Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Picante en mi Boca

I'm just too proud of this. Surely something is going to go wrong, and I will be punished by the gods of Hubris Caliente for my overweening arrogance. But for now I'm basking. And boasting.
It all started about two years ago, when the Rev. Dr. Biggles brought a huge tray of homegrown jalapeños to my house. You can't eat them all at once (well, maybe you can), so you figure out how to preserve them.
I will admit (nah, I'm boasting again) that I just made up a method for pickling the peppers. Hot salty brine mixed with stupid white vinegar. Season it with whatever you like; I've used cumin and cinnamon (go gently there). Dump the hot bath over the sliced chiles in a clean jar, and you're done. Well, stuff it in the fridge for a few days and let it meld.
This turned out so successful and tasty that I grew a couple of bushes of jalapeños myself the next year. But it was a skimpy crop, and I had a hankering for heat.
So I bought a sack of fleshy green chiles at the farmers market; they resembled jalapeños but the farmer called them pimientos de padrón (note: not at all like the Spanish tapas snack that is so trendy). They pickled up just fine. But before too long, I fell off the sliced pickled pepper wagon in favor of prepared salsas. We can get some pretty good bottled hot sauce in Northern California; Tapatío need not apply. I was most enamored of the jalapeño salsa from Triple T Ranch, coincidentally the same guys who sold me the pimientos de padrón. Bought bottles and bottles of it, and it isn't cheap.
I saved all the empty bottles, of course. I am a hardened bottle saver; aren't you?
Then one day a few weeks ago: IDEA. Take the sliced pickled peppers (seeds and all) and grind them up really, really well in the blender. Add brine as needed to get a nice soupiness. Funnel this sauce into the saved (clean!) bottles. Be happy. Give some to friends. Be proud. Arrange to have a blog pal write about you.
Steal a photo off his blog without permission.
PHOTO CREDIT: CHILEBROWN, THE MAD MEAT GENIUS

18 comments:

Kailyn said...

I just knew you were the creator of the sauce. Can I place my order here?

J-in-Wales said...

Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it, I say. The sauce looks great.
I am wondering what the vinegar did to be called stupid, though.

Zoomie said...

I'm not really a hot sauce fan but this one has gotten such rave reviews that I wish I had some.

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: I wish I could give everyone some! I'm a little worried now, because this year's crop of chiles is months away... :(

Judith: I am inordinately pleased.
The stupid vinegar, by the way, is the kind you clean your coffee maker with.

Zoomie: I imagine you could taste a little!!

kudzu said...

Caramba! That looks way tempting. If there have been no negative reports so far, you're home free...and can claim it's fit for consumption.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Nope, I haven't killed anybody yet. The only danger in the making of this salsa is the face-blistering heat when it comes out of the blender. The whole house smells caliente.

kudzu said...

Were you ever near Santa Fe in the fall when they dry the ristras? There is a smell of chiles in the air all day long. It's fabulous.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: I haven't had that pleasure. Sounds divine.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Not a fan of HOT, so I suspect this sauce would make me cry. Very pretty green though.

Heather said...

This is the year of homemade hot sauce. Well I guess last year was, too, but I should start bottling my own. Seems prudent.

Chilebrown said...

I am depressed. It is the end of Asparagus season. Maybe is is the dawning of age of Hot Sauce season.

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of HOT SAUCE

The age of HOT SAUCE,
HOT SAUCE!
HOT SAUCE!

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: You are free to skip the hot. For me, the appeal is probably more the vinegar.
Hope you are faring well.

Heather: I might be arrested by the homeland food security detail. But I would love to give these to friends.

Chilebrown: I hope there's one more Sunday of asparagus in Marin; we only bought one bunch this entire spring.
Hot sauce!!

peter said...

I always save the jars, and taking a cue from you just filled a couple with pickled serrano-carrot-lime slurry made from last year's jar of peppers.

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: Om nom nom (which I had previously vowed I would never type). Slurry!
Good.

namastenancy said...

Are we on the same wave length or what? I buy huge jars of pickled jalepenos from Smart and Final and grind them up wth some white vinegar and garlic to make my own hot sauce. The last time I did this, I also added a whole bunch of tomatillos to the mixture. Measurements are vague at Chez Namaste Nancy but I ended up with a couple of old mayo jars full and have already gone through most of it. Now, if you decided to set up a little home business there, I'll be glad to design your label in exchange for a few bottles of the sauce.
Every well stocked kitchen must have several different kinds.

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: OMG! We are on the same wavelength. I LOVE your idea of adding tomatillos.
By the way, measurements are always vague at Chez Cookiecrumb... but I so GET what you're doing. Trade???

namastenancy said...

Trade is the new way of doing business! We should also come up with a clever name but your husband (the writer) could probably help there. Maybe a motto as well??

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Trade. The resurgence of hippie values. We ruled then; we rule now.