Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hot Sauce

Because I really like hot sauce, I like to make my own. This version is thick, and barely flows (but only a little is needed for great flavor). (vegan)

In a food processor, fill the bowl about 2/3 full with the hot peppers you want to use, stems removed and chopped coarsely. Add to the bowl:
  • ½ a zested lemon (most of the peel removed), seeds removed, chopped coarsely
  • a handful of sweet basil leaves, chopped (or a generous tablespoon basil pesto)
  • a small chopped onion
  • a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • a tablespoon honey or sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3-4 chopped scallions
Blend the ingredients, adding cider vinegar as it blends until at the desired thickness. Makes about a pint.

If you have enough peppers to use only one variety, you can make sauces with subtle flavor differences. If I don't have enough of a single variety, I'll often try to at least use only red or green peppers in a batch. This year I made a batch of mixed red peppers (cayenne, habañeros and serranos) and one using only green jalapeños. I don't remove seeds, since that would decrease the hotness, but it's an option if one wants. Rather, I buzz the sauce in the food processor until the seeds are ground up as well. Latex gloves can be a wise option when handling hot peppers. Xanthan gum emulsifies the sauce, so that the liquid and solids don't separate (and it is much more effective with the addition of olive oil than without).

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