I made hot sauce, and IT’s REALLY GOOD!
Must write down my sort-of recipe for posterity.
1. I drizzled two heads of garlic with olive oil and roasted them in a small covered casserole dish (you can also cover them tightly in foil) at 325 for about 50 minutes, until the skin was crispy and the cloves soft and mushy.
2. I charred about 35 garden-grown jalapenos, some red but most green, under a broiler for about 7 minutes a side. This was supposed to make the skin come off easier, and it sort of did, but I think I need to be more careful about turning them and getting all sides really singed and surface-crisped. The job of getting the skins off and the seeds out, while wearing, then not wearing, then wearing again awkward disposable plastic gloves was irritatingly labor-intensive and somewhat painful to my hands (and any other part of me I touched). Capsaicin, it burns!
I gave up after about 20-25 jalapenos and threw the rest away. I felt like a failure at this point. Also, I went to bed because it was late.
3. Next morning, I peeled the garlic and added the squishy heads to a pot with the chopped up, softened, somewhat deseeded and deveined and de-skinned jalapenos and one bright red habanero. I added about a tbsp of sugar and 2 tsp salt and about 3 tbsp of that good, bright red tomato puree that comes in a tube. I added apple cider vinegar to cover, about 2.5 cups, plus some water as I cooked it down for an hour or so, stirring frequently. I had regular white and red wine vinegars but I really wanted the cider vinegar flavor, which I love.
4. After an hour and a half of simmering, and letting it stand for maybe half an hour to cool, I strained the pepper and garlic liquid mush (laboriously, messily) through cheesecloth several times, while wearing another pair of those disposable plastic gloves. Then I tasted some with my gloveless finger and poured it on a few tortilla chips.
5. It is insanely, addictively delicious! I wanted to lick the pot! I think the roasted garlic is the key to a savory, roasty depth of flavor. The peppers were hot but not enough to overpower all other tastes. The tomato sweetened it and gave it a nice bright red color. I would do this again! Maybe.