Some friends invited us over for brunch this morning and they gave us some serrano and habanero peppers from their garden to take home.
I'm a little obsessed with hot sauces. It's the most plentiful condiment in my refrigerator. Once I saw those peppers, I knew they were destined to become hot sauce.
If you have peppers, garlic, and vinegar on hand you can make your own hot sauce. It's pretty hard to make a bad one. Try it and you'll find you can whip something up that tastes far superior to anything store-bought.
CITYMAMA'S FIERY HOT SAUCE
Wear gloves when de-seeding the peppers. For a thicker sauce, reduce amount of water and vinegar by half.
- a scant 2 cups of red serrano chilis, halved and seeded
- 1/4 to 1/2 (depending on how hot you want it) of a habanero pepper, seeded
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (about a cup)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- a little olive oil
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar (white or cider)
- juice of 1 lime
- a pinch of sugar
- salt to taste (at least a teaspoon)
Cook peppers, carrots, and garlic in a little olive oil over low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Turn heat up to high and add water, vinegar, and lime juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool. Taste for salt.
Put mixture into a blender and process until very well blended. The mixture will be slightly chunky, but liquidy. For a more refined sauce, strain. If you're not fancy (and I'm not) pour unstrained hot sauce into a clean bottle (empty vinegar bottles work great for this) and store in fridge. Makes about 2 cups.
Use as you would Tabasco sauce. It's yummy on eggs, grilled meats, with Mexican food, or in Bloody Caesars.
[photo credit: Stefania Pomponi Butler]