Every now and then I mention my littel vegetable garden strip out back near the pool beneath the cherry tree and shadowed by the neighbour’s Beech. One of the reasons this blog is called Tomatilla! is because the tomatillas love this little strip of land. I no longer plant them any more they self seed/sow through fruit that fall and rot and I just thin them out in the spring to four plants or so. Same with the arugula. But in and around I grow some tomatoes, some eggplant, some beans, and some squash every Summer. I also try for some peppers every year and every year until now I failed badly. But this year I grew a pile of cayenne peppers and a couple of Chile d’Arbol. I used a couple here and there as Summer turned to Fall, but I ended up when I finally yanked out the Summer garden with a good 40 or so peppers. So I made some hot sauce. Some really hot sauce.

Research tells me that cayenne peppers peak out at around 50,000 Scoville units. These seem at least that hot to me. Touching my tongue to a spoon of the sauce almost results in pain.

But hot sauce isn’t just about pain. These are some TASTY peppers – and especially with the inclusion of the two much larger Chile d’Arbol. So I thought about what I wanted in a hot sauce. I like most kinds. I don’t have time to ferment in oak for a year. My other big time local ingredient that I have too much of is the infamous Meyer Lemon (the big tree still has literally over 100 lemons on it – and that is with us using them constantly). I like some salt in my hot sauce. I like some depth in my hot sauce. So here is what I did…

Owen’s 50-Karat Hot Sauce

30 dried cayenne chile peppers
2 dried Chile d’Arbol
(I dried mine over three or four weeks on the stovetop – just letting them get the gentle heat from cooking nearby)
The juice of two Meyer Lemons
Six cloves of garlic
One two-inch piece of ginger peeled and cut into chunks.
two and a half tablespoons kosher salt.

Put everything into a food processor/blender. Do not de-seed the peppers. Simply remove the stalks if any. Process until you can process no more (in my case that leaves little pieces of peper about the size of red chili flakes you buy in the store). You should have a thick but spoonable and pourable sauce that you better not get on anything sensitive. Put it in a jar you just ran through a dishwasher and store it in the fridge – it’ll keep a month or two.

I haven’t dared cook with mine yet – I have to wait until the kids aren’t going to be eating too.