“Don’t put your face directly over the pot.”
“Why? Will the steam get to me?”
“Yes, the steam filled with the hot chile oil. You’ll burn your eyebrows off before we get the sauce made.”
I imagined returning home with jars full of hot pepper sauce, and a wax-job-gone-awry look to my eyebrows; half gone from the heat of the fumes. I stepped back and let her take her turn at stirring the pot.
SARITA’S HOT SAUCE
Authentic, tasty, traditional, Belizean hot pepper sauce
- 2 Pounds of Habanero peppers
- 5 Cups White Vinegar
- 2 Bunches Cilantro, washed
- 1 Tbsp Allspice berries, If not available, add 2 tsp allspice powder.
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp recado seasoning. If not available, uses anatto seasoning or just omit. Sauce will not be bright red but will still be tasty.
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 sweet onions, cut into rounds and separated into rings
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
Prep the peppers by washing them and removing the stems. Place the peppers in a sauce pan with 4 cups of the vinegar. Bring to a boil them reduce to a low simmer. Cook until peppers begin to soften and burst slightly, about 15 minutes. Add all spices, herbs, lime juice, and seasonings. Add a little more vinegar, about 1/2 cup. Cook 10 minutes more.
In the mean time, add the onions to water with the lemon juice. soak during the 10 minutes that the sauce is cooking down. Add the onions and remaining vinegar to the mixture and cook 10-15 minutes until everything is soft.
One ladle-full at a time, add the sauce to a blender. Puree the mixture until very smooth. Pack into jars for canning or place in air tight containers. Can keep in fridge for 3 months, or frozen for up to 6 months.
Clean your pot with lemon juice prior to using soap,to counteract and acid or oil from the peppers.