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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Habanero Fire Sauce

We were blessed with an abundance of fairly nice weather upon returning home from vacation in early October.  Last year by this time we had already had a heavy frost.  The warm weather meant the gardens continued to produce so I had an abundance of hot peppers to use up.  It was surprising just how much the 16 hot pepper plants were producing.  I quickly needed to find ways to take advantage of the excess hapanero, jalapeno, Hungarian wax and cayenne peppers.

simmering habanero peppers
Habanero peppers are the hottest chili peppers you can buy in the grocery stores.  They come in at 300,000 Scoville units, the measurement of heat in hot peppers.  It is important to realize that a little habanero goes a long way in terms of heat!  These peppers are quite easy to grow in the home garden.  I decided to make a habanero fire sauce with the excess habanero peppers.

First I washed the peppers then put on latex gloves to cut the stem end off.  Latex gloves or similar are a must when handling habanero peppers!  I placed the peppers in a stainless steel sauce pan and covered them with 5% acetic acid vinegar.  I brought the mixture to a low boil then reduced the heat to simmer.  Putting the lid on helped contain the capsaicin from permeating the air too much as that causes a fair amount of coughing.

straining the habanero fire sauce
Once the peppers had turned to mush I removed them from the heat and blended the mixture with a stick blender.  Then I carefully ladled the mixture through a fire wire mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  During this step it was important to keep my face away from the steamy mixture and that also triggered coughing.  However, the straining itself was fairly easy and problem free.

Hot pepper sauce will keep for ages in the refrigerator but I wanted to jar up some for gift giving.  The sauce tested to pH 2.4 so I knew it was acidic for using a boiling water bath (BWB) canner.  I did a small taste test and oh my gosh is this sauce ever hot!  It has good flavour but it is hot.

canned and bottled habanero fire sauce
I filled 8 - 125 ml (4 oz) jars with the sauce then processed in a BWB for 10 minutes.  I used Tattler reusable canning lids (white) on four jars for ourselves and metal two piece snap lids for gift giving.  I poured the remainder into a squeeze bottle for the refrigerator.  This really is a lot of very hot yet tasty sauce.  To put it into perspective it is the equivalent of over 26 (57 ml) bottles of Tobasco sauce.

I was concerned the sauce would separate during processing or upon cooling but it didn't.  The following day the sauce looked just as good as when I made it.  I labeled the sauce as habanero fire sauce with a warning that it

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