Homemade Hot Sauce aka Salsa
I’m back! Now that the holidays are over and the new year is under way, I felt it was finally time to pick up where I left off…I decided instead of trying to post almost daily, I am going to post something new each week…so, here we go!
Growing up in New Jersey, and being from an Italian family, we didn’t eat much in the way of Mexican food. My mom made tacos on occasion and I could probably count on one hand the times that I darkened the door of Taco Bell.
Now that I have lived in Texas for 6 1/2 years, I don’t know how I ever lived without Mexican cuisine. And, trust me, Taco Bell “ain’t” got nothing on the real thing. One of the first things I learned how to make is hot sauce aka salsa. Gracie, a co-worker of mine, told me how to make this recipe. Once I tried homemade hot sauce, the store-bought, manufactured, sauce in a jar, pales in comparison.
So, here is what you’ll need:
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 medium onion
Cilantro (amount to your taste)
Garlic (amount to your taste)
Lime juice (a few shots for flavor)
Salt (a dash)
Pepper (a dash)
I first want to start out by saying be sure you handle your peppers with extreme caution. If you have disposable gloves you can wear, I would suggest that. The slightest bit of pepper juice on your hand can burn the heck out of your eye if you happen to rub it after handling the peppers. If you don’t have gloves you can also cover your hand with a sandwich baggie. If you get juice on your hands and they burn, use milk or tomato juice to soothe the sting. I haven’t had any problems, but it is always good to practice caution every time.
So, with that out-of-the-way we can get started! The first thing you want to do is prepare your jalapeños. Now, we use 3 because that is just the right amount of heat for our house, but you can use more. There are 2 ways you can prepare your peppers. Roasted on the grill or boiled on the stove top. I opt for boiled. Fill a sauce pan with water. Using a fork, poke or pierce each of your peppers multiple times and place into the pan of water. The holes will make sure that the peppers won’t swell and burst when the water reaches boiling. Set the stove to medium-high and bring to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes. The peppers will lose their pretty green color during this process, so don’t be alarmed.
While your jalapeños are working, you can fill your food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
Some of you might be thinking, “why did you use can tomatoes and not fresh?” It is a matter of preference actually. When Gracie gave me this recipe, she said when you use fresh tomatoes the hot sauce comes out looking pink and so she opted for the canned. Plus, this cuts out the process of having to prepare the tomatoes before making the sauce.
With your jalapeños boiled, you are ready to add them to the food processor. Because the peppers will be hot to touch, I use a fork to remove them from the water. I stab the fork generally as close to the stem as possible. If you have kitchen shears, you can hold the pepper over the food processor and cut the pepper from tip to stem directly into the bowl. If you do not have shears, then while holding the pepper with the fork, slice up the pepper with a knife on your cutting board before placing into the bowl.
Once everything is in the bowl, snap on the lid and give it a few “pulses”, but don’t over do it, the longer you pulse, the more watery it will become. So there you go! Fresh, homemade, hot sauce, made in your own kitchen! I promise you, after you try it, you will not want to buy it from the store again.
I store mine in a jar. I sometimes save the jars from my favorite spaghetti sauce and these come in handy to store your hot sauce. And speaking of storing, you’ll want to store your sauce in the fridge for up to a week.
The only suggestion I have is about the cilantro. Use it to your liking, but be careful. Cilantro is very strong. Trust me when I say a little goes a long way.
I hope you will try this and love it as much as we do. Have a great week!