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Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed

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Tuesday, 26 April 2011, 10:05

Hot Sauce #0 - Incendiary Tomato

Update I finally gave it a name and labelled the bottles - "Incendiary Tomato" sounded like a good name. I've also downed 1/4 of a bottle of this stuff with cheese and crackers or on my dinner, and it's really bloody nice!

I have a chilli or two from the garden and have been making a few hot(ish) sauces - tomato sauce with a few chillies thrown in to give it a pleasant kick, a hot sweet chilli and ginger sauce, and an apple, ginger, and chilli chuntney with much more of a kick. The latter is pretty nice, I took a recipe that asked for 500g of capsicum and 6 chillies and just used 500g of chillies. I think it's fairly medium-warm on the heat scale but a mate can't stomach it. I also tried a green fermented sauce (unfortunately `killed' that with too much vinegar) and have some red fermented chillies i'm not sure what to do with yet.

Habanero Chillies in Blue Bowl

The habaneros are hitting their fruiting stride at the moment so I thought i'd try a hand at something with a bit more bite and less sweetness. I also wanted to avoid the vinegar flavour which had overpowered my last effort so I based the acid on lime and citric acid. I found a recipe that looked a bit dogey - based on a tin of tomatoes - but I had some tomatoes i had to use so I started with that and then spiced it up beyond recognition. For once I recorded everything I put into it, so i thought i'd share ... I pretty much made it up as I went and mixed a few ideas I really wanted to try separately but once it was in the pot there was no going back.

Ingredients

700g Roasted whole tomatoes.
12 Ripe Habanero chillies.
1 Lime, juice and zest.
1 tsp Citric acid.
1 tsp White pepper (see below).
1 tsp Black pepper.
8 Cloves
1/2 tsp All spice.
1/4 tsp Ground mustard.
1/2 tsp Ground ginger.
1 tsp Salt
1 tbs Palm Sugar.
1 tbs Sugar.

Method

Cut the chillies into small pieces. Pound the whole dry spices in a mortar and pestle. Break up the palm sugar (I only did 1 tablespoon because i was too lazy to do another and used plain sugar when I needed more sweetness).

Put everything in a pot and simmer for about an hour - until the chillies are soft.

Use a (stick) blender to puree everything together. Don't splash your eyes.

Bottle in sterlised jars whilst hot.

Results

I'd probably rate it about a '7/10' for heat, where tobasco sauce is 5 (although it's been some time since I had any). Although the heat lingers much longer, and builds up the more you have. A teaspoon would be enough for a nicely burning steak.

I'll have to let it sit in the bottle a while to finalise the flavours but for now I think it has a bit too much pepper which over-powers the chillies; although it's a bit hard to tell since the bite over-powers the flavour on the initial taste. Possibly more mustard, ginger, and all-spice would work too, even lime juice. Maybe a little vinegar wouldn't hurt? I think the sugar level is about right (for my palette), as is the saltiness - both of which are required to bring out the flavours. It's basically a very strong, extremely hot tomato sauce.

I don't know how it'll keep yet - the acid in the tomatoes, lime and added citric acid should hopefully be enough since I wont be finishing the litre or so I made too quickly and this is probably one sauce I can't share with friends.

And i've got more chillies and ideas to try so it might be competing for condiment time.

Tagged cooking.
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