Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Make Your Own Hot Sauce

Turn late season peppers into hot sauce!

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When Garden Peppers Turn Red
At the end of the season, peppers are finally ripening and turning red. In fact, you may notice that your entire jalapeño plant has gone from green to red as well as your smaller, hotter peppers such as hidalgos and serranos. If you don't have any in your garden, I'm sure there will be plenty at your farmer's market or grocery store. Whether you are growing them or buying them, it's a great time to whip up some hot sauce for later use.

Spice up your Health
If your stomach can tolerate the heat, hot peppers have some real health advantages. Capsaicinoids, the substance that give peppers their heat, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are good for the heart and can also increase your metabolism and help your body burn fat. 

Here's a pretty simple recipe to use up those red peppers in your garden. Doug and I used jalapeños and hidalgo peppers because that's what we grew but you can substitute other too. Different peppers will give you different flavors and levels of heat. We left the seeds in when we made this but if you want a milder sauce, you can remove them. 

Jalapeños (large) and hidalgo (small) peppers

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Hot Sauce
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes about 3 cups]

Requires a high speed blender

12 ounces red jalapeño peppers
4 ounces hidalgo or serrano peppers
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 cups water
1 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar

Wearing gloves in a very well ventilated room, thinly slice the peppers.

In a 5-quart enamel-coated dutch oven, or other non-reactive pot, heat the oil to medium-high heat and add the peppers, onions, garlic and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Add water to the pot and cook the peppers until they are soft and the water is greatly reduced but not completely dry.

Add water to pot
Cook down until the liquid is reduced.

Let the mixture cool in the pan.

Place in a high speed blender with the vinegar. Blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more vinegar. Adjust salt if needed.

Pour into jars or bottles. Store in the refrigerator. It will last for several months or more.

Use to spice up any dish. You can also add it to mayo for a milder dipping sauce.

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