Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Carrot habanero hot sauce

Last year I found myself in the unique position of having a lot of habanero peppers from the garden. It was a hot summer, and habaneros like heat, and we had planted some, mostly as an afterthought. They thrived. Since I have virtually no use for fresh, individual habaneros, I started looking around for ways I could maybe incorporate them into a sauce. I have long been a fan of Yucatan Sunshine, which has carrots in it. I'm not sure how I ended up finding this recipe, although I do know it is from a book I checked out from the East Central Regional Library system: Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen. It looked good, so I tried it. I ended up making two batches, and they were gone by mid winter. Good stuff.

This year, I did not have any significant yield of habaneros. The summer was kind of cool, even in the midst of global climate change. But I did plant carrots, a Nantes variety, and I got a good yield. So when I found some habaneros at the local grocery store, cheap, I could not resist.

Last night I did the hard and dirty work, chopping up stuff and cooking it and adding vinegar and whooshing it up in the food processor. I was up until 10 doing that. Tonight I whooshed it again, and simmered it some more. I am not crazy enough to think I will get it canned tonight, or tomorrow night. But it will be done, and I will make another batch, because I bought too many habaneros! :)

Se here's the recipe, with my modifications:

1 1/2 pounds carrots, cleaned, peeled and sliced into1/4 inch coins
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (this is the key ingredient!)

Combine these in a large nonreactive (stainless steel or such) pot and cook over medium high heat until carrots are soft. Add water if it gets too dry.

4 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped (I probably put in 7 or 8)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (3 maybe)

Add these and cook for 5 minutes.

5 cups white vinegar
Zest from one lime
The juice from that lime

Or so. Blend with an immersion blender (Don't have one, so I just transferred the mix, in batches, to my food processor. Or you could use a blender.) Cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors combine. And, at that point, I was ready to call it a night.

So today I blended the sauce again, in the food processor. Then the recipe offers two options: You can strain the mixture for a saucier sauce, or you can leave the chunkier bits in for more yield and a thicker sauce.Last year I strained the sauce. And I could not let myself discard the chunkier bits, because they were so delicious. So this year I skipped the straining. Cooked it down for about 30 minutes.

I have not canned it yet, I might tomorrow if I have time after yoga class. But, for canning, process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. If left chunky, you should get about 8 half pint jars. Enjoy.


webb said...

Sounds interesting. Have been looking for what to do with some anchos. Not as hot, but I think I will try it. Any idea how much the whole recipe yields?

Yonassan Gershom said...

I had very good luck this summer with a chili pepper called "Fresno" -- a lot like jalapenos but apparently better in chilly weather. They did great for me in black pots --maybe the black absorbed some heat from the sun. They grow more compactly than jalapenos and the peppers stand upright instead of hanging down. But they are just as hot! I got the plants at the Quarry Greenhouse hut on the Chris's grocery parking lot last year. Ate a lot of them in sauces, also pickled some.