I made hot sauce last night. It’s outstanding. I’d prefer to never again use the term “complex” to describe food, but it’s certainly that. It tastes like a smokier, slightly spicier version of Sriracha. I typed out the general recipe for a friend this morning, and since I’ve got some meetings this afternoon I figured I’d re-post it here. I don’t have a picture, but it looks like thick, deep red, delicious hot sauce.
I based the recipe on a bunch of different ones I found online. Excuse all the parenthetical asides. It was an email. I’d edit them out if I had more time:
It’ll be hard to use the exact recipe since the peppers came from my garden. I used about 15 hot Kung Pao peppers, about half of which I had smoked in my smoker. I imagine Cayenne peppers would work as a substitute. I also used one sweet-hot Mariachi pepper for sweetness -– you could probably replace that with a red Anaheim pepper or even a red bell pepper. The only reason you’d want it to be red is for color, so I guess orange or yellow would be fine too.
None of this is an exact science, obviously. You might just try mixing a bunch of whatever hot peppers you can find (and which taste good) and one or two sweet peppers. The Kung Pao peppers are, I believe, about 10,000 on the Scoville scale (which measures the heat of peppers), and the sauce is every bit as hot as I need it to be. It’s definitely spicier than Sriracha, but not so spicy it destroys you or anything.
You could probably remove the seeds if you want it to be a little less spicy (and without seeds). I was too lazy for that though. I put all the peppers (minus their stems) in a Pyrex container, poured in just enough vinegar to cover them, and let them soak for about three days. Then I poured it all into a small pot, added about four cloves of chopped-up garlic, and heated it (covered) to a simmer.
I let it cook like that for about 20 minutes, then used a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers and some of the garlic (without the vinegar) into a blender. I added maybe a tablespoon of the vinegar (reserving the rest in a separate container) to the blender and liquefied the peppers.
When that was done, I poured the pepper-stuff back into a pot over low heat and added enough of the vinegar to get it to the consistency I wanted -– roughly that of Sriracha. After the soaking and simmering, the vinegar is hotter than the pepper paste, so if it feels like it needs to be spicier you can add more vinegar. Then I added sugar and salt until it tasted how I wanted (about three pinches each).