Saturday, July 5, 2014

Making Jalapeno Hot Sauce

That's not a frying pan.
Jalapeno Week continues with a new concoction. This one is a recipe from the Barefoot Kitchen Witch* with minor modifications and a hat tip to the Nerdy Survivalist.

So now that we've eliminated the impression that there is any originality to be found on this blog, let's make some hot sauce.

We'll need:
  • Jalapenos, sliced into 1/4" rings. I used 36 or so.
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil, maybe more.
  • 1.5 TSP of salt.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced. I used fresh.
  • .5 cup of  onions, minced. I used freeze-dried onions, reconstituted.  Yes, I have lots of freeze-dried food around. Shut up.
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
Step 1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then drop in the peppers, salt, garlic, and onions. You'll need enough oil to get a good fry going, so if you have to add more, feel free. 

Step 2.  Saute those suckers so they are nice and brown on the sides. This is going to give our sauce a fried flavor to go with the pepper flavor.  After 5 minutes, cut the heat. If most of the peppers aren't browned, turn the flame on high and hit them again until they are.

Step 3.  Now, transfer the whole shebang to a sauce pan, add the water, and boil it hard for about 20 minutes. Remember what I said about jalapenos getting mushy from cooking? Here's where you get to see if I was lying.  

Step 4.  Now that everything is soft and mushy, put it in the fridge until it's cooled.  I left mine overnight because I hate waiting for stuff like this. Besides, wrestling was on.

Step 5.  Break out the blender.**  Pour everything in but the vinegar in and hit the lowest blend setting.  Now, ratchet it up one button at a time until the mix is nice and smooth.

Step 6. We're going to add a little bit of vinegar, both for acidity and to take a little of the edge off.***  So while it's grinding, pour in a little bit of the vinegar. You'll notice that every time you do, the mixer will speed up and might splash a little. If you're not careful here, you'll get jalapeno juice in your eyes.  That's bad. Keep pouring until the vinegar is all in and the mix is smooth.  You should not see any seeds at all if you are blending fast enough.

To the freezer with ye little ones!
Step 7.  Jar it up.  I put a couple small jars in the freezer and the rest in the fridge.  Since it's so easy to make, there didn't seem to be any reason to can it for long-term storage.  And I'm not big on canning sauces anyway.

Thoughts on the results: had it on tacos tonight, and I'm glad to report that it packs quite a punch. Plus it pours easily. When added to the pickled jalapenos we made earlier, they made for a spicy taco to be sure. But even though the sauce and pickled jalapenos have almost the same ingredients, the sauteing of the peppers here adds a depth to the flavor that pickled jalapenos alone lack. So I definitely recommend making both if you can.

If I had to pick just one, I would take the sauce. It's that good.

* Cool name, Bro Sis.
** You can use a food processor if you wish. Barefoot Kitchen Witch did and then she had to strain it because she had seeds left in the mix.  I will leave no seed behind.
*** Remember what we said about horseradish. It works the same way.

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