Cajun Clark's Fortnight Recipe: Pepper Sauce, June 21, 2004

Cajun Clark's Hot Pepper Sauce


My good friend Caj has allowed me to share his hot pepper sauce recipes with you Hot Pepper Sauce in this issue of his newsletter, Fortnight Recipes (don't forget to sign up for you own copy twice a month).

Here are some mouth searing...mmm...mouth watering recipes that will certainly get you in the heat of things.

If you like heat you are really going to love these...

Habanero Pepper Sauce

Hot Pepper Sauce

Miz Verba's Pepper Sauce

Cajun Clark's Fortnight Recipe: Pepper Sauce
June 21, 2004
by Cajun Clark

Fantastic! is the best word to describe all those good veggies coming out of all the gardens planted just several weeks ago. There's nothing like the taste of a fresh tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, cantaloupe, habanero pepper that you planted, watered, fertilized and picked. You get the picture.

But if you didn't plant a garden you can stop by the corner produce stand--the back of a pickup in this part of the country (Northwest Louisiana)--and buy some great produce from the peddlers (they save you a trip to see the farmer). However, all that's well and good, but as far as da ol' mon's concerned it's not quite the same. The eatin' is fine, it's the sense of accomplishment that's missin'. Oh well, ya do whatcha gotta do and whatcha can do. Enough philosophizing, let's mosey on down the road to some great pepper sauce recipes. After all, da ol' mon's not called Cajun Clark for nothing.

Pepper Sauce
Yep, it can be hot or it can be mild. All depends on the type of peppers and recipe you use. Tabasco and jalapeno are frequently chosen, (you can use any pepper you like), but as far as da ol' mon is concerned Caribbean Red Hot Habaneros take top honors. You'll always find a half-dozen plants in the garden. Why?

Shucks that's easy, Caj has to make sure to take care of his five pepper sauce aficionados. The first picking is used to make the new batch of pepper sauce. From then on they can be frozen--no they don't lose their heat--dehydrated (which intensifies the heat), or more sauce made that can be stored--provided proper storage conditions are used--for later consumption.

WARNING! Da ol' mon recommends wearing rubber gloves, preferably the throw away kind, any time you handle peppers, especially habaneros. Make sure you don't touch your eyes or any other part of your body while you have the gloves on, and if the gloves are not throwaway you better wash them real good. No, this is not a joke, it's a serious suggestion.

Now, before getting into the Down Home or Southern recipes, here's one that must be on a dozen or so Web sites. Problem is the name of the chef or cook who created it is not given. This being the case, da ol' mon wants to state that if anyone knows the person responsible, please email the information. Credit will be immediately given on Caj's Web site, and be included in the next Fortnight. Thanks, 'preciate it.

Habanero Pepper Sauce
12 habanero peppers, stems removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
Sauté the onion and garlic in oil until soft; add the carrots with a small amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft. Place the mixture and raw peppers into a blender and purée until smooth. Don't cook the peppers, since cooking reduces flavor of the Habaneros. Combine the puree with vinegar and lime juice, then simmer for 5 minutes and seal in sterilized bottles.

Now for the easy to make, nothing to it Down Home or Southern Pepper Sauce. The following recipes are from da ol' mon's cookin' friends, and they're all good. Just remember that making Pepper Sauce is a touchy-feely how does it taste kind of recipe.

Long time advisor Roz, who has helped da ol' mon out on more than one occasion, writes..."Pepper sauce? There's a zillion ways to do it. Depends on your taste. Most use white vinegar, some water, sugar and salt. Some leave out the sugar. Some leave out the water and do straight vinegar. I've done it both ways. Main thing is to have your peppers clean and stuffed in your jar and boil your liquids. Seal it up good and you're set. Can't think of the proportions of the recipe I use at home but it's got all four."

Friend Joanne from beautiful downtown Castor, Louisiana shares this recipe.
Hot Pepper Sauce
Hot peppers
4 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
Wash peppers in cold water. Pack into clean jars. Peppers may be whole or sliced. (Do not remove seeds, that's where a lot of the hot resides.) Bring vinegar, water and salt to boil and pour over peppers. Seal. Refrigerate after opening.

On occasion Jim, Lake LBJ, Texas calls, and when he does the conversation will range from the mundane to solve the problems of the world. His recent call concluded with the way he makes...
Pepper Sauce:
Cut peppers in half.
Leave seeds in, depending on what kind of peppers you're using.
Put in bottle or jar.
Add sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, red wine, white wine--whatever's handy.
Caj's Note: Not exactly sure how Friend Jim uses the finished product, but it does sound interesting.

Last but not least comes this great recipe from Miz Verba, down on Egans Road and only a couple of miles from da ol' mon's dead end road.
Pepper Sauce
Set Aside:
Peppers, washed
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon table salt

Pour Apple Cider Vinegar into container--something vinegar won't harm, preferably granite ware.

Put enough vinegar to cover peppers. Bring to boil. Put peppers in boiling vinegar. Add oil, onion and salt. Let boil until peppers are well heated.

Meanwhile have jars HOT along with lids.

Use tongs or any tool convenient to lift peppers into jars, while keeping vinegar hot. Pour vinegar over peppers. Seal with sterilized lids. If peppers absorb vinegar, pour more hot vinegar to cover peppers.

Miz Verba's Note: If you want to really get the full strength of the pepper, punch holes in pepper just before putting them into the hot vinegar.
Caj's Note: Miz Verba is a well know fixture in Bienville Parish. Her recipes, especially the finished products, are highly prized. And when she gives you either you know you've been blessed by the cookin' gods. This particular recipe goes back a long, long way. So long in fact that no one knows exactly how long.

Well, that's it for this Fortnight. Next Fortnight we'll take on some of those other favorite garden veggies, like Cucumbers, Fried Green Tomatoes, and if there's enough space we'll address Caj's Garden Salads. Have a good one, and Bon Appetit!

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