Does your table usually have a bottle of hot sauce next to the salt and pepper? This is the summer to try making your own hot sauce. This recipe makes a garlicky, tangy sauce that might remind you of Sriracha. Blending the sauce gives it a creamy texture, perfect for drizzling or adding to recipes.
This all-purpose hot sauce adds piquancy when drizzled on sesame noodles or over tacos. Try dipping potato chips or French fries, it’s that good.
You can buy a bushel of shiny red chilies at the farmer’s market for a few bucks, or use the harvest from your own garden, and save money on your hot sauce habit. If you’re slammed for time, freeze whole hot peppers now and make this sauce later. The finished sauce also freezes well, so keep a bottle in the fridge and freeze the rest in half or quarter-pint jars. You can even sanitize and re-use the bottles from your favorite brand.
Handle Fresh Chilies With Care
Before you start, make sure you have rubber gloves to wear while handling the chilies. Don’t touch your face or eyes (or anything else) once you’ve started cutting the peppers, or you will learn a painful lesson. The ribs and seeds of your chilies hold lots of heat, but not much of the sweet, fruity flavors we want, so it’s best to remove them unless you know you want a really fiery sauce.
Find a Winning Combo of Chilies
I recommend that you make this sauce with relatively mild Red Fresno peppers for an all-purpose, bright red sauce. You can also play with using other fresh red chilies of varying heat levels. If you have an unfamiliar chili, check out the Scoville Scale, which rates each variety of pepper in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Red Fresnos are on the mild end of the scale (2,500-10,000 SHU). If you use some fresh cayenne peppers (30,00-50,000 SHU) you might need to use mostly mild peppers like cherry bomb (1,000-3,000 SHU) or even red bell peppers to keep the heat to a level most people can enjoy.
You can also make the sauce with green chiles, but don’t mix green and red, which will result in a brown hue.
- Banana Ketchup
- Homemade Chili Crisp
- Homemade Honey Mustard
- Homemade Mayonnaise
- Fermented Garlic Honey
Prep the peppers:
Wash and dry the peppers.
Wearing gloves, cut the flesh of the peppers away from the core, or halve and seed. Don’t touch your face or eyes (or anything else) once you’ve started cutting the peppers
Combine the ingredients and marinate 8-24 hours:
Put the peppers in a 2-quart non-reactive saucepan or non-reactive bowl or container.
Slice the whole garlic cloves in thick slivers and add to the peppers. Add the white and cider vinegars, sugar and salt. Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
Cook the sauce:
Transfer the pepper mixture to a 2-quart pot and place over medium-high heat. Turn on the oven hood to help clear the vinegary-hot scent. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep the mixture at a simmer. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, covered, stirring every 10 minutes.
When the peppers are very soft, uncover and cook until the liquids are slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Puree the sauce:
Transfer the mixture to the blender container, being careful not to inhale the vapors rising from the vinegar.
Secure the lid, place a folded kitchen towel on top, and hold down the lid. Blend until smooth, scraping down as necessary. If the mixture is too thick, stir in a little water.
Store and use:
Transfer to a squirt bottle or sterilized jars and cover, refrigerate for up to 1 month. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.
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