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. . .
Before I did anything, I had a nice little habanero photo shoot because I have some time on my hands these days. . .
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.
I also used the juice of one lime.
And a couple of spoonfuls of tomato paste, one of my all time favorite ingredients.
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.
Round and round everything went until it was a smooth puree, looking not all that different than the bottled stuff I love.
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?
- 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.