It has been about five years since I last made habanero hot sauce, and I had to check out various Internet recipes to develop the one I show below. I made it yesterday and it sure is a "kick ass" hot sauce! What a nice way to use my habanero pepper crop.
A few cautions are in order. Working with habanero peppers carries some risk, both in getting the capsicum from the peppers onto and then into your skin or your eyes or other sensitive places. Wear latex or nitrile gloves when working with habanero peppers and discard the gloves if you have to use the bathroom. Then put on a new pair. When you cook habanero peppers be sure to keep the room well ventilated or your breathing will become most difficult.
Alas! My heat freak friends declared the sauce to be too hot. Well, okay, I didn't have filler product like ground carrots in the batch I just made, so it is primarily habanero peppers. I am making a few additions/changes to the recipe right now, and they are reflected below in capital letters.
30 fresh habanero peppers
5 hot costeno chili peppers, dried (or other variety of dried hot peppers)
10 dried habanero peppers
one small onion, diced
2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic
6 large carrots finely shredded using a food processor (THE NEW INGREDIENT)
1/4 tsp. each of salt, black pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme
2 cups of water - TWICE THE WATER OF THE ORIGINAL RECIPE TO ACCOMMODATE THE CARROTS DURING SIMMERING
1 cup of apple cider
1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 tsp. each of cayenne pepper, curry powder and hot chili powder
Juice from one lime, reserved until the sauce is blended
1/2 teaspoon of Koldkiss® sodium benzoate solution, reserved until the sauce is blended
1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, reserved until the sauce is blended
Wash and dry the fresh habanero peppers and cut the tops off. Discard the tops.
Cut any stems off the dried costeno peppers, discard the stems, and put the peppers into a plastic Ziploc® freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Do the same for the dried habanero peppers.
Dice the onion and the garlic.
Sauté the onion in the olive oil on low to medium heat until translucent in a two or three quart stainless steel saucepan. Then add the garlic and sauté for one additional minute.
Add the (TWO) cups of water, the cup of apple cider and all the other (YES, INCLUDING THE SHREDDED CARROTS) ingredients except the reserved ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil on high heat.
Turn the heat down to very low and simmer the mixture to soften the ingredients. This takes about 2-3 hours.
Stir occasionally and add water if needed during cooking, keeping the liquid level high enough to barely cover the ingredients.
Cool the mixture to room temperature, covered with a lid.
Add the reserved lime juice, sodium benzoate solution and vinegar and stir until everything is well mixed.
Blend the mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary, until the sauce is the consistency you prefer. Less blending results in a more chunky sauce, while extended blending time pureés the mixture.
Bottle the sauce in 4 ounce or 8 ounce canning jars, then vacuum seal the canning jars and keep them refrigerated. Alternatively, you may can the sauce in the sealed jars for ten minutes in boiling water, let them cool and seal, and store them in your pantry.
The sauce will remain fresh for up to a year. You likely will want to give some away as gifts to family and friends.