Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Word on Hot Sauce

I love me some hot sauce. I've made about a dozen variations of the kind the Taco Lady behind the farmers' market in Houston always had on hand to doctor up her delicious tacos al pastor, which were my favorite. It involves a couple of varieties of dried peppers and some soaking, simmering, and blending along with some other ingredients. It's hard to mess with it too much though, when you can buy Cholula at just about any southern grocery store.

Cholula, for the uninitiated, is all you really need to know about hot sauce. It's the same color as most of the orange grease that comes with chorizo, barbacoa, and some of the other staple meats of true behind-the-farmers' market taco stands. The ingredients are simple, too: peppers, spices, vinegar. How can you go wrong?

I love you, "spices."
Nevertheless, I get my hankerin's for something a little different sometimes. And that brings us to another tasty Tex-Carib recipe experiment.

A frequent player in the Caribbean/Tex-Carib lineup of ingredients is the habanero pepper. It looks like this:
That is to say, they look like that.

Recently, Cara and I got a Bobby Flay video on Netflix (what? Is that weird?), and he made a mango-habanero hot sauce. What I present to you now is exactly that, but with my witty banter to make it different. And I had to use a different type of vinegar for half of the vinegar needs, and I'm sure that made mine far superior to Bobby's. Yeah. That's right.

Here's what you need:
In English, that's two habaneros, two mangoes, a small sweet onion of some kind, white wine vinegar (and rice wine vinegar too, I ran out of white about halfway through), two cloves of garlic, and olive oil (Flay used canola I think, so there's another difference!).

Butcher your mango. I slice the peel off all over, then carve big chunks of fruit off the oblong shaped pit. I had about this much, keeping in mind that my hand is the size of a tennis racket:Just kidding about the hand size, of course.

I coarsely chopped the onion, galic, and peppers, and threw the whole enchilada into a sauce pan with half a cup of white wine vinegar, and half a cup of rice vinegar, and a pinch of salt. I also simmered it for 15 minutes, but I'm getting tired of talking in the past tense. I'm living for the now, baby!

Put it all in a blender.Blend. If it's too thick, add some hot water or a little more vinegar. Mine was fine as it was.The cool thing is the heat hits you first with this stuff, with a sweet mango finish.

Next time I'll show you what we had with it. There is even a bonus instructional video included in the price. Can't beat that.

Oh, yeah- I typed "Tex-Carib" into Google yesterday to see if that term is already being used, and this site came up on the first page. Sweet!


Anonymous said...

Not weird at all, considering the things that are in my own queue. Do I hear a throw down challenge?

Gina said...

I am going to try this. I am growing habeneros in my garden, why? I do not know since I haven't a clue what to do with them. You inspired me though. Keep the Tex-Carib coming!

ChrisP said...

Cholula! That stuff is great. The first time I came across it was at a cajun restaurant in Detroit about 10 years ago. I've been buying it ever since.

Jenny said...

This looks really good! What would you serve it with?

Dawn Shelton (my auntie dawn) sent me here!