HABANERO HOT SAUCE
Hot sauce, like mustard, is one of those condiments that you can never have too many varieties of in the refrigerator. In fact, my friends and I have had several conversations discussing the best hot sauce application for various classic recipes. While one friend argues that eggs and home fries are naked without good old Tabasco, another will posture that southern fried chicken isn’t edible without a bottle of Crystal on hand. I, too, am in the camp that believes every great hot sauce has its perfect gastronomic match, however, it is also my opinion that some hot sauce just works well with everything. This might explain why my girlfriend and I go through a bottle of Tapatío and Sriracha each month!
It wasn’t until I embarked on a recent trip to Portland, Oregon that I came across another hot sauce that tastes great with everything: Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce. Touted as “a unique Caribbean/Tex-mex hybrid,” this sauce is dominated by the forward flavors of sweet carrots and the searing heat of habaneros. Believe me when I say, this stuff is good on everything. So good in fact, that I set out to find a clone recipe online so I wouldn’t have to keep rationing the stuff. Below I’ve included a recipe that I found here on the recipe forums of eGullet.org.
HABANERO HOT SAUCE
Adapted from Recipes.egullet.org
Almost identical to the original, this recipe makes enough hot sauce to keep you stocked up for a while. If you crave serious heat, you needn’t be too concerned when removing all the seeds and membranes from the habaneros. I’ve also found that the addition of extra yellow mustard results in a delicious riff on a classic Southern Carolina mustard-based BBQ sauce (much like my favorite at San Francisco’s own Memphis Minnies.
- 1 – 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or roasted tomatoes chopped, including juice
- 1 – 14.5 oz bottle of rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups of peeled and grated carrots (packed into the measuring cup)
- 1 cup of finely diced white onion
- 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of Morton’s Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 13 small Habaneros (about 2 oz.) – seeded and membranes removed.
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 cup of water
- 5 or 6 cloves roasted garlic
1. Place all of the ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
2. Allow mixture to simmer with lid slightly ajar for 3-4 hours or until flavors have blended and the ingredients are tender.
3. Once cool, process mixture in a food processor or blender until almost completely smooth.
4. Place in glass jars or squeeze bottles in the refrigerator.
Makes 3 pints