31 May 2009

A Birthday Hot Sauce

Another birthday post! My dad's birthday was yesterday. He's a real character, and I love him to death, but my sister and I want to know why he asked for several survival guides this year. Do you plan on running away to the woods and never coming back, Dad?

My dad also loves spicy food, the hotter the better. He grew up in New Mexico, land of broiling hot days and pretty decent nights...if you can get past the sound of coyotes howling just a football field's length away from you. Dad makes this awesome chili. You wouldn't know how good it was because of how hot it is, but my husband and I have learned that if we request that he put some off to the side on the stove before he adds the final peppers (thai peppers+crockpot=one helluva hot chili) then it's actually a bearable and very tasty chili.

I came across a recipe via Omnomicon for homemade hot sauce. Perfect! I can make Dad his own hot sauce to go along with his survival books. I began gathering peppers from Wal-Mart and Petty's as well as some other ingredients that are needed. Then I remembered his thai peppers (I didn't know at the time that that was what those tiny little buggers hanging from his pepper plant were until I took them from him, but now I know better...) and immediately started planning.

I did a practice run. My dad does not like vinegar which is why he doesn't like Tobasco sauce. Good thing I did a practice run first or he would not have been happy. So I gathered more peppers and decided to try again the Saturday before his birthday (that gives me a week to let it ferment in my fridge or to come up with another idea if it becomes an epic FAIL). During my practice run, I had run out of vinegar. Since the liquid was getting low and I had my trusty beer in hand, I poured a bit in. Then a flash of brilliance (or insanity) hit: TEQUILA! I don't personally like tequila, but I had some leftover from making margarita Jell-o shots a couple months back for a family get-together and decided it was time to get it out of my fridge.

Here we have it. My very own homemade hot sauce packaged in a convenient sized wine bottle sans sticker courtesy of my liquor store buddy.

UPDATE: If you want to try a seriously hot, hot sauce, try Firehouse Subs' 357 Magnum. That stuff could peel the paint off of a wall and set it on fire simultaneously. I'm talking HOT!!! I literally tasted a drop off the tip of a toothpick, and my lips felt like they were on fire and had plumped to the size of gourds (they didn't, but it felt like it). It has a pleasant enough taste and a decent burn at the back of your throat after the first 30 minutes of pain.

Holy Snot! That’s Hot! Hot Sauce
Recipe by Omnomicon, adapted by me
10 jalapeno peppers
2 pablano peppers
10 serrano peppers
Bag full of thai peppers (this was about 2 cups)
1/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup tequila (three nip bottles; I used Patron)
1 bottle of beer, divided (I used Bud Light…it was what I had)
¼ tsp sugar1/8 tsp salt
  1. Chop all peppers. Be sure to use gloves. I used my Kitchenaid chopper because I have very little patience for cutting up peppers.
  2. Add all ingredients and ½ a cup of the beer in a medium-sized pot. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. Use the rest of the beer here. If you notice the mixture is loosing liquid, add a bit of the beer.
  3. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture as many times as desired. Funnel into any bottle of your choice. Enjoy!


La Marquise des anges said...

We don't have much choice of peppers here ...but this recipe sounds delicious !!! thanks for sharing

Tulsa Gentleman said...

If you strain the final product through a fine mesh sieve then I assume it ends up as a fairly sediment free green liquid, right? This sounds pretty lethal.

I like spicy food but have not found a hot sauce I really like. I think, like your dad, I don't like the sour vinegar taste that most of them come with. Do you have any recommendations?

Sunshine said...

La Marquise - For whatever reason the local grocery stores seemed to be lacking. Even the specialty grocer offered the exact same peppers as the discount grocer, so I feel your pain.

Tulsa Gentleman - It made a very liquidy hot sauce, I just forgot to take a picture of the final product (the next time I go to my parents' house, I'll take a picture and post it). I still used vinegar for the final hot sauce, I just used much less. Instead, I used beer and tequila. I suppose you could also use a vegetable broth or any other kind of liquor (the alcohol cooks away so it's all based on taste). The original recipe called for 2 cups of vinegar when it's all said and done so as long as you used the same amount of some other liquid, you'd be safe. It was pretty lethal. Even my dad, who has no tastebuds left, said it had some spice to it which is a pretty good compliment.

laula said...

P.S. I found where I post a comment! Aunt Laura

Tulsa Gentleman said...

I think that the main reason vinegar is part of most pepper sauce is that it is a preservative. Something is required to keep the pepper juice from spoiling.

Sunshine said...

Aunt Laura - Glad to see you figured it out! HAHAHA!

Tulsa Gentleman - That makes sense. I had also heard from a coworker that ti supposedly brings the flavor out, but I don't know how reliable he is since he's a notorious jokester.