in Portland OR

Sorta Secret Aardvark Sauce

1 – 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 – 14.5 oz can of rice wine vinegar – Used rice wine vinegar again

1-1/2 cups of peeled and grated carrots (packed into the measuring cup)

1 cup of finely diced white onion

1/4 cup of yellow mustard

1/3 cup of sugar

2 teaspoons of Morton’s Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

13 small Habaneros – seeded and membranes removed. (This was 2 oz. of Habs before cutting off the tops and removing the seeds and membranes)

2 teaspoons curry powder

Add 1 cup of water when cooking

5 or 6 cloves of garlic - roasted if you've got it

Put it all in the crockpot on high until everything is tender. About 3 hours

Whirl in food processor – Don’t puree until smooth – make it lightly/finely chunky.

Makes 3 pints - I haven't tried canning it, but I'll bet it would work well.

I've thought about making this with peaches or mangoes too, but haven't tried it yet.

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  • 1 year later...
I've had wonderful success with the pepper garden this year, and have already produced some beautiful salsa with Cayenne and an early Habanero or two.  However, the Habaneros are really hitting their stride and I won't be able to make enough salsa to contain that heat and still be edible.  so I was thinking a hot sauce would be the way to go.  I'm open to playing around with all kinds of bases, I just don't want these things to go to waste.  Any suggestions?

And, Oh, BTW, blenderless suggestions would be great, since that's what I am.

I've found a great base for hot sauce:

1. cherry bomb hybrids

2. onions

3. garlic

4. Allen's Vegetable Cocktail

The alliums were softened over low heat with a little canola, in go the peppers until all is mushy. Add the juice then sugar and salt to taste. I used a submersion blender. Fast and yummy, finished product in the mason jar:

gallery_42214_5579_820.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Here's a basic Trini hot sauce that me and my family make. You can cook the mixture, or leave it uncooked, it's up to you. We get through hot sauce quickly, and a small batch lasts us a week or so.

Ingredients (this is very vague list in terms of quantities, judge it yourself):

15-20 habaneros

2-4 garlic cloves

Fresh herbs such as coriander, oregano, thyme (optional but tasty)

1 teaspoon or so of mustard powder (100% mustard "flour" AKA ground mustard seeds)

Salt, to taste

Vinegar or lemon juice or lime juice or a combination - enough to blend to a paste

Roughly chop everything, bung in a blender and add enough vinegar to make a sauce consistency. If you want to cook it (this tempers the flavour a little), just put it in a small pan and heat until it just bubbles. Cook for a couple of minutes, very gently. Put in a jar and keep in the fridge. Very yummy, goes with everything!

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I just picked up some small manzano chiles at the farmer's market this morning. Does anyone know what kind of flavors go well with this kind of pepper? I hear a traditional use is in a peach salsa, but I'm not too big on sweet salsas. I also have on hand jalapeños, serranos, and habaneros.

-- There are infinite variations on food restrictions. --

Crooked Kitchen - my food blog

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  • 2 years later...

I thought I'd bump this topic up, as I've been making more sauces lately. (Click here for my adventures with Inner Beauty, both purchased and made.)

This weekend I made a citrus, ancho, and tequila sauce from Bruce Kraig and Dudley Nieto's Cuisines of Hidden Mexico, and an arbol and garlic sauce from Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican. Fresh out of the blender, I like the latter better: his use of toasted pepitos and sesame seeds gives the sauce terrific depth, and it's only been aging for a day.

Anyone else loading up for a cold winter?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've actually been planning to do a batch of something Inner Beauty-esque, using the scaled-down version of CS's handwritten recipe from Serious Eats as a starting point. I'll probably get to it this weekend; if it's any good, I'll report back.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I've posted my recipe for a very basic salsa on eG before.

You can use any kind of chile pepper you like, or a mixture, and as many as you like...whatever.

The OP, way back in '04, didn't have a blender. One thinks it likely that perhaps he has purchased one in the ensuing years. Although you can make the salsa with a food processor, or a molcajete.

Here's a link to the recipe:

Cooked tomato salsa

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've actually been planning to do a batch of something Inner Beauty-esque, using the scaled-down version of CS's handwritten recipe from Serious Eats as a starting point. I'll probably get to it this weekend; if it's any good, I'll report back.

John, I started with that one a long while back and ended up with the recipe to which I linked in the post above. I think that the "throw it in a blender and serve" was a crack about how simple hot sauces are to make, but it definitely doesn't apply to that particular, cooked sauce, imo.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Last year we made a trial batch of jalapeno/habanero hot sauce aged in a 5 liter Harsch crock.

The aging/fermentation gives the sauce a character akin to McIlhenny's which has Tabasco peppers aged in wooden casks. My son-in-law designed the label, I purchased the woozies, fitments, caps and shrink wrap and we bottled.

This year I had my local farmer plant additional jalapenos, habaneros and Tabasco peppers for me. I picked the 8 Tabasco plants about every week to get enough for the 5l crock and the plants are still producing. The jalapeno crop was very good but the habanero crop is great and much more than I could use. This year, the 20 liter Harsch crock has the jalapeno/habanero mix and the 5 liter has Tabasco pepper mash. I'm about one month into the aging process, only time will tell.

Last years batch has been judged very hot and tasty by my Mexican friends!-Dick

Dick&Jays.jpg

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