Michael’s asked for a long time!
Michael, our older guy, has become quite the hot sauce connoisseur. He’s asked me to try making hot sauce for a long time. The other day, as I was choosing hot peppers at the grocery store, I finally felt inspired.
The hot sauce recipe we’re sharing with you today isn’t the type of sauce that leaves you in tears and begging for milk 😂. It’s a thick garlicky mild sauce. Think of it as a cross between Frank’s Hot Sauce and Sriracha, both from a consistency and a heat point of view.
That pizza… oh my gosh!
My parents visited us almost three years ago. During their stay, we took a road trip to Ottawa. On our way back home, we made our traditional stop in Kingston for lunch at one of our favourite pizza places, Wooden Heads.
Michael had been experimenting for some time with milder hot sauces and his tolerance for heat was increasing. He was excited to see a featured pizza on the menu that promised to be very hot. The server actually warned him when he placed the order–stressing how intensely hot this was. Michael was feeling brave that day (or maybe he didn’t want to back out after he’d committed).
I looked over at michael after he’d taken a few bites. The tears in his eyes, and beads of sweat on his face were enough to say he was definitely struggling. He was a trooper, though, and finished his pizza. He wasn’t going to let the fiery heat win that day. Somehow, even through the heat, he was able to taste the pizza and he said it was delicious.
He can handle more heat than I can!
Michael has continued to try more hot sauces and can now handle a lot of heat–way more than I can handle–and I thought I had a high tolerance. And we keep trying new hot sauces for fun. We now have a fridge shelf that’s dedicated to bottles of hot sauce. My own now stands proudly among them.
The moment came for me to finally give this a go when I saw the baskets of peppers at the grocers.
Since I’d never made hot sauce before, I looked up a few recipes to get an idea of the basics and what ingredients I’d need. Most of the recipes listed two key ingredients, vinegar and of course hot peppers. The remaining variables were around technique and spices.
In our recipe, I used shallots to add a touch of sweetness and to thicken the sauce a little. I added garlic because, well… garlic’s awesome! I left out the seeds and controlled the heat level using ground cayenne pepper, instead, so Liz would like it too. The result was a thick delicious hot sauce (but not too hot) that’s perfect for dipping bites of chicken, pork, fish and veggies.
I will definitely continue to experiment in the kitchen to create more hot sauce recipes. I look forward to our local farmer’s markets opening so I can use some locally-grown peppers.
Kick things up a notch and enjoy today’s recipe. Feeling hot, hot, hot… eat well, friends.
Chili pepper and jalapeño hot sauce
- 10 chili peppers, cut in half lengthwise, washed and seeded
- 10 jalapeño peppers, cut in half lengthwise, washed and seeded
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 limes, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (we used hickory)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy pan or pot on medium heat.
- Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté for about 3 minutes or until the shallots soften.
- Add the peppers and vinegar and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the peppers soften.
- Add the heated mixture, lime juice, ground cayenne pepper, salt and liquid smoke to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Let cool and serve with any dish you normally add hot sauce to.
- We bottled our hot sauce and keep it in the fridge.
- This sauce can also be used as a marinate.