Homemade Hot Sauce!

OK, I’ve been playing with homemade hot sauce lately….

You know the stuff. It’s pretty. It’s hot. It’s usually that  awesome shade of orange that I can never find a paint chip to perfectly match. It makes me drool a little just to think about it. Once you’ve had the good stuff, it’s just hard to go back to Tabasco or Tapatío. If you’re as much a fan of the stuff as I am, then this is a very good day. It actually surprised me with how good it is.

Anyhoo, get yourself to the farmer’s market or hispanic market and get some beautiful peppers and remember here in the SF Bay Area we have them year around, you’ll thank me.

I started by tossing some fresno chiles in olive oil and then roasting in the oven. After they got nice and browned, I pureed them in a food processor with just enough vinegar to make them move around in there comfortably.

Then I placed the whole blob of pepper paste in a strainer and smashed it through. I took the liquid that came through and adjusted it with more vinegar, some water and lots of salt. And that’s it. So darn simple.

And crazy good. I made about 6 cups of it and have already gone through a quart. In one weeks. There’s been a lot of heartburn at The Pantry this month, but no one’s complaining.

Hot Sauce Recipe:

1 lb Fresno chiles

15 TBSP distilled vinegar

1 TBSP water

1 3/4 tsp kosher salt

– Trim the stems off of the chiles, leaving the base that the stem attaches to. Rumor has it that that part gives great flavor. Who am I to challenge a good culinary rumor?

– Toss the chiles in enough olive oil to coat them. Then roast them in a broiler, or grill them if you can. The goal is to get a nice char on them.

– Puree them in a food processor or blender with enough vinegar to keep them moving.

– Strain them through a fine sieve, smashing the whole time to get as much of the pulp as possible.

– Add the water, salt and the rest of the vinegar and pop in the fridge to chill for a few days. You can certainly eat it immediately, but it only gets better with time.

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