By Wendy Monro
I have really been overdoing it with jalapeno peppers. The thing is I keep buying huge bags of them. I get very excited when I see these and I have to buy a bag every time. I am pretty much the only person in my house that eats them. So, I have to add peppers to everything I cook for myself.
If I make toast with avocados, I top it with chopped jalapenos. If I make beans and rice, I mix in jalapeno slices. When I make a quesadilla, I melt the jalapenos into the cheese. I put them in sandwiches and on salads. It is coming to the point that I am looking for things to go with my jalapenos rather than the other way around. Jalapenos have become the star rather than the supporting cast.
Homemade hot sauce.
I started doing a bit of research into what I can make with jalapenos. Most of the recipes I found were for jalapeno poppers. I think people love them cooked this way because the cream cheese softens the heat of the pepper a bit. It takes the edge off. Plus, they are just so darn tasty.
Hot peppers are loaded with nutrition and supply us with a ton of health benefits. The heat comes from capsaicin, which also gives people a weight loss boost. I didn't want to make poppers, which are usually fried and filled with cream cheese. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore jalapeno poppers and would eat them daily if I didn't care about my health. Fried creamy cheese with a hot pepper sounds like heaven to me. My mouth is watering right now as I write this. Unfortunately, poppers will have to be a special treat for me and not a daily snack.
I continued my search for something else a bit healthier and finally came up with homemade hot sauce. I never thought of making my own hot sauce before this. I wasn't even sure how hot sauce was made. It always seemed to be magical. I just picked it out in the store and brought the magic potion home. My friend's Mexican restaurant in London has a wall filled with what must be hundreds of different types.
Hot sauce is one of my all time favorite things in the world. I put hot sauce on everything. Sometimes, I just grab pita chips or tortilla chips and put a drop of hot sauce on each piece. I add hot sauce to soups and sauces. I put it on eggs, tofu, cheese and crackers, all over an enchilada or a burrito, and in dips. I add it to guacamole or salsa. I can hardly think of anything that wouldn't taste good with a bit of hot sauce. Ice cream? Maybe garlic ice cream would work. There is such a thing as garlic ice cream and avocado ice cream. I think I would put a little hot sauce on either one of those.
I had tons of fun reading all of the hot sauce recipes out there. I especially enjoyed some of the names. There's "Dat'l Do It", "Colon Cleanser", "Torch Bearer", "Da' Bomb", "Smack my *ss and call me Sally", etc I decided to come up with a version of hot sauce. I would call it, "Hot Stuff". Of course, I would use jalapeno peppers. I decided to use a variety of peppers. I ran to the store to see what they had. I picked up Serrano peppers and poblano peppers.
The day I decided to make this Hot Stuff hot sauce, I was leaving to spend the weekend at my parent's house in California. We were all heading out there to celebrate the May birthday's in my family. I thought, if my "Hot Stuff" turned out to be delicious, I would bottle it and give it to my sister and stepfather for their birthdays. I ran to the store one more time to pick out some bottles to put the sauce into. When I got back, I was ready to get to work. There's not really that much to it. You pick out the peppers you want to use, add garlic, onion, and spices. Then, you boil, blend, sieve, and pour. The only tricky part is wearing gloves while you cut the peppers and ventilating your house while the peppers cook. I skipped the glove part and kind of regretted it later. My fingers burned all day.
Later that night, we arrived at my mom's house. I couldn't wait to deliver my sauces to my special birthday people. We all sampled it right then and there. Everyone loved it. It was a great gift idea!
The hot sauce turned out perfectly and absolutely scorching. You can use fewer jalapenos and replace with milder peppers if you prefer. Or, you could use habanero peppers and kick it up another notch. You can add more or less garlic, more or less onion. It would really be fun just to experiment with different ideas. If you want a redder sauce, use ripe red Tabasco peppers. You can add cayenne and extra vinegar to make it more of the flavor you like on hot wings. I suggest, you go crazy and invent your own brand of miracle sauce.