My new favorite food

The kids got me into hot sauce. It started with Taco Night. The Wife and I wanted to do more family dinners, where we all sat down and ate the same thing at the same time, as a family. Those of you with small children know this is sometimes no easy task. So The Wife started Taco Night. Lots of beans, some cheese, a bit of protein, and the kids are happy. But the kids like bland. A little cumin, maybe some salt and a pinch of pepper, and they’re good. The Wife and I, not so much.

Enter Cholula Original Hot Sauce. With Cholula, the kids could have their bland tacos, and The Wife and I could have something with a little kick, but she didn’t have to cook a second meal. It was a hit.

But hot sauce is like heroin or tattoos. You don’t just do a little bit and then stop. You want more. Soon I was dreaming of hot sauce. I was buying chipotle potato chips. Drenching my eggs in sriracha. Asking for my chicken over rice extra spicy from the multitude of kabob food trucks that descended on L’Enfant Plaza every day at lunch until DCRA folded under pressure from the restaurants and invented all sorts of silly regulations. And then I started making my own.

It’s surprisingly easy to make hot sauce. I highly recommend Hot Sauce! by Jennifer Trainer Thompson if you’re looking to start making your own. And also Freund Container for the bottles you’ll inevitably need.

So I made some sauces. Some were better than others. I tried a Carribean hot sauce from the book and didn’t like it at first, but it really, really grew on me. Now I want to put it on everything. But I wanted to make something that was my own, not just a recipe from the book. Here is my latest creation. It needs a name.

  • Five habaneros
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • a small onion
  • 20 ounce can of pineapple chunks, drained
  • turmeric, to taste
  • two cloves of garlic
  • a pinch of salt

Throw it all in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then simmer, uncovered, for about ten minutes. This should make about a cup and a half of deliciousness. The sweet, Jennifer Thompson tells me, delays the burn from the habaneros. I just ate a sweet potato burger that The Wife made with a generous glob of this hot sauce on it, and it was glorious. With a little planning, I could see myself bottling this stuff and selling it. It’s that good. Hot enough so you know you’re alive, but not so hot you wish you weren’t.