Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm not like the others I have no shame

I do, however, have like a quart of hot-sauce concentrate. Here's the story of how that happened...

On a visit to Bob's brother Joe, we all helped pick vegetables from his gigantic garden. Man, to have that much garden space, that would be so great. Remind me to buy them some bobcat pee, though - they have serious deer.

When I said that I used to make hot sauce but would probably not have enough peppers this year, Joe and his wife offered me the bucket of jalapeƱo and cayenne chilis to take home.

jalapenos and cayennes

I decided that I would abandon my previous recipe, which called for soaking the peppers in white vinegar for a week, and see what roasting the peppers would do to the end product.

peppers on a baking sheet, close but not touching

I enlisted of one of the local urchins to lay out all the peppers on baking sheets. I wrapped up a bulb of garlic in foil, and roasted all this stuff at 350° for about half an hour, shaking the sheets occasionally (hoo! Ted Leo reference!), and taking them out when they were black on one side but not all over.

the carnage

Then I cut off the stems, slit them lengthwise and used the back of a paring knife to scrape out the ribs and seeds. I also peeled them mostly. Boy was THAT tedious. I wore gloves.

chuck everything in the blender

I put the peppers into my friend Brenda the Blenda, along with the roasted garlic, a big mango all cut up, and about 2 cups of white vinegar.

hot pepper, garlic, mango, vinegar puree

"RRRRRR. RRRRR." That's Brenda, pureeing my stuff.

watch out for those fumes!

And here's the puree, along with another cup or so of white vinegar and a cup of white rum, about to destroy my anodized-aluminum Calphalon chef's pan and give us all Alzheimer's. As soon as I took this picture I realized my error and transferred it all to a stainless steel pot.

I cooked it for really a long while. Hours, over a very low flame, doing a surprising amount of stirring. It was very thick and sticky, and nothing I tried would thin it enough. I ended up just diluting it with water when I bottled it. No harm done and now it pours just fine.

And you'll know I love you if I offer you a bottle.