Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hot Stuff

This weekend has been pretty pleasant, as I make the unfortunate transition back to work mode this week. We were fortunate to have a few nice visits with my mother, sister, brother and pretty much the entire Walsh family.

I spent a good part of my weekend trying my hand at hot sauce making, and also a first attempt at canning food. If Bridgewater Bill leaves us any tomatoes this year, I'll be using these skills to bottle up some homemade tomato sauce later in the fall.

Saturday was my first attempt, I made a reddish/orange sauce which I have affectionately labeled The "Citrus Witch" except the second word should start with a b.

About 40% of the peppers came from our garden, I was glad to finally put them to use. The freezer destroyed the cell structure, so they weren't really good for much else. I'll try and capture the recipe now...I kind of winged it.

1/4 LB Cayenne Pepper
1/2 LB Jalapeno Pepper (green and red)
1/2 LB Serrano Pepper
2 large Red Bell Peppers
3 Habanero Peppers
1 small yellow bell pepper 
3/4 a large sweet onion
1 full bulb of garlic rough chopped
4 cups of white vinegar
1 oz apple cider vinegar
1 oz red wine vinegar
1 oz cheap Kentucky bourbon
1 oz Dominican Dark Rum
4 tsp kosher salt
juice from 2 limes
juice from 2 lemons
juice from 1 navel orange
salt and pepper to taste

Rough cut garlic and onion, apply a liberal amount of salt and pepper, saute with some olive oil. Strain out excess oil and process for 5 minutes in a food processor with the citrus juice.

Rough cut all peppers and combine with vinegars, salt, bourbon, rum, and the citrus/onion/garlic concoction. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

Liquefy all ingredients in a blender for 5 minutes. Strain, and bring to a boil.

I got about seven 8" glass jars worth that I canned. I plan to let it age for 3 - 6 months. It had a good amount of heat, and a nice tang from the citrus. I am looking forward to seeing how it ages. If I make it again, I'm going to add some liquid smoke.

Today, I made a simple green Jalapeno hot sauce.

For this I followed a similar routine, I used about 2-1/4 lbs of store bought jalapenos, 4 tsbs kosher salt, 1/2 an onion, an entire bulb of garlic, 4 cups of white vinegar and the juice of 2 limes.

I cooked the garlic and onions the same way and processed with the juice. I rough cut the peppers, combined everything, and boiled for 15 minutes. Liquefied in the blender for 5 minutes, strained, returned to boil, and canned. The yield on this was eight 8 oz jars of sauce. I don't think this one needs to age for quite as long. To me it tasted a lot stronger, and not to brag, but much better than the Tabasco Jalapeno sauce I use frequently. I think I have a nice replacement for the next year or so, once that bottle runs out. I'll probably make this again, I call it the "Green Witch".

Right now Alison is preparing a nice stir fry dinner, using the single remaining Cayenne pepper that was ripe. I just cut it off the plant, we'll have a new batch in like 2 weeks or so though.

Other than that we had a nice lazy Sunday. While we may have to wait a while before we find out what baseball team our dear daughter will pledge her allegiance too, (for her own mental health, I hope she is a Yankees fan, for my mental health I hope she's a Mets fan), we introduced her to the NY Football Giants today, and Eli Manning is her favorite player.

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