hot pepper sauce

Around our house we like things spicy.  I loved spicy food even as a child, but I think my love for the tongue-burning sensation of spicy foods really took off when I lived in residence during my first year of university.  The food there was bad...really bad...I assumed that prison inmates probably received better quality meals than we did.  I survived by pouring copious amounts of hot sauce on everything.  A weekend staple was scrambled eggs and hash browns doused with Frank's Red Hot, lunch: a rice bowl with a heaping side of Vietnamese hot sauce, chicken fingers and fries with Tabasco, anything really could benefit from some hot sauce.  I think it helped to mask the flavours and textures.  These days I'm not quite as trigger-happy with the stuff, but we still go through quite a bit in our house.

 Trevor was inspired by some of the hot pepper sauces we regularly enjoyed while we were in Cambodia and Thailand, and decided to try making some at home.  While we were buying our regular produce at the Strathcona Farmer's Market we found a large bag of red chilies, which was perfect for this experiment.

At home Trevor trimmed the tops off of the peppers and roughly chopped them before adding a bunch into the food processor with a few cloves of garlic and a few tablespoons of salt.  Pulse the food processor until the peppers are coarsely chopped.  Pack the mixture into a sterilized glass jar then fill the jar up with boiling vinegar.  We read a few different suggestions about the type of vinegar to use.  We used plain, old white vinegar, but you could also use malt vinegar (or other types) to give it a different flavour.  The jar doesn't have to be sealed (like regular canning), bacteria doesn't like to live in that hostile environment!  We left our jar sitting on the window sill in the kitchen to age, right between my orchid and the african violets. 

Taste test results:  SPICY! and tasty.

I can't wait to try it with a Thai-style meal...salad rolls, peanut sauce, pepper sauce....so good.