Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Some Like it Hot: Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce!

If life gives you extreme heat, why not ratchet up that heat even more?

Why do we love to test our heat-tolerance limits with hot sauce? They say we get flooded with endorphins when we ingest hot peppers - like a runner's high, for eaters. Euphoria without all that exercise. I'm all for that!

Habaneros and pineapples are a great match. Habaneros are fruity and sweet, behind that curtain of heat, and pineapple complements them perfectly. I wrote to my fellow chile-head Heather, wanting to find a thinish sprinkle-type sauce with habaneros and pineapple. Something I could store in the fridge for frequent use. She suggested I start with a great habanero sauce recipe and add pineapple. Wise woman, she. Practical too.

We both went ahead and made our own versions of pineapple habanero sauce, and even made it the first challenge for August on our Forging Fromage DIY food site.

The sauce we started with is from Rick Bayless, the man knows heat. Give it a try!

Habanero Hot Sauce
Rick Bayless
Makes about 2 cups

5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot (you'll need 1 medium carrot)
1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion (you'll need about half of a small onion)
12 medium (about 5 ounces) orange habanero chiles, stemmed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
About 2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar


Roast the garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.  Cool and peel.

In a small saucepan, combine the carrot, onion and habanero chiles with the vinegar and 1 cup water.  Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 10 minutes.  Pour into a blender jar, add the roasted garlic, salt and sugar.  Blend until smooth.  Thin with a little additional water if you think your hot sauce is too thick. Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary.

Pour into jars or bottles and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to add some dazzle to a dish.

How I turned this into Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce:

I grilled half a pineapple, sprinkled with turbinado sugar and wizzed it up with the rest of the sauce. I tasted it and figured it needed more pineapple and added half a can of pineapple tidbits in juice that I had in the fridge. That seemed good, pineapple-wise. I also added a bit more vinegar. Just taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.


Heather also suggested I try my hand at this spicy vinegar condiment, seeing as I am on a pineapple and habanero kick. It's delicious! 

Spicy Pineapple Vinegar
From Heather of Girlichef's Big, Fat Puerto Rican Meal
yield: ~4 c.

"A bottle of this spicy condiment is found on every table of every fonda in Puerto Rico.  It is, easily, more popular than ketchup."  ~Daisy

2 ripe pineapples
1/2 lg. Spanish onion, thinly sliced
20 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
6 habaƱero chiles, stemmed & coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. cider vinegar, plus more as needed
1 Tbs. smashed fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt, plus more as needed


Peel the pineapples and set aside the peel for use.  Save the pineapple for eating or use in something else.  Put rinds in a pot large enough to hold them comfortably, pour in enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Adjust heat so liquid is at a gentle boil and cook until rinds are very tender, ~30 mins.  If water dips below rinds, top off as necessary to keep them submerged.

Meanwhile, put onion, garlic, chiles, vinegar. oregano, peppercorns, and salt in a large jar (or two smaller) w/ tight fitting lid.  Strain pineapple liquid into large measuring cup or bowl.  Pour into the jar of seasonings. Taste and add a little salt or vinegar if you think it needs it.  Can be used as soon as it cools, but will get better as it sits.  Keep in fridge for up to 2 months.

*The vinegar is delicious! Funny that the garlic turns green/blue - I looked it up, it has something to do with trace amounts of sulfur and copper. No worries!
My science project!