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Can a libertarian curmudgeon survive in a post 9/11 America? Is it possible to create the perfect meal on a Baby Q grill? Will Elaine finally succumb to her innermost desires? Check out my novels - which I am excerpting to separate blogs as I write them. Just click on my Profile button to access their links.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

My DIY "Tabasco" Green Sauce...



Mom loves to garden. She's converted our back yard into this space where vegetables, agastache, tulips and echinacea plants abound. (Agastache is a wonderful plant that flowers for most of the summer and attracts hummingbirds in droves!) This summer she asked if I would like her to attempt to grow Jalapeno peppers and I told I'd love it if she did. Well, we only got one plant but that plant produced 15 peppers! They ranged in size from about 1&1/2 inches to just over 3 inches by the time we harvested them; also, three of the pods had turned this bright red color while the other twelve were a deep, rich green. I'm including two photos, one of a green pod and one of a red pod.

After about three days sitting on our kitchen counter, I decided to 'do something' with them. Last year we'd tried our hand at Anaheim peppers and I'd dried them out and ground them down to form the kind of red pepper flakes you find at pizza restaurants - I love to sprinkle them on our home-made pizzas! But this year I decided to try my hand at making a pepper sauce-if you've ever bought Tabasco's Green sauce, you know what I was shooting for.

As we have an electric stove, I pulled out a stainless steel pan and dry-roasted the peppers in the pan rather than attempt to hold them close enough to the burners to properly roast the skin - I made small slits in each so the peppers wouldn't explode from the pressure. After the peppers were charred, I put them into a ziploc baggie for about fifteen minutes to get the skin to loosen and pull away.

Once I had the pods peeled, I cut off the stem end, split them open and scraped out the ribs and seeds. It's time-consuming so expect it - and be patient. Also, DON'T forget that you're working with hot peppers and accidentally wipe or rub your eyes! I did that last year when I ground up the Anaheims - I'll never be that stupid again! ;-)

I then put my fifteen de-skinned, seeded and cut-open jalapenos into a small pot, poured in a little more than one cup of white vinegar and about two teaspoons of salt - I used sea salt - and used a hand blender to puree the ingredients. This took about twenty more minutes as I wanted the pods to be as liquified as possible. I then added water and more vinegar (remember to taste after each addition to see if the flavor is what you want) to bring it to a little more than 2 cups of sauce, while simmering over medium-low heat, using the hand-blender to keep the puree working.

I let it all cool down and poured the results into an empty 1/2 liter (16.9oz) plastic water bottle. It's now sitting in my refrigerator and it tastes FINE!

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I'm including two photos, one of a green pod and one of a red pod.

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After the peppers were charred, I put them into a ziploc baggie for about fifteen minutes to get the skin to loosen and pull away.

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