Have you tried making and canning your own hot sauces? It is so easy and fun! When you make your own, the sauce can be as hot or cool as you like, just about any color you like, and canned in amounts that match your consumption.
If you have a garden, access to a fine farmers’ market or CSA, you can have even more fun. Not all peppers are equal! Besides the difference in heat, peppers have different flavors and different colors. Find the ones you enjoy the most when cooked and plan to use them in your hot sauce.
When a hot sauce has FLAVOR in addition to heat, its uses expand exponentially. Add your hot sauce to homemade salad dressings and mayonnaise. Add it to sour cream, Greek yogurt, or kefir cheese. Use it as a topping for grains, beans, or baked potatoes. Add some sauce to your bean pot, soup pot, or tea pot. Think outside the box and you will begin to plan for a whole cabinet full of different hot sauces you have crafted.
The following recipe offers suggestions on ingredients and amounts. This recipe is for a single batch of sauce. Multiply by 4 or 5 and can it in small jars. Change the ratios of any of the ingredients and you will still get a tasty sauce. Just be careful about the hot peppers. Know your peppers. I like working with cubanelles and Fresno chilis because they are warm, not hot. They have great flavor. Using a quantity of these peppers adds heat, but also adds flavor. KNOW YOUR PEPPERS!
One insurance plan is to roast a few hot peppers while the sauce is cooking. If the finished sauce is not hot enough, throw in a roasted pepper or two. Or roast ALL the hot peppers called for below plus a few extras. Roasting adds another dimension to the flavor. It also adds another dirty pan to wash but if you have the time, give it a try.
Chili Verde Ingredients
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, hulled and washed
- 1 onion, quartered
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups chopped sweet pepper like Italian or Sweet Banana
- 1-2 cups chopped hot pepper like cubanelle or Fresno Chili
- 1 large bunch cilantro, well washed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- about 2 cups water
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
Chili Verde Steps
- Pour the water into a soup pot.
- Add all the vegetables and put on a tight-fitting lid.
- Cook over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes. You want the onion and tomatillos to be soft.
- Strain off the liquid, saving about a cup.
- Puree the vegetables in a food processor. Add some of the cooking liquid if need be. Canning requires the sauce to be on the juicy side rather than the thick side.
- Stir in the salt and add more if you like. Check for heat. You can add more now with a sprinkle of cayenne or a couple of roasted hot peppers. Blend again. Pour the sauce back into the sauce pan and add the vinegar. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Can your sauce in official canning jars like Kerr or Ball and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the canning process.
- Label your sauce including the date on which you canned it. Store the jars in a cool place and do enjoy!