[Sca-cooks] D.I.Y. Hot Sauce [NYTimes]
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Nov 28 08:00:04 PST 2008
On Nov 28, 2008, at 10:04 AM, Martin G. Diehl wrote:
> D.I.Y. Hot Sauce,
> In his blog (http://www.nodwick.com ), Aaron Williams shares this ...
> But if you're like me, all you need to liven up a meal is some
> hot sauce, which appears pretty simple to make. I'm not sure if
> the same prep for canning would be needed to allow it to keep
> longer, but the process should clear any disinterested parties
> out of the kitchen.
> Any thoughts? ... other than, OMG!
I tend to believe there's no universally applicable hot sauce, and
that you sort of have to have or make several for different
applications. But about once a year I find myself making two basic
types over and over again; one is a Szechuan (or is it spelled Sichuan
now???) chili paste with brown bean paste, hot and sweet chilis, and a
little garlic, cooked down with peanut and sesame oils. This is die
echte chili paste for eating with Chinese dumplings.
The other is as close as I can get to the formula for Tabasco... only
made with habaneros and/or Scotch Bonnets (which are _not_ the same
thing, despite what some will tell you; they're probably about 75%
interchangeable, but not identical) rather than cayenne peppers. The
seeded, sliced peppers are mixed (added sliced fresh garlic optional)
with the salt first and left to undergo a lactic fermentation (that's
"put it in a plastic/tupperware tub or pickling crock and forget about
it while it festers and generally putrifies for a few days, until the
contents get good and sour," to you lay people out there). Only then
is it blenderized and mixed with enough vinegar to thin it to the
desired consistency. I really like sherry vinegar for this, but YMMV.
It's better as it ages, but you can use it right away, and a little
goes a VERY long way.
What's really entertaining is when you've got overnight guests and
you've put your hot sauce into a small, clean, but still-previously-
labelled Tapatío hot sauce (this is a Mexican style hot sauce vaguely
resembling Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce, but milder and with added
garlic), bottle with the little shaker top. Then you forget about it,
cook breakfast for your overnight guests, leave the room for a second
to visit the bathroom, and return to find that your guests have taken
it upon themselves to douse their scrambled eggs with lots of that
nice Tapatío hot sauce they spotted over there on the shelf.
Hijinks, as the saying now goes, ensue...
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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