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Posted: 10/30/2006 6:36:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 8:23:08 AM EST by GonzoAR15-1]
I had been messaged by someone about a Habanero sauce recipe I mentioned, and on looking in my refrigerator saw that I had a jar of Habanero Mash about 2 years old that I hadn't reduced to sauce.
This is perfectly OK, as the mash had been acidified to a ph between 4 and 5 by vinnegar, so it would be "good" that whole time. (before the vinegar stage, it was a salt mash in a glass jar with a fresh piece of oak wood for almost 6 months).

I took the mash out, and slowly reduced it to about 1/4 of the original volume. After this long, the Habanero flesh had basically liquified, so I wound up with about 7 tablespoons of thick orange/brown paste. This was bottled with an equal amount of Apple Cider vinegar to make the final sauce.

Its VERY good. Nice robust flavor and that special habanero "building" heat. So far, I've only been able to manage "tip of a toothpick" sized sample, and even that tends burn my face off and elevate my heart rate for a good 35 minutes.

The "hot sauce" junkie at my work tried a bit on the corner of a tortilla chip and pronounce it "way too fucking hot" -- she's sitting at her cubicle drinking milk and blowing her nose at the moment.

Success!

I'm going to make a batch of nuclear tacos tonight, I think.

YUM!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:48:04 AM EST
Sounds great! Can ya go into a bit of detail on making the "salt mash" part? This sounds like something I'd like to attempt.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:58:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 7:00:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 8:23:29 AM EST by GonzoAR15-1]

Originally Posted By Stealth:
Sounds great! Can ya go into a bit of detail on making the "salt mash" part? This sounds like something I'd like to attempt.



No problem:

1. Get a few pounds of orange and/or red habaneros. Grab your gloves and "de-stem" the Habs. Take the de-stemmed habs and soak them a half-hour in pure white vinnegar. You need the acid to kill any bacteria on them from the farm. HUGE important point. Rince them again, get all the vinegar off. Dry them by patting with some paper towes.

2. Pulse the fruit, seeds and all, in a food processor until its chopped, but not so much that the seeds are getting too pulverized. You want it to be sort of the consistency of "relish" at this point. (We'll be filtering the seed out later).

3. Now, take the pulp and get yourself a glass jar, wide mouth, large enough to hold the whole bunch of pulp. Get a bunch of kosher salt too. A small, clean, freshly cut piec of dried OAK wood can enhance the flavor, but its totally not required. All told you'll want about 10% by weight of kosher salt for the amount of fruit you've got. Don't used iodized salt. Don't use flavored salt. You want regular pure kosher salt.

4. What you want to do is go, thin layer of salt (about a 10th of an in thick, pretty thin really), then layer of peppers (about a quarter inch) followed by salt, followed by peppers, etc.

5. At the top, you want to put at least a quarter inch of salt -- to keep everything preserved. The salt snould keep the botulisitic bacteria out. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and a rubber band, and then set it aside in a basement sorta below room tempurature area for about a month or two. My longest was six months.

6. After the month, take it out. Use a spoon to "remove" the nasty layer at the top (it will be discolored by oxidation so you'll be able to tell how much to remove. Then throw the rest of what we'll now call the "mash" into a clean and sterile jar and add just enough vinegar to cover. (Use white vinegar for right now). Test the PH, and make sure you've got a ph between 4 and 5.

7. Now, into the fridge, SEALED TOP, this time, for the next phase. This can be anywhere from a month to (as in my case, a couple years). Every week for the first month, take it out, and use a CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN, stainless utensil to stir. What you're doing here is freeing as much of the capscacin oil from the flesh of the fruit as possible and getting ti suspended in the solution.

8. Finally, when you're ready, take the mash out of the fridge and pour it into a sauce pan made of STAINLESS STEEL or GLASS (glass is the best). Most of the fruit should be starting to liquify. Turn the sauce pan on low, to where its just starting to bubble (and I mean BARELY) and start to stir.

9. Stir and stir and stir, mashing the stuff against the edge of the pan, until virtually the only solid matter left in the mash is the seeds you left in in the first step. Use a VERY FINE kitchen strainer (a strainer, not a screen) to filter the pulp, and get all the seeds out. You'll need one of those soft, mushy spatulats to "push" the cooked mash through the strainer.

10. Now, on low heat reduce the pulp down to a paste, stirring slowly. This can take an hour or more. Do not use too much heat on the stove, as it will destory the capscascin.

12. Next, take a bunch of fresh cillantro, roll it all up, and mash it to relase some flavor. Put the cillantro in cheesecloth and let it steep in just enough apple cider vinegar to cover (couple spoonfuls, really). When the apple cider vinegar has steeped with cilantro, take a mortar and pestal, grind to super fine powder about 1 teaspoon of good dry garlic for every two cups of habaneros you started with. Steep some more. Throw it into the apple cider vinegar.

13. Now use the flavored apple cider vinegar to "cut" into the hot paste until you get the consistency and flavor you want. Go ahead and get some of the garlic right in there.

Hot bottle it and you're done. Careful. If you do it right, you'll reduce every couple of cups of "ripe habs" down to about a half or quarter cup or less of ball busting fire sauce.

Use gloves, but know that the habanero oils can seep into your skin anyway. Don't use the bathroom if you get this stuff on your hands. Also, unless you want your significant other to cut you off completely, do not attempt nookie related activities if there is any pepper residue involved. If you get pepper oils on her holiest of holies or on your own dinger you will live to regret it.


ETA: If you save the "seeds" from the straining step, you can put them in a teflon pan, and saute them until they're dry as hell. Add an equal amount of those dried red pepper flakes, then add some peanut oil and let the flavor "infuse" for a while. After about an hour of "steep" time in the peanut oil, you can bottle the oil and strained habanero leavings for a nice HOT HOT cooking oil.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 7:44:56 AM EST
Or, you can go to www.leeners.com and buy 16oz of Hab Mash for $6.. Or, go to www.wildpepper.com and get Red Savina mash. Red Savina's are MUCH hotter than habanero's..

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 7:48:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By Az_Redneck:
Or, you can go to www.leeners.com and buy 16oz of Hab Mash for $6.. Or, go to www.wildpepper.com and get Red Savina mash. Red Savina's are MUCH hotter than habanero's..



Indeed. Leeners is a little light on solids in their mash, but wildpepper's stuff is good stuff.

My sauce, on the other hand, is 100% homemade, as I also grew the Habaneros myself. I enjoy that I've got such a nice result from something I made myself.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 7:56:32 AM EST
Habaneros are for pussy's
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 7:58:51 AM EST
Thanks Gonzo!

I read the recipe post and saved it to Word so I have it next year for when I grow some more habaneros. I might just go out and buy a bunch so I can make up a batch earlier since it takes some time.

I like to make jerky for the family and give it away at Christmas and was trying to come up with something else to add to the "homemade" gifts. This sounds like it may be perfect for several members of the extended family who like the hot stuff.

I'm probably going to do the stovetop parts outside on the gas grill to save my eyes.

I'm already thinking of variations for the flavor.


Stu

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 8:08:18 AM EST
You need to make a batch of hot pepper jelly out of some of them.

It's great on crackers with some cream cheese or on bar-b-qued ribs.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 8:21:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By einnor1040:
You need to make a batch of hot pepper jelly out of some of them.

It's great on crackers with some cream cheese or on bar-b-qued ribs.


For myself, I'm partial to lime-jalapeno jelly. Sweet, sour, and just enough "zing" to make it worthwhile. You can add a couple drops of my habanero fire to make it smoking hot, though.

Because of their flavor, the habaneros work better in a chutney or jelly with apricot, peach, or mango fruits.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 12:14:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stealth:
Thanks Gonzo!

I read the recipe post and saved it to Word so I have it next year for when I grow some more habaneros. I might just go out and buy a bunch so I can make up a batch earlier since it takes some time.

I like to make jerky for the family and give it away at Christmas and was trying to come up with something else to add to the "homemade" gifts. This sounds like it may be perfect for several members of the extended family who like the hot stuff.

I'm probably going to do the stovetop parts outside on the gas grill to save my eyes.

I'm already thinking of variations for the flavor.


Stu



Hi stu: If you're going to give it out as gifts, I recommend buying commercial bottles and to read up on "hot" bottling. You put the empty sterile bottles in a boiling water bath, pour in the hot sauce (which should be near boiling), then put the lids on and invert the bottles so the super hot stuff gets on the lid and kills any air borne microbes that settled on anything. Also very key to double check the PH in that situation. You need to be below a PH of about 4 and 1/2 to be safe. Vinegar can do this easily.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:24:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 1:28:09 PM EST by Az_Redneck]
A good source for bottles is at www.peppermania.com . You can get 2 cases shipped for $25 and you're ready to go..
Another thing you can get from Beth at peppermania is xanthan gum which will keep your sauce from separating. A little bit goes a long way. I use 1/2 teaspoon for a gallon of sauce.
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