I made that!

Homemade Hot Sauce!

Posted in Don't BUY it, MAKE it!, I Like Salt Too, Southernness by brandi on September 7, 2011

Sunday night we had our first Down South dinner at The Pantry. Boiled peanuts, homemade saltine crackers with pimento cheese and smoked ham, succotash, fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits. I have to admit, it was kind of amazing. Maybe I’m biased to Southern food in general, but there was something beautiful about watching complete strangers sit around the table and get in there with their fingers. The thing that threw it over the edge for me?

Homemade hot sauce.

You know the stuff. It’s pretty. It’s hot. It’s usually that  awesome shade of orange that I can never find a paint chip to perfectly match. It makes me drool a little just to think about it. I’ve been buying this one brand, Youk’s, for years. The problem is that they only sell it online or in San Francisco, at this restaurant called Maverick. Needless to say, carting it back to Seattle after every trip got a little tedious. And once you’ve had the good stuff, it’s just hard to go back to Tabasco or Tapatío. If you’re as much a fan of the stuff as I am, then this is a very good day. I made it with my friend Brandon one day, a couple of weeks ago. It was kind of a shot in the dark, involving us poking around on the web for Southern-style recipes, then just winging it. It actually surprised me with how good it is. Who knew I had such little faith in myself? Anyhoo, get yourself to the farmer’s market before the peppers are gone, you’ll thank me.

We started by tossing some fresno chiles in olive oil and then roasting them in the wood-fired oven at Delancey for a bit. After they got nice and browned, we pureed them in a food processor with just enough vinegar to make them move around in there comfortably.

Then we placed the whole blob of pepper paste in a strainer and smashed it through. We took the liquid that came through and adjusted it with more vinegar, some water and lots of salt. And that’s it. So darn simple.

And crazy good. We made about 6 cups of it and have already gone through a quart. In two weeks. There’s been a lot of heartburn at The Pantry this month, but no one’s complaining.

Hot Sauce Recipe:

1 lb Fresno chiles

15 TBSP distilled vinegar

1 TBSP water

1 3/4 tsp kosher salt

- Trim the stems off of the chiles, leaving the base that the stem attaches to. Rumor has it that that part gives great flavor. Who am I to challenge a good culinary rumor?

- Toss the chiles in enough olive oil to coat them. Then roast them in a broiler, or grill them if you can. The goal is to get a nice char on them.

- Puree them in a food processor or blender with enough vinegar to keep them moving.

- Strain them through a fine sieve, smashing the whole time to get as much of the pulp as possible.

- Add the water, salt and the rest of the vinegar and pop in the fridge to chill for a few days. You can certainly eat it immediately, but it only gets better with time.

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29 Responses

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  1. Michelle said, on September 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

    totally worth the heart burn. I can’t wait to make a batch!

  2. Matthew said, on September 7, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Oh, how I would love to try this.

  3. Irma said, on September 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Oh. I’ve been experimenting with hot sauce too recently! A thicker version though, more like a Spanish “Salsa brava”. Right now I have a pork shoulder slow-cooking in the oven, I might need some of the hot stuff!

  4. mike said, on September 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Just reading about it is making my mouth feel hot!

  5. Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake said, on September 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I am kind of obsessed with hot sauce of all kinds, and this one looks so good! And I love how easy it is!

  6. Hot Sauce said, on September 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    It is amazing on how easy it is to make your own hot sauce.

  7. A Plum By Any Other Name said, on September 8, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Oh. Wow. This couldn’t sound more simple. And more appealing. Any idea how long the hot sauce would last for? Though I live alone, going through a quart in a few weeks doesn’t seem too far fetched either …

  8. Kimberley said, on September 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I love Youk’s! But even more, that you totally problem-solved. Bummed that I didn’t make it to Seattle, but you saw those mountains that got in the way. :) Someday, for reals, I will be up to visit the Pantry at Delancey. So inspired by what you guys are doing.

  9. Laurel said, on September 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Woohoo! I am seriously so excited. My husband is a hot sauce connoisseur-no joke. He loves Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot, and Tapatio. I had to retrain him to try my food before dousing it! I pulled out a recipe for homemade hot sauce from Saveur about a year ago, but, *sigh* haven’t made it yet. I can’t wait to try this one! Thanks! I love your post.

  10. Eva said, on September 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I´ve been on a big homemade hot sauce kick too– it´s what seems to happen when you live in a country where you can´t find the bottled stuff. Same technique, just with the little tiny hot peppers. Also, I know it´s been awhile since you posted on it, but I´ve been loving your cabbage peanut salad!

  11. Dana said, on September 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

    It had never even come across my mind, making home made hot sauce. But somebody had to have started making it at some point, you know? Fantastic idea!

  12. kyleen said, on September 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    This looks great! I love making things that you usually buy at home.

  13. Ashley said, on September 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I just found this site and amd already crazy about it! I love that you have things that you would never think to make your own homemade! GREAT JOB!

  14. Brenda said, on September 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Oh man!! Bring on the heat!

  15. elsie said, on September 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Wish I’d been there, but it was sold out. I’m originally from Arkansas,
    and came to Seattle via New Orleans.
    My Mammaw always served a side of fried okra, no matter what, and in the summer and fall there
    a requisite plate of sliced tomatoes and onions to be passed around the table as well.

  16. Smartypanties said, on September 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    That looks so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. SMM said, on October 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    My Sweetie made hot sauce yesterday. Didn’t roast the peppers but we did cook them up with garlic and such. Used the blender to puree and vinegar to get the right consistency.

    4 habs, 5 infernos and I think three cherry bombs. Looking forward to enjoying in a week with wings.

    This has happened because the store bought based for our hot chicken wing sauce is no longer available.

  18. Gemma said, on November 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Mmm sounds good! Do you skin the peppers after roasting or does the whole lot go in the blender?

    • brandi said, on November 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      I just throw everything in and strain the skins out. Good luck!

  19. saucycooks said, on December 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I have just discovered your blog and am traumatized…..where have you gone? Your recipes are inspirational…I just posted two gratins and now I must try yours! Please come back!

  20. Rivertree kitchen said, on December 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Just came across this post. Lately, I seem to toss Fresnos into absolutely everything (sweet + fruity + hot = fantastic), and to top it off, I’m currently editing a cookbook all about hot sauces for Storey Publishing. Serendipity, for sure. I’ll be making this as soon as I can lay my hand on enough Fresnos (they’re considered exotic here in central Wisc.)

  21. Alison @ a la Alison said, on December 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    How many oz. does this recipe make?
    Thanks!

  22. [...] to that stuff you find on the supermarket shelf. I looked around at some recipes and found this hot sauce recipe that looks easy enough for me to [...]

  23. Darcy said, on September 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I happened on this site just in time. I was just given a quart size bag of tiny red chili peppers. I’m not sure of the variety but they are seriously hot (they range from about 2 inches to about 4 inches in length and are quite slim). I’m wondering if the same technique would work with these hot little gems? I think I’ll give it a try – what the heck!

  24. [...] Adapted from I made that! [...]

  25. neo said, on November 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Sounds kinda like the true southern recipe my great grandfather taught me when I was a kid. He would hickory smoke his peppers in the smoke house with the hogs. His had tomatoes added. We also let the stuff age for at least a year. He been gone since 85 and I still have some bottles of his that makes this new stuff with ghost peppers look like water. Our peppers are a custom family hybrid tho.

  26. Caryn M. said, on June 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    This looks wonderful, can’t wait to try it!

  27. Jane said, on July 28, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I made this last night. Great simple recipe.

  28. Saturday Link Love said, on December 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    […] to a class at the Pantry at Delancey a week or two back and was lucky enough to try their homemade roasted pepper hot sauce.  Which was amazing. You definitely need to make […]


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