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Louisiana-Style Hot Sauce

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Yields 1-1/2 cups

  • by Dave DeWitt from Fine Cooking
    Issue 112

Although tabasco chiles are traditional in this style of hot sauce, they can be hard to find. Cayennes are just as classic and flavorful. Other small, hot, red chiles (like serranos) may be used, too.

  • 1-1/4 lb. fresh red chiles, such as cayenne, tabasco, or serrano
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, sliced in half and peeled
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. ground celery seed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
Tip:
Capsaicin is the compound that makes hot chiles hot. It can irritate your skin, so be sure to wear gloves when handling chiles. Ventilate the kitchen, as well, to keep the chile fumes from building up and becoming too intense.

Position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.

Put the chiles on a broiler pan and broil, flipping as needed, until the skins blister and blacken on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chiles to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Stem and peel the chiles— it’s fine if some bits of the skin remain—but don’t seed them. Put the chiles, garlic, basil, oregano, celery seed, a big pinch of salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the vinegar through the feed tube and process until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and season to taste with more salt. Transfer to bottles. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : 1 tsp.; Calories (kcal): 5; Fat (g): 0; Fat Calories (kcal): 0; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): 1; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 0; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Made this yesterday, I followed the recipe as closely as I could, however we don't have those kinds of chilies here so I used other kinds and some Hebanero chilies for extra heat. Very nice! Hot and interesting, I love it! I ended up thining it out with more vinegar as it was pretty thick and hot! The end result is excellent and I didn't find peeling the charred chilies that hard even with gloves on. Thanks for a great recipe!

I can't truly comment on the flavor of this because I think my measurements were off (ended up extremely garlic flavored but that could definitely be my fault). I do want to say this: 1)it's very putzy to make 2)peeling the peppers is not easy, esp with gloves on 3)when you taste it immediately after mixing---wowza---just hot!!! If you let it sit a while (I left it alone on the counter for a few hours) and taste it again, much more mellow---less hot and you can taste the flavors in order to adjust. I think if you LOVE hot sauce and love to play around in the kitchen, go for it.

mk- I can food a lot- using garlic and what not. Vinegar is very acidic that most definitely works as a preservative. People have been pickling things for many years in vinegar.

I can't really rate this yet because I haven't made it, but I do have a question. I've been reading, for some time now, about the possibility of botulism when using fresh garlic and olive oil as a seasoning. Since there's no oil in this recipe, will the vinegar preserve the raw garlic? This sounds wonderful, so I'm going to try to find a quantity of cayenne or other hot chiles so I can try it. Will definitely edit my review if/when I get to make it. Marsha

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