When we came home from our San Diego trip our garden was a mess. It was raining so much before we left, things grew like crazy. I guess the month we were gone though, it only rained a couple times. My potted wisteria vine? Dead. My potted Japanese Maple? Dead. Potted boxwood? You guessed it. Dead! Not surprisingly, all my potted succulents look beautiful. I never learn. Pots should be filled with succulents here unless you can water regularly, which I have proven year after year that I can not.
I did get smart with my little vegetable garden this year though. It was hooked up to a soaker hose on a timer, so every morning at 5am they got 10 minutes of water. The tomatoes, peppers and herbs were saved. As a matter of fact they were thriving.
If you follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you saw my habanero plant was weighed down with peppers.
We have absolutely no problem eating all of the peppers from the two jalapeño plants. I harvested about 40 habaneros the other day and there are still a ton [of green ones] on the plant! I called out to facebook friends for suggestions of what to do with all of these peppers and got back some great ideas. (Thanks!) I did give some away, I sliced some and froze them to use for our spicy popcorn, and we've added some to our red roasted salsa just for an extra kick. Other suggestions for habaneros were: pepper jelly and a pepper hummus. Both of which I would like to try on the next harvest.
But what did I do with the other 24 peppers from this "first harvest?"
Ahhhh, yes.....the point of this post. Habanero hot sauce. While visiting my brother Tim back in January, he pulled a plastic squirt container from his fridge. It was full of fire. We loved it. He just sent me the recipe and it is from Rick Bayless. (Of course!) If you love Mexican fair, you probably know this guy. If you haven't heard of him, you are missing out. Go make one of his recipes NOW!
Since I put hot sauce on a lot of food [and Ernesto puts it on everything] I doubled the recipe. (I figured we could freeze some too) It is a quick, simple recipe and really has delicious flavor, if you don't mind the burn.
HABANERO HOT SAUCE
Makes about 2 cups
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot (you'll need 1 medium carrot)
1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion (you'll need about half of a small onion)
12 medium (about 5 ounces) orange habanero chiles, stemmed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
About 2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Roast the garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and peel.
In a small saucepan, combine the carrot, onion and habanero chiles with the vinegar and 1 cup water.
Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 10 minutes. Pour into a blender, add the roasted garlic, salt and sugar. Blend until smooth. (I vita-mixed the shit out of this, the texture is perfectly smooth!)
Thin with a little additional water if you think your hot sauce is too thick. (mine came out just right) Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary. (not needed IMO)
Pour into jars or containers and store in the refrigerator .
We ate this on grilled chicken tonight and I'm looking forward to eating it with our eggs tomorrow morning. Yum! So, do you think you will try this recipe?
Pss. Years ago we made this habanero salsa.