Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hot sauce

One of the main reasons I began to play with a home recipe for hot sauce is that too many of the commercial varieties are so salty that they ruin much of the pepper flavour. I like pepper flavour and so far this recipe has proven to keep well, when canned, and taste good to me and a few others. I'd be interested in how anyone else makes out with this if any of you play with it.

15ml pickling salt

2.5ml dry mustard to help emulsify the mixture

300ml vinegar per liter

I washed carefully and then sterilized 200ml jars in oven at 200F for ten minutes

Put lids in boiling water for ten minutes to sterilize them

Filled the jars to 1cm from their tops

Canned the filled jars for 20 minutes in boiling water

I washed and sliced the peppers, membrane, seeds and all. I discarded the tops.

I put the salt, vinegar, mustard and a couple cups of sliced peppers into the blender. Then I added and ground up the sliced peppers until I had a liter of finely mixed contents in the blender.

This year the sauce will no doubt have a different character than the sauce I made last year. This year the variety of peppers included in the sauce is mixed between the scotch bonnet, bird type and the ever popular jalapeño peppers.

Last year I was able to develop this recipe with bright red scotch bonnet peppers only, and the results had a very good pepper character.

Due to the vagaries of gardening in our part of the world the peppers didn't show as much red colour as they did last year so the resulting sauce is quite green in comparison. I have to be grateful for even having peppers this year. September allowed for many of them to mature so at least we got some quantity. Whether the quality is there I don't know, but we'll have a taste test in a couple of weeks. They all had good moisture and the plusher kinds had wonderfully thick walls.

After putting by three liters of hot sauce I have done a load of dishes without gloves, washed my hands with soap carefully, used industrial hand cleaner as per the instructions and now I'll have a shower and use my brush cut head as a scrub pad in another attempt to rid my hands of the hot oils. Hopefully sensitive membrane on my body will be safe from these hands again soon.


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