Some Like it Hot

Sauce, that is. If you have read this blog for any length of time, you may have gathered that I have a love for intensely spicy foods. My all time favorite hot sauce is the sauce at Bueno y Sano in Amherst, MA, but a very close second is one I can get closer to home, Goya’s Habanero Salsita. I could live on a diet of hot sauce and tortilla chips alone, and the other day started to wonder why I didn’t try to make my own hot sauce. After being disappointed in the spice level of everything at Lolita the other night, I decided that if I wanted spice, I needed to take matters into my own hands.

And so, I did.

I did a little internet research first. Though I had a pretty good idea from reading the labels of countless bottles of hot sauce, I wanted to make sure I got it right. It turns out the ingredients need to be cooked first which is something I didn’t realize.

I started with nine ripe habanero peppers. There are only eight in the photo for the sake of symmetry. . .

habanero hot sauce

Before I did anything, I had a nice little habanero photo shoot because I have some time on my hands these days. . . Winking smile

habanero peppers habanero pepper

Aren’t they pretty?

Other ingredients in my sauce included white vinegar, the Shaw’s brand. I feel like I am getting away with something when I spend 40 cents less on the store brand than the national brand. It is truly the little things.

white vinegar

I also used the juice of one lime.

lime

And a couple of spoonfuls of tomato paste, one of my all time favorite ingredients.

tomato paste

I sautéed a piece of white onion, three cloves of garlic, and all of the habanero peppers in some oil until they all started to brown, then let them cool a bit and popped them into the Cuisinart with the tomato paste, 1/2 cup of vinegar, the lime juice, and 1/2 cup cold water.

habanero peppers

image

Round and round everything went until it was a smooth puree, looking not all that different than the bottled stuff I love.

homemade hot sauce

I was a little afraid to taste it. I like heat, but there were a lot of habaneros in this hot sauce; I hoped it lived up to my expectations without killing me. . .

It was good! The lime juice gave it a nice citrus kick, and I used enough water and vinegar to thin it all out. I have included the recipe I used as my base below. You will see I changed it quite a bit, but it all worked! And while I enjoyed quite a bit of the sauce with tortilla chips, I also put it on top of some steamed spinach and used it as a dipping sauce for chicken. It works well to add flavor without fat to a lot of dishes! Yum.

Have you ever tried to make a favorite store-bought item?

Recipe Inspiration for My Habanero Sauce:

  • 1 small onion — chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic — chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup carrots — chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Habanero chilies (3 or 4) — minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Saute onion in oil until soft. Add carrots and water.Bring to boil,reduce heat,and simmer until the carrots are soft. Remove from heat . Add chilies,lime juice and salt to the carrot mixture. Place in processor and puree until smooth.Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

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Tags: Food, habanero pepper, habanero sauce, habaneros, hot sauce, recipe

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    I giggled at your habanero photo shoot. This hot sauce looks seriously spicy. Maybe you could bottle some and give it to your lovely food-blogging pal? ;-) And Bueno y Sano….you have me craving it this morning…

    Reply

  2. Evan Thomas’s avatar

    Great recipe! I like things hot, too, so I imagine I’d like this on anything and everything.

    Reply

  3. Julie’s avatar

    Great photo shoot!! They are pretty. =)

    Reply

  4. Katie’s avatar

    I LOVE spicy food as well and good to know about Bueno y Sano. Haven’t been there but I have roots in W. Mass so will have to give that a try. This sauce looks awesome. Love how there’s carrots in there. That must have provided a nice (slight) balance of sweetness.

    Reply

  5. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    Nice! I never made my own hot sauce, maybe one day I’ll attempt to when I’m not too lazy :p Those habaneros are so pretty!

    Reply

  6. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

    OOOOOO love this homemade hot sauce…gotta keep the heat. =)

    Reply

  7. Judy’s avatar

    I love a good, hot habanero sauce. The more you eat, the better it gets. Reminds me that I haven’t made any lately…

    Reply

  8. Daisy’s avatar

    the habaneros do look beautiful! who doesn’t love a photo shoot with gorgeous looking peppers?!

    I do know what you mean about Lolita though! While I’ve come to enjoy hot foods, i don’t need it incredibly spicy so I didn’t mind, but I totally understand the disappointment. you almost think the spice level would match the atmosphere….

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      I feel bad for hating on Lolita! We really did like the food, I just have an odd desire for things that burn my face off! :)

      Reply

    2. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

      Mmmmmm, I like it HOT!!!!!!!

      I have made some store-bought faves, such as hummus!

      Reply

    3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      I don’t like it hot, but I would try a little just to be a good friend :)

      Reply

    4. alicia’s avatar

      I like spicy, but habaneros still scare me a bit!

      I LOVE the photo shoot – so pretty!

      Reply

    5. MarathonVal’s avatar

      I have a hard time eating spicy food, but those peppers are so adorable! I’m trying to branch out and to eat more spicy food, maybe I should give them a try!

      Reply

    6. The Financialite’s avatar

      Thank you so much for your recipe! My roommate loves spicy foods and I cannot wait to make this for him!

      Reply

    7. Katie@Cozydelicious’s avatar

      Oooh, I have always wanted to make my own hot sauce. Yours looks awesome (and yes, those peppers are adorable!) Making your own typically store-bought stuff is certainly fun… I’ve done peanut butter, a dozen different types of salsa, BBQ sauce, mayo. I guess hot sauce is next on the list!

      Reply

    8. Kim’s avatar

      Last few weeks I’ve been in more of spicy kind of mood (literally and figuratively) so it’s been a lot of chili powder, cayenne powder, salsas, and anything else that can be made spicy.

      Granted I am a bit of a wuss (and for being half-Hispanic you’d think I’d go nuts over super spicy food) and have my limits but even still, the one you made here looks spectacular…even with 9 habaneros! Sometimes, homemade salsa is just a heck of a lot better than store bought.

      Reply

    9. Amanda L.’s avatar

      Oh man! I love spicy foods as well, but I’ve never made my own hot sauce. I’ll have to give this one a try!

      Reply

    10. Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)’s avatar

      so cool!! it’s crazy, i love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, and I am FIERCELY addicted to hot sauce, yet I’ve never thought of making my own! This is motivating! :)

      Reply

    11. Emily’s avatar

      Woo! My husband would consume the entire batch of this spicy sauce. He is a nut like that. This looks awesome!

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        It’s addictive! Even though my mouth hurt, I kept eating it!

        Reply

      2. Nikki’s avatar

        This is great! You could use it on so many dishes, too. Even veggie burgers. YUM!

        Reply

      3. Jason Phelps’s avatar

        This is definitely a great remake. I made some habanero infused vodka in 2010. A little goes a REALLY long way for heat. The peppers were from a neighbors garden and were great several other ways too.

        Jason

        Reply

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