Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hot Sauce

This year I planted lots of hot peppers. Originally I had no plans for the peppers, I just wanted to grow them and so I planted them. Once the cayenne peppers really started coming on I realized I would have to think of a way to use them. So I decided to make hot sauce, and I was very excited. Rightly so. I put hot sauce on everything! Seriously, it's an addiction. Seriously...I saw this thing on PBS about how it's completely possible to become addicted to spicy things. Moving on. If you've got an abundance of hot peppers and would like to make hot sauce here's how you do it. It's so easy! You can use any hot pepper you like, I used cayenne and plan on using tequila sunrise and jalapeno peppers next week.

Before you start be aware that hot pepper oils are very irritating and hurt like the dickens if you get them in your eyes, or even if your hands are exposed to them for too long. The oils can remain on skin for a very long time so please just wear gloves and be careful.

Here's what you'll need, Hot peppers, vinegar, salt.

First trim the stems off of your peppers and throw them whole into a sauce pan. Cover them with vinegar and cook them. Put a lid on the pot, the vinegar/hot pepper steam is potent!

Next, if you want to peel the peppers then be my guest. I got tired of peeling them after about thirty seconds and devised a simpler way -which will be revealed later.

After peeling -or not peeling, as the case may be- put your peppers into a blender with a bit of the cooking vinegar and blend the living daylights out of them. Add more vinegar until you get the consistency you want.

Now, if you didn't peel your peppers -or even if you did- pour the blended hot sauce through a fine sieve. The sieve should catch most of the peel and seed bits that eluded the blender blades. Salt it to your taste. Pour the hot sauce into an old tabasco sauce bottle that you saved and are now recycling:).

If you make a lot of hot sauce, I've heard that it freezes well, so you're in luck. Enjoy!

Use the pulpy sieve leftovers to deter unwanted rodents. We have a cardboard compost pile that mice just adore. I sprinkled the cayenne pulp around the back of it -where Jonas can't get to- and I'm hoping it irritates them into leaving. Probably won't happen, but one can hope.

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