Thursday, January 29, 2015

Small Batch Hot Sauce for Super Bowl

If you have ever thought about making your own hot sauce, Super Bowl Sunday gives you the perfect occasion.  Serve it alongside your best chili or hot wings or bring it solo to your neighborhood party.  It will go with almost everything on the buffet spread.

I've been trying to buy a bottle of the habanero-grapefruit hot sauce I had at a Mexican restaurant in SoHo, famous for its wall of bottled hot sauces for diners to choose from.  Without success finding that little bottle of citrus-sy heat in any store, I decided it was time to make my own.

There were no habanero peppers at the market on hot sauce making day so I experimented with Scotch Bonnet peppers.  The result is not quite as hot as the original but in its way, more versatile. The citrus (grapefruit and orange juice) provide acid to the sauce and serve as a great match to morning eggs.  The savory base of carrot and tomato cook down with the hot peppers to give body and substance to the sauce.  Once you have made one hot sauce, use this recipe as a guide to create your own variation. 

Scotch Bonnet Grapefruit Hot Sauce
Makes about 10 ounces

Ingredients
1 carrot
3 plum tomatoes
4-5 Scotch Bonnet peppers, seeded & de-veined
½ to 1 cup water
zest and juice of one grapefruit
juice of one orange
salt
Not hot enough? You can add cayenne pepper to taste.

Method
  1. In a cast iron pan, cook carrots, tomatoes, hot peppers and water until carrot is very soft (about 15 minutes. Start with 1/2 cup water and add more as it cooks down.
  2. Cool and puree to very smooth.  This is a key step so take the time to get a nice puree with no lumps.
  3. Add half of the citrus juices and salt.  Puree again until very smooth.  Taste and add more citrus juice to get a pourable consistency.  More grapefruit juice will bring up hot pepper flavor.  Salt will also seek heat out. If you need more heat, add a little cayenne pepper.  
  4. Store refrigerated in a sealed, non-corrosive container and serve over everything!