…then this may not be the sauce for you. From the book Food 2.0, by Charlie Ayers, this is not your run-of-the-mill hot sauce. With seventeen ingredients, not counting water, this is a sauce that will set your mouth on fire and your taste buds tingling. Sweet, tangy, smokey and spicy. What's not to love?
Above is a photo of a breakfast taco I made this morning – scrambled eggs, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed broccoli rabe, melty Edam cheese, and a healthy drizzle of Google Hot Sauce right down the middle. Forget the coffee – THIS will wake you right up!
I made the sauce Tuesday evening, and Bill and I tested it out on fish tacos – pan-fried tilapia, baby spinach leaves, fresh guacamole (with cilantro and chives from our garden), and Edam. Edam is a nice, mild, soothing sort of cheese – an excellent foil for the super-assertive hot sauce.
Now, we like heat. We eat things spicy. But if it's just heat, and no real flavor, then we're not impressed. Sure, our eyes may water and we may sneeze fire, but heat without flavor is just culinary window dressing.
So we tried the sauce. And loved it. I knew, when I started cooking, that it would be good. Just the assortment of ingredients involved…and then the variety of smells that drifted through my kitchen while the ingredients simmered on the stove. And I wasn't wrong.
Google Hot Sauce is good stuff. And it's simple to make, too.
Here, I'll show you.
But first – a few words of caution. And I'm sure you've heard it before, but it's worth repeating. Unless you enjoy pain, wear gloves or use something (I used paper towel) to hold the chilies while you chop them. These babies are HOT, and if you touch the insides with your bare fingers, you're setting yourself up for some serious pain in some form later on. Touch your eye after handling a habanero, and you'll wish you were chopping onions instead. Really. So be careful. And wash your hands well after you're done, even if you were taking precautions.
Okay? Now on to the sauce.
First – the ingredients:
1 cup fresh habanero chilies, roughly chopped (I think I used about 12 or so)
1/3 cup fresh jalapeno chilies, roughly chopped (I goofed – bought serranos – similar, smaller, and hotter)
1 dried chipotle, crushed
2 T tomato paste
1 T minced ginger
1 T tamarind paste
1 T pomegranate molasses (I used plain ol' Grandma's)
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
4 tsp unrefined light brown sugar (I used turbinado)
juice of one lime
1 sm carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T fish Thai fish sauce
3 T good drinking red wine (I used Robert Mondavi (may he rest in peace) 2006 Private Selection Pinot Noir)
And now – the complicated instructions:
Place all the ingredients in a heavy-based pan. Add 1/2 cup water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until rich and thick and the vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes.
I took notes while this cooked, so I could describe the range of smells as the sauce simmered…"first – vinegar…then smoke and sweet…then mirepoix along w/the smoke/sweet…fruity, fiery, tangy."
Puree in a blender, then pass through a strainer (oops – didn't do that, so I ended up with a few seeds and a bit of texture). Add a little more water to thin to the desired consistency (didn't need it).
Store in a clean, sealed jar in the refrigerator. Serve to fire up any of the recipes that call for chili sauce, or use on tacos, crostini, wraps, or even peanut butter sandwiches!
Or to fire up your breakfast.
* To enter the giveaway, featuring a hardcover copy of Food 2.0 and a nifty lunch bag, go here!