Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beth's Red Hot

Well, I did make my own hot sauce.  After eating a few too meals that were good, but would have been GREAT if they were spicier I just decided to go for it.  I think I felt a little bit of pressure not to screw up or waste my precious homegrown peppers, but ultimately I figured I better just jump right in and go for it.  What was the worst thing that could happen?  I'd have a dozen peppers to throw in the compost if it failed.  And if it succeeded....well it would be pretty darn fantastic I thought!

I am a Frank's Red Hot person.  I like hot sauces in general, but all hot sauce people have one sauce in particular they prefer.  I think my sister's family is a cholula family, whereas Alli and J.D. are sriracha people.  I've always been partial to Frank's.  Its vinegary, and spicy, but not face melting.  I  eat it so much that we would buy the industrial size, something like half a gallon, and refill a normal sized bottle from it.  So, that last gallon is finally gone.  We bought it years ago (its not like it goes bad quickly since its mostly vinegar) and I'd been kind of waiting and wondering for the time this would happen--when the bottle would be empty and I'd need to resupply.  See, Frank's is not organic.  When I bought that last industrial size bottle I wasn't too concerned about stuff like that, but now I am.  I was wondering what I'd do when the jug ran out.  Would I continue to buy Frank's since I like it so much?  Could I find an organic (or local) hot sauce that wouldn't break the bank and that I'd enjoy just as much?  Or could I make my own?  Would I enjoy that as much as Frank's? 
It turns out yes I can make my own and it is quite flavorful and spicy.  I don't think its quite a good as Frank's (yet) but I have a whole life ahead of me to tweak the recipe to my satisfaction and curiosity.  Some of the recipes I was looking at called for apple cider vinegar.  I'd like to see what that does to the flavor.  Others had a touch of sweetener.  I wondered what it would be like with the green cayenne peppers which I also have a jar of. 

But since I was trying to replicate Frank's I just went with straight white vinegar and peppers.  It is darn good as it is, but not quite vinegary enough for me.  Matt says he like it better than Franks which he always found too strong with vinegar. 

And it was so easy.  And makes it so that my hot sauce doesn't come in a one-time-use, disposable container that I'll have to just throw out or recycle.  And oh how I like that.
Here it is:

Beth's Red Hot (from Dried Peppers)

10 dried red cayenne peppers
1 C white vinegar
3 cloves garlic (I used my friend Derek's homegrown garlic which he kindly gifted us some of.)
1/2 t sea salt

Heat water to a boil
Pour over peppers in a small bowl until the peppers are just covered.
Weight the peppers down with a canning jar or spoons so they remain submerged.
Allow to sit for about 30 minutes or so until they are rehydrated.
Drain.
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend well, being very careful not to breathe anywhere near the open blender.  In fact, if you have rubber gloves and a dust masks its not a bad idea to use them.  Peppers can be intense, especially when being pulverized.
Pass through a fine mesh strainer if you wish to remove the seeds.  (Our Vitamix will just puree the seeds, too, so this step may not be applicable to everyone.)
Pour into your jar or bottle. 

This recipe could also easily be multiplied and canned for future use.

8 comments:

  1. It is amazing how much of this hot sauce you can eat. I have a friend who eats it by the quart bottle. I am NOT into hot! I an NOT into vinegar! But, I am thrilled you succeeded in making your own hot sauce.

    If I could duplicate Miracle Whip, I would be ecstatic. Are you going to grow your own garlic? If you made your own vinegar, you could just have a hot sauce garden.

    Even if you had failed, you could just redo it, remake it into something. It is like making jelly that does not gel and calling it syrup when it does not gel.

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    Replies
    1. We totally ended up with some cherry syrup last year that was intended to be jelly. Oh well, tastes grate either way.

      I like the idea of a hot sauce garden. Matt and I have done some reading into making apple cider vinegar. Just what we need....another project! : )

      Have a great weekend!

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  2. Great recipe! This sounds divine! My husband has recently gotten into hot sauce. And I have recently gotten into canning. So this gives me food for thought.

    This week I bought 25 pounds of local tomatoes and made homemade salsa in 3 different recipes. I was taste testing. The first one didn't taste spicy enough for me, so I kept all the seeds and upped the amount of jalapenos in the second batch. Divine! The third one I will try tomorrow looks like it will be easier. (And sometimes I just need easy.)

    I second what Practical Parsimony said, "you should grow garlic." There are so many different varieties and flavors of it out there.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, that sounds like a fun cooking project. Salsa is so good, homemade is even better. Matt's brother makes some fabulous salsa. Matt and I are only so-so. I guess that means if you find and simple and spicy winner amongst your recipes you should give it to me.

      Have a great weekend!

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    2. This was the recipe that worked out to be easiest and spiciest in my taste test: http://www.salsagarden.com/Canning_Salsas.html (There is a long list there, but it's the first one: Byron's Salsa. Leave the seeds in the jalapenos to increase the heat.

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    3. I thought about this since the last time I posted a note to your blog about this. I have decided that you might be interested in my comparisons. I posted about it on my garden blog at this link:

      http://twentyfootgarden.blogspot.com/2012/07/update-to-canned-salsa-taste-test.html

      There were 2 posts, but this one links back to the other one.

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  3. We've grown garlic in the past and will certainly be putting some in this fall. We didn't last year because we just had a feeling that we were going to be out of the rental garden before we could harvest it this year. Fortunately a few kind souls, like Derek and Becky at Life for Us, were kind enough to share.

    I ADORE garlic. In just about everything.

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!