Farmer’s Market Recipe: Easy Homemade Hot Sauce

Recipes inspired by fresh ingredients found at the Covington Farmer’s Market by Chelsea Cochrane

Louisianaians cherish their hot sauces. Everyone has their favorite – some of us even carry it around with us. On the list of necessary condiments, hot sauce comes right after salt and pepper.

Peppers from GROW.farm at the Saturday Covington Farmers Market

The good news for us is that hot peppers grown in abundance in our climate. Cayenne, scotch bonnet and tobasco peppers are some favorites. Add one (1) to any dish and you will know it’s there. This means that if you buy a bunch from the market, or have them growing in your garden, you are left to figure out what else to do with them.

Wonder no more with this easy and delicious homemade hot sauce recipe! You can adjust this recipe depending on how many peppers you have and how spicy or savory you want it to be by adjusting your hot pepper/sweet pepper/garlic ratios. Any hot pepper will do – the redder, the better. I used a blend of scotch bonnets, tobasco peppers, banana peppers and a red bell pepper. The yellow of the banana peppers brightened into a nice orange when I blended it up. Just cut the stems off your hot peppers and leave the star tops on for extra smoky flavor.

Note: seriously, use caution when dealing with hot peppers. Use gloves or wash hands immediately with cold water when handling. DO NOT touch your eyes, face, or any other sensitive areas. Cooking peppers can be a very cleansing experience, especially for your sinus cavities. Breathe with caution.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb hot peppers of your choosing, whole
  • 1/2 lb small sweet peppers, halved
  • 6 – 8 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add peppers, garlic, salt, bay leaf and water to a pot and simmer on medium until peppers are soft and air is spicy (you’ll know what I mean).
  2. Allow to cool and blend in a blender (bullet blender works best) with vinegar until smooth. You may need to add more water. This mix will thicken in the fridge, so remember that for your consistency.
  3. Taste for salt. You may want to add a little local honey to cut the tang. It won’t make it sweet – if anything it adds some savory notes.
  4. Pour in clean jar(s) and seal air-tight. Allow flavors to meld for 3 – 5 days before use for best results. Keeps refrigerated for 2 – 3 week. You can also freeze or can this sauce to have year-round!

Notes: this hot sauce will separate over time. Just give it a shake before using. If it really bothers you, you can add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum during blending to emulsify the sauce.

Want the real deal? Try lacto-fermenting your peppers instead! Follow the procedure here in our Lacto-Fermentation Recipe and skip the cooking – just ferment and blend! This is a more traditional hot sauce – it should still be refrigerated, but will keep several months.