Aries is on vacation for two weeks so he's around the house, getting in my way, and helping out. It was nice today, so he was out in the garden, cleaning up everything that froze, shredding it, cleaning out the chicken coop, and mixing it all together to start our compost for next year. I spent most of the day in the kitchen. I had enough paste tomatoes ripe to make a batch of tomato sauce, so I got the tomatoes started cooking down. Then, once I had the water heating for sterilizing jars, I figured I might as well do something with the hot peppers.
I'm just about out of the Jalapeño Hot Sauce I made in 2006, but I didn't get very many jalapeño peppers this year. What few I had, I just sliced and froze. This is the recipe I usually make every couple of years:
Jalapeño Hot Sauce (makes 20 oz.)
1 t vegetable oil
20 fresh Jalapeño peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ C minced onion
¾ t non-iodized salt
2 C water
½ C sugar (optional)
1 C white vinegar
Over high heat, in glass, enameled or stainless steel pan, sauté oil, peppers, garlic, onion, and salt for 4 minutes. Add water and sugar, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer mixture to food processor or blender and puree until smooth. With machine running, slowly add vinegar. Pour into sterilized jars or bottles with tight-fitting lids. This sauce will keep for months when stored in the refrigerator.
But with no jalapeños, I decided to experiment with cayenne peppers. The cayennes that were red ripe on the plants at harvest time I'd hung up to dry. The rest of them, I'd dumped into a bowl on the counter for a couple of weeks. Quite a few of them ripened up red too, so I substituted 15 big red meaty cayenne peppers for the jalapeños in the recipe above. Since they're hotter, and a lot of peppers' heat is in the inside ribs and seeds, I de-ribbed and seeded them (wearing latex surgical gloves - very important to wear gloves when working with hot peppers!). I'm thinking it should turn out like Tabasco sauce. It's on the left in the photo.
I also got a few Habanero peppers this year. Only a couple were orange ripe at harvest, but left in a bowl on the counter, almost all turned orange eventually. Some of those, I strung up to dry, and a few more I de-ribbed, seeded, and froze. With the rest, I thought I'd try an experimental adaptation of the jalapeño recipe, combined with the memory of a Habanero hot sauce I bought when I was in Belize. That's it in the middle, making for a very nice hot sauce rainbow.