Something we never go without, and is always present in our fridge, is hot sauce. My personal favorite is Harissa, the Moroccan tomato-based spicy sauce. JP can’t eat anything without his favorite: tabasco.
Walking around the US supermarkets, the amount of choice in different types of peppers really stood out. I decided to try to make some hot sauce myself, from scratch. The great thing about custom making your own sauce is that you can control the spiciness and add as much flavor as you want. I wanted my hot sauce to be loaded with garlic and have a rich flavor with an oriental touch. I like it spicy, but the spiciness should not overpower the taste. For me, this recipe makes the perfect hot sauce!
All you need for this recipe is a baking pan, a blender, and the following ingredients:
• 5 Serrano peppers
• 4 cloves of garlic
• ½ red onion
• 3 table spoons of vegetable oil
• 2 table spoons of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
• 2 teaspoons of concentrated tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of cumin
• ¼ cup (60 ml) of water
Cut the peppers, onion and garlic in small pieces, and bake in the oil for 5 minutes on low heat. Make sure you don’t over-bake the onion and garlic, as it will loose taste.
Add the rest of the ingredients in the pan, except for the water.
The next step is pretty easy: blend the sauce plus the water for 2 minutes in the blender. That’s it! You have now made your own hot sauce.
Of course you can vary a bit with the ingredients. If you would like a spicier sauce, you could use more peppers or use another kind, like Habanero peppers. For a milder sauce you can use milder peppers like Jalapeños, or remove all the seeds from the peppers. If you don’t like spiciness at all you are probably not reading anymore, but you could use an ordinary bell pepper to make it into a non-spicy salsa.
Other ingredients you could put in your sauce (and are used quite often) are vinegar, sugar, lime juice or pineapple (for a Caribbean touch). You could use just water instead of the tomato sauce, which I find makes it a bit spicier (the tomato sauce milds it up a little). For an even easier recipe you can also just blend your ingredients without baking them first. I however find that baking your ingredients in the oil gives it a much fuller taste.
The amount of ingredients in this recipe will give you about 10 oz (or 280 ml) of sauce. It only lasted us a few days, but you can easily go longer with it. For food-safety reasons you should not keep it longer than 7 days in the fridge.