Let me start by saying that I love hot sauce. I will put it on almost anything and it is definitely my favorite condiment in the refrigerator. When a friend brought over dinner for us the other day, she included some hot sauce that she had made herself last year. I kid you not, when I say that I almost licked the bowl clean. The hot sauce recipe was from The Pantry at Delancey, a fabulous new hands-on cooking school in the Ballard area of Seattle. My friend, M, went to one of The Pantry classes last year and learned how to make this delicious sauce (along with yummy fried chicken and succotash). I have yet to attend a class at The Pantry, as their classes sell out very quickly, but it is high on my list of things to do. (Anyone want to join me?) So when M suggested we make this hot sauce together a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance!
This southern-style hot sauce is so fun because you control the heat. The recipe was easy to follow. The most time consuming thing about it is pushing the roasted chile puree through the strainer. Next time I will look for a strainer with just a little bigger holes to make it go a bit faster. We added a few habaneros, as well as all the peppers you see below, and the result was delicious. It is spicy, but not burn-your-tongue-off-spicy and the white vinegar adds a nice balancing effect. We doubled the recipe below and it made approximately 6 half-pint jars. You store this sauce in the fridge, but I doubt it will be there for long. I am already into our second jar and it is going quick! I will definitely be making this again sometime soon.
the Pantry at Delancey’s Southern-Style Hot Sauce
yield: 2 cups
8 ounces sweet chiles (we used bell peppers)
6 1/2 ounces medium chiles
1 1/2 ounces hot chiles
1 cup distilled vinegar
1-2 tablespoons water
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
Trim the stems off of the chiles, leaving the base that the stem attaches to. Toss the chiles in enough olive oil to coat them. Roast them in the oven or on the grill until you get a nice char on them. Set aside to cool. If desired, peel the skins from the chiles (we did not peel the skins off). Puree the roasted chiles in a food processor or blender with enough vinegar to keep them moving. Push the pureed chiles through a strainer, extracting as much of the pulp as possible. Add the water, salt and the rest of the vinegar and chill in the fridge for a few days. You can eat it immediately, but it gets better with time. Store in the fridge.
Enjoy on just about anything. This hot sauce dresses up a basic quesadilla or eggs and would be a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of chili con carne!