Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Citrus-Habanero Hot Sauce

The Lowdown:

I just returned from a lovely trip with my family from the Dominican Republic. It was great; however, the trip lacked one thing (other than a direct flight home without a million hours of lay overs), and that was food with a kick to it. I often forget that when I don't cook for myself, I don't get what I want. I'm a very craving-based person. I guess you could say that I'm the male version of a pregnant lady. I want what I want, and I want it now. What I want now, is some freakin' spicy food. Not spicy like, "I put this shit on everything." Spicy like, "I just shit on everything." I want sweat to form under my eyes. If any of you are into spicy food, you know that when your eyes sweat it's the real deal. I understand that the scoville scale describes heat levels in a scientific manner, however the under eye sweats (UES) were around way before anyone fathomed that scale. The scale is below for those of you who'd like to readjust the spiciness of the hot sauce.

cookthink.com (2012)
I suppose my cravings for spicy food started with my father. Bless his heart. It's nice going into any variety of ethnic restaurants and saying, "bring it bitches, I got what it takes." When I was a child, my father prepared several meals loosely based on dishes from one of Chef Paul Prudhomme's cookbooks. Of course, I complained about the heat back then, like any child that was good at annoying the hell out of their parents would. That is, until the timer was put on. Oh yes, the timer. It was my arch nemesis for many a year. The rule was simple: finish what you served yourself. If you didn't, the consequence was simple: a timer was set to finish your food, and if you didn't do it in the allotted time your food was doubled. I'm sure they did this out of pure torture so they could laugh about it in future years. But, it worked. Oh did it ever work. To be honest, it may be one the sole reason that I'm much more adventurous with my food now. I digressed. The point was that I was exposed to UES from a very young age, and I'm now at the point where I need a good UES every so often.

One point to make! Cut the onions before you handle your peppers! I've had habanero in my eye before and it is about the same pain as getting your balls run over by Optimus Prime. If you'd feel safer, or are particularly injury prone please wear gloves and don't wear contacts. Shit, if you still have your chemistry safety goggles I suggest you wear those. Habaneros are nasty little things and you'll regret your life if you screw up.
This all started when I looked at the ingredients on the back of one of my hot sauces. There was literally six ingredients, two of which were words that clearly weren't natural. Instead, they were man-made crap. Well six ingredients soon turned into 13 to add some flavour, so that when this is all said and done, it should be about 25,000 - 50,000 scovilles. So here begins another culinary escapade.Without further ado, I'm going to make a UES worthy citrus - habanero - total - destruction - mouth - numbing - ass - burning - under - eye - sweating hot sauce. Take that timer, who's the bitch now?! Apparently revenge is best served... HOT!

The Playlist:

13 Habanero peppers, stems removed
6 Morita peppers (slightly smoked red jalapenos)**
1 Orange, zested and juiced
1 large Carrot, chopped
1 medium Red onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Spanish paprika (for colouring)**
1 1/4 cup Lime juice
1 cup Apple cider vinegar (unfermented)*
3/4 cup Champagne berry vinegar*
1/2 cup Canola/Vegetable oil
1 cup Water

* I chose to use these for their distinct flavours, but you can substitute for white vinegar.
** Optional ingredients. I chose the morita peppers to add a distinct smoky flavour and the paprika is solely to add a nice red colouring without adding any flavour.

The Skinny:
  1. Add all ingredients into a sauce pan except for the oil, paprika, orange juice, and habanero peppers. Cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow enough time to cool.
  3. If you desire a liquid hot sauce like Frank's, then strain the liquid into a blender and add the whole habanero peppers, orange juice, oil, and paprika. Blend for 2-3 minutes until mixture is smooth with no chunks.

    If you desire a less spicy, but more flavourful hot sauce combined the contents of the pot with the remaining ingredients and blend all together. This will create a more viscous hot sauce. As previously stated, it is substantially less spicy, but more flavourful.
  4. Put into glass jars and refrigerate. The sauce will become spicier over time, so be patient if it isn't quite up to snuff.


  1. Hi H and K, visiting from Tasty Tuesdays. Nice one H - I have fresh frozen diced habaneros in the freezer. Think I can use those? This sounds really nice with the addition of the orange, (though I'll have to reduce the habanero amount a bit as I am a bit of a wuss-medium hot suits me and hubby likes it hot-I'll have to make "his and hers"). Thanks and have a great week-end

    1. I'm sure they'd work! It may reduce the heat a bit, but then again I may have gone a bit overkill. The addition of the orange was because some people say that habaneros have a citrus after-taste. Personally, all I taste is burning. Next time, I think I'll use plums or apricots. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I love the "commentary" on this post. It's rare to find someone who tells it like it is :P My husband is really really big into spicy foods - I think he'd agree with your "I just shit on everything" statement.

    Since I married him, I've become accustomed to eating lots of spicy foods, but I've never tried making my own hot sauce! We actually make a fruity alcoholic drink with habanero in it, so I know it's got to be a great combo. Can't wait to try this one out :)

    Stopping by from Totally Tasty Tuesday.

    1. My goal is to have no store bought condiments in my fridge (at least the ones I use) so I thought I'd start with the best one. Hot sauce obviously. I'd love to get the recipe for your fruity alcoholic drink cause I've never mixed booze and spice (other than ceasars). Thanks for stopping by!