Stumpjack Hot Sauce
Here's the recipe Stumpjack Hot Sauce I promised I'd share. It's a riff on the Blue Ribbon Restaurant, New York, hot sauce recipe. The garlic and onion give it an extra layer or two of flavor and the carrots give it a nice mellow sweetness and great color. I especially like it on eggs and in certain creamed soups.
- 3 cups distilled white vinegar
- As many habanero and cayenne peppers as you want (I used 10-12 total, 5-6 of each), with seeds removed. The seeds add more heat but may not puree completely. If you want more heat just add more peppers.
- 2 heaping tbsp coarse Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 lbs carrots (trimmed & peeled, cut into chunks)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup diced white onion
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a wide saucepan. Sauté the onion, garlic and peppers for just a minute or two, just enough to soften everything up a tad and release some flavor and aroma.
- Add the vinegar and salt, and bring everything to a boil. (Make sure you open the door or a window to get some good ventilation; boiling vinegar can get pretty intense.) Let it cool.
- Add the chunked carrots to a pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 8-10 minutes. You want the carrots tender but firm. Drain and give them a few minutes to cool.
- Add the peppers, onion, garlic and vinegar mixture to a blender or food processor along with two cups of the cooked carrots. Puree until smooth.
- Taste it. If it's got too much heat add another cup of carrots and puree again, until you get it to where you want it.
- Once you have the flavor and level of heat you're happy with you can either bottle it up right there, or strain it to get a greater liquid texture.
- Bottle it in a cool-looking bottle. It will last in your refrigerator for at least a year.
* variation: divide the vinegar mixture in half, pureeing one half just as directed, but to the other half add some fruit like papaya, peach or pineapple before pureeing. You can cut down on the carrots a bit if you add fruit. The best advice for making this stuff is to let your imagination be your guide, have fun and write your ingredient list and process down as you do it. You might come up with something that knocks your socks off and having it written down will ensure that you'll be able to replicate it again.