The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Are You a Hot Sauce Fiend?

How many of you are hot sauce fiends?   I’m not talking about a couple dashes on eggs and the occasional chicken wing.  I’m talking  the kind of fiend that puts hot sauce on everything – pizza, pork chops, mac & cheese, popcorn.   I’m one of those guys.

I’ll put it on just about everything except for cereal and ice cream.   No, wait… I do put some in grits, which is technically a cereal.   I don’t put any on Fruit Loops or Frosted Flakes but that’s only because I’m, like, over 12 years old and don’t eat those anymore.   As for ice cream, I haven’t tried it but only because I didn’t think about it until now.

Back in Spring, I built my garden boxes and tried my hand at growing cayenne peppers.   This picture represents a third of what I was able to pull from two plants.

HS cayennes *

I had never grown them before, so didn’t realize that they got so long – close to a foot long.   When I bit it into them, I was expecting a lot of heat as cayennes have more Scoville units than jalapenos but these weren’t as hot as I hoped they’d be.  What I think happened was that the cold summer we had messed them up. I was waiting and waiting for them to turn red but the weather wasn’t warm enough to ripen them.   Same thing happened with my tomatoes, as they weren’t ready to pick until late August – more than a month late.   So while the peppers stayed on the vine, they just kept on growing which took away the potency.

Note to self #1 – Pick them earlier and let them ripen off the vine.

But I had all these peppers and figured it’d be a waste to not try making hot sauces.


Hot Sauce Recipe #1

I got this from and is pretty similar to most of the ones I found – blend with some salt and vinegar, then simmer for a little.  Here’s the full recipe.

Cut off stems from 1/2 pound  of cayenne peppers and add to blender with 3 to 4 teaspoons of salt.  (The author recommends adding a few other different types of peppers for other flavor profiles)  Add enough white vinegar (1-2 cups) to cover the peppers.

HS 1 b4 blend



HS 1 blend


Add to sauce pan and bring to boil.   Simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the mixture.

HS 1 strained


Pour into jar.

HS 1 finished


The Result – This was nice.  I really like the kick of vinegar and had enough heat to capture my attention.  It had a little bit of a green pepper, vegetal quality to it, which was odd but not off-putting. My guess is that the ratio of seeds (where the heat is) to flesh was thrown off because they were so huge.

Note to self #2 – Cut off as the fleshy areas that don’t have seeds to get more seeds into the mix.


Hot Sauce Recipe #2

This next recipe was very different and I seriously had my doubts about it.   It’s from and there are elements to the blog that leads me to believe it’s a hippie site and you know I don’t do well with hippies.   Second, the preparation itself didn’t use a drop of vinegar and wasn’t cooked.   Instead, the recipe calls for soaking it in a jar for two weeks to let it ferment, then blending.  This didn’t seem like sound cooking practice and part of me thought that I would end up poisoning myself.  But I figured years of gastrointestinal abuse has steeled my stomach for this moment.   And if I got sick then that would make for an even better blog post.

Here’s the full recipe.

Fill a jar with peppers, 2.5 teaspoons salt, and 4-5 garlic cloves. Add enough water to cover the peppers.

HS 2 packed



Close the jar and leave in a cool, dark place for two weeks.   Here’s what it looked like when it was done.

HS 2 fermented


It’s barely visible, but there were a lot of tiny little bubbles in it.  That concerned me a little but, what the hell, I’ve come this far.



HS 2 final


The Results – Absolutely delicious.  It had about the same amount of heat as the other, but also achieved a bright, tangy flavor even without the vinegar.  It’s more of a sambal-type sauce from Asia, so I wonder if they ferment for those as well.   The hippies writers of the recipe said it’d keep in the refrigerator for a year.

Note to self #3 – Maybe start easing up on hippies…. Nahhhhh!


Even though I didn’t get the spiciness I was looking for, the overall experience was great.  The peppers were a breeze to grow and having that much yield was very satisfying.   The sauces were easy to make and now I’ll have something to show from my harvest until next summer.   Assuming we don’t use them up way before then.

Note to self, #4 (which is also a note to you all) – don’t ever put hot sauce on ice cream.  It tastes like ass.


Are you a hot sauce fiend? What do or don’t you like hot sauce on? Have you ever made it yourself?



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

12 comments on “Are You a Hot Sauce Fiend?

  1. A Famished Foodie
    December 2, 2014

    I had pepperoni gelato once…if they can do that, you can pull off hot sauce ice cream

  2. mrsugarbears
    December 2, 2014

    Yummy! I grew then this summer, too I have a wonderful friend from Mexico that taught me to dry them out and freeze them. You can make hot salsa from boiling them later with whatever recipe you use. I’m looking forward to trying this hot sauce!

  3. armchairsommelier
    December 2, 2014

    Definitely not a fiend (my people are Nordic, we like our food beige and bland). I like a little bit of heat, but I don’t like my food to taste like fire. I’m a fan of the rooster Sriracha sauce, but a big bottle of that could last a decade at my house! Salud!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      December 2, 2014

      Is lutefisk beige? Or is that more grey? (Not that grey is any more appealing)

      • armchairsommelier
        December 3, 2014

        Scary thing. Lutefisk can be beige or gray. Depends a lot on the source . . . and the chef. Either way, it tastes like whale snot. Urgh.

  4. Salty Sweet Life
    December 2, 2014

    I am so intrigued by that fermented sauce because I love sambal oelek! We grew cayenne peppers last year but they looked nothing like yours! Ours were tiny and puny but they were hot as fire! We dried ours and ground them. I’m so jealous of your garden–even if everything ripened a bit late!

  5. wanderingglutton
    December 2, 2014

    I always like to grow a variety of peppers for making hot sauce. This year I grew habanero, thai, serrano, jalapeno and cayenne peppers. Unfortunately, I like to eat them so I ended up without enough to make into sauce.

  6. wineandhistory
    December 7, 2014

    I’m not into hot sauce at all, but enjoyed reading about the experimentation!

  7. Megan @ MegGoesNomNom
    December 7, 2014

    Very cool – I’ve never made homemade hot sauce but would like too. I really like Ravens Club’s hot sauce. 🙂

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2014 by in Cooking and tagged , , , , , , .
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