Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hot Sauce!

Over the years, we have grown various veggies in our garden with varying levels of success. After more zucchini than we knew what to do with last year, we decided to par it down to just the staples - peppers and tomatoes. I make a lot of Indian food and a lot of Mexican food, so we are always using tomatoes and peppers. This year we planted jalapenos, poblanos, hot banana peppers, and Caribbean hot peppers. We also had some bell peppers that never really produced and a cherry pepper plant that yielded only a couple peppers. The Caribbean hot peppers really took off. We had tons and tons. And let me tell ya, those suckers were HOT! Like so hot that Matt tried a teeny, tiny bit and promptly spit it out and got the hiccups. And then couldn't cool his mouth off. Awesome - tons of super hot peppers that we can't even use. Or could we?

Matt decided to try his hand at hot sauce. Now I need to stop here and point out that this was Matt's idea. I rolled my eyes at first and really didn't feel like doing it because I didn't know how. Many, many times I don't do things because I don't know how and I am afraid of failing. My husband? notsomuch! He will try anything. He searched the internets for some hot sauce recipes, took a little from this one, a little from that, and created a masterpiece.

We (he) started with this. Matt roasted these babies on the grill to bring out their flavor.

Peppers roasting away!

After the peppers were grilled, Matt peeled and seeded them. He added some secret ingredients and lots of vinegar and ended up with a blender full of gorgeous and spicy yellow liquid. We bought a bunch of half pint jars and decided to try canning. I am not sure if it is entirely necessary to can but we decided to try it. Thing is, we don't have a canner. The jars were small and I do have a large stock pot and my "try something" voice was yelling at me. I decided we could try a homemade hot water bath canning. I looked up directions on the internet and we got canning. And I am happy to report that we heard the delightful ping of a successful seal on every.single.jar!

Hot sauce cooling! Ignore the coloring of the photo. I obviously didn't have my white balance set appropriately!

The hot sauce is amazing! It is spicy and vinegary and pretty much universally good. Some hot sauces are more of a Mexican hot sauce, some are more of a New Orleans style. This hot sauce it good on everything! Tacos, chili, red beans and rice, chili dogs (amazing on chili dogs!!) added to soup, pizza (super yum!). Pretty much everything we have tried it on has been totally rockin'! We are on our third jar and have given a couple away. And our plants still have a bunch more peppers that need to be picked before the first hard frost!

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