I am the whitest person when it comes to hot sauce.
Ok, I’ll clarify. I like hot sauce on a lot of things that I eat, but mostly Mexican or southern food. I have a point of clarification though. I need to taste the flavor of the sauce, not just massive amounts of heat. I mean, if that’s all you want, there are plenty of hot sauces out there that are specifically made just to burn your mouth off. Just go buy one of those. It’s not my thing. If you like flavor along with your hot sauce – like I do – then keep reading because I’m going to make your boring hot sauce so much more tasty.
Chiles are one of those ingredients that can be overused and be too hot for some people. There are others thay beg me for more chiles, or heat, or spice level. (Like my brother David.) Hot sauce is a natural choice because all I would say to those heat lovers is “just add more!”
When I decided to make hot sauce, I wasn’t sure really what I was getting into. It seemed easy – chiles, vinegar, salt. Blend. Done. Easy enough. I figured I’d kick it up by grilling the chiles to add another layer of flavor to the end result. Ok. Just a point of consideration…small chiles will fall through the grates on some barbecues. I know this because I lost no less than four of the ones I was trying to char. It was a sad day to see these four little chiles turning black underneath the flaming hot burners, completely out of my reach. Sigh… the barbecue is only a month old and I need to clean it completely. If you decide you want to roast small chiles, make a small tray out of foil and cook them on top to create a barrier from the depths of the barbecue underworld.
So, I have to tell you a funny story. I was making my three different hot sauces while also making another dish you will get later this week that includes jalapenos. I had my mom and Bradley peeling and deseeding all the peppers. I made yellow hot sauce with miler yellow peppers and one habanero that had a fantastic back kick, then I made a very tabasco like red pepper hot sauce. All was going great until I got to the green chiles. I grabbed the bowl on the counter (it was in the same spot that the red peppers were), tossed them in the blender, added the vinegar and salt and blended away.
Bradley had finished what he was working on and handed me a bowl full of skinless, deseeded green peppers. I was so confused because these were the jalapenos for the other dish… right? Nope, these were the hot sauce green chiles. I had blended the jalapenos and they were supposed to be whole for the other dish! I had no other choice but to blend the other chiles into hot sauce. I mixed them in with the previously blended jalapenos and it actually made a quite fantastic hot sauce.
Once I realized how ridiculously easy this was and the fact that if you are familiar with pressure canning, these would make an awesome shelf stable gift for Father’s Day, Christmas or even a housewarming. Try different types of chiles or mix several together to try different levels of heat or flavors.
- 1 pound chile peppers
- 2 cups distilled while vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- On a high heat grill, roast the chiles whole turning every few minutes until charred on all sides and soft. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Using gloves, remove the layer of blistered skin, stem and seeds from the interior. Place remaining pepper pieces, vinegar and salt in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour into a jar or airtight container and keep in the fridge for ultimate freshness.