Megan G. joins us for another round of Recipes on the Blog.
If you have ever grown your own hot peppers, whether it’s one jalapeno plant or, like me, a dozen or so hot pepper varieties, you know that there are only so many things you can sprinkle chopped up peppers onto before you need another outlet for them. So why not turn those peppers into your own, homemade hot sauce? Like many recipes, this is actually very easy to do, and what really sets this sauce apart, in my opinion, is that you roast half of your peppers, which gives it a really nice, smokey flavor. I am also just a huge fan of roasting vegetables in general, whether you are making a roasted tomato salsa or a crushed cherry tomato pasta sauce.
Step 1: Choose your peppers
You can use any kind of peppers you own in this sauce. I suggest using a few different kinds to help balance out the flavors, but any peppers will do, including adding a bell pepper or two. But I find this recipe works best if you have a variation of heat levels, using at least 3-4 different kinds of peppers. You want a total weight of 1 ½ to 2 pounds.
This is a good scale on heat levels for your more common pepper varieties:
MILD 1…HOT 6
Step 2: Char the chiles
This is what really sets this recipe apart from other hot sauce recipes. On a sheet pan, broil half of your peppers until they are blackened. And you don’t have to worry about them getting too blackened (though you don’t want them to catch fire or burn away), as it’s all getting combined later on. The more char, the more rich the smoky flavor will be. Once blackened, transfer to a bowl and cover it, wait 10 minutes, and peel. Seed and chop all the peppers.
Step 3: Simmer the Mixture
Pairing the chilies with seasonings and spices deepens the flavor, while vinegar adds another kind of kick. In a large stock-pot, combine the chopped chilies with 1 cup cider vinegar, 1/3 cup chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 Tbsp honey, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/3 tsp ground coriander, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer on medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender, about 1 hour.
Step 4: Puree the hot sauce
Working in batches, so as not to overload your container, transfer the pepper mixture to a food processor or a blender and puree until smooth. You can strain the mixture through a sieve if you want a more silky smooth texture, but leaving some of the skin in it gives it a nice rustic texture.
Let your mixture cool and bottle it. I would suggest some sort of resealable glass jar, as it will keep for at least a month or so in the fridge.