I made this at the same time as making my garlic hot sauce; they were both my first attempts at crossing off another 30 Before 30 item (only a little under a year left!). Head over to the garlic hot sauce post if you’d like to read more details about getting started with hot sauces.
The garlic hot sauce sounded amazing, but I was much more excited for the red hot chipotle sauce. I was really hoping this one would be extremely spicy, but also have some good flavor, and I was right. The flavor was pretty smokey, but packed a serious punch. I’m a happy girl! Too bad the pictures aren’t more amazing – not really sure hot to photograph a seemingly boring bottle of hot sauce.
Red Hot Chipotle Sauce
Source: Midwest Supplies
Servings: Yields about 1/2 cup
3/4 cup fresh tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
2-4 whole dried Habanero chilies
4 whole dried chipotle chillies
8 whole dried de arbol chilies
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum
1. Put on gloves and keep them on while handling the chilies (these are especially hot and you don’t want to be touching your mouth, nose, and especially eyes – contact wearers – after handling them). Remove the stems from chilies and place in medium-sized bowl. Pour boiling water over chilies to rehydrate. Press down with a spoon to be sure all chilies are submerged, and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. In a food processor, puree tomatoes and chilies with the vinegar and salt. Transfer to a small sauce pan and simmer sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Xanthan Gum and mix in until dissolved.
* If you are taking the pH level of your sauce, now is the time to do so. Hot sauce ingredients are high in pH levels and can spoil easily without proper acidification. It is important to cook the sauce at a proper temperature for a sufficient time so that undesired organisms will be destroyed. Additionally, the pH should be adjusted to below 4.6, preferably below 4.2. Typically, vinegar-based hot sauce has a pH in the range of 3.0-4.0. To acidify hot sauce, add more vinegar, lime juice or other low pH substances.
* After your sauce has boiled, everything that comes in contact with it from here on out must be sanitized. One-Step or Star San sanitizers are recommended to ensure a sanitary environment without the need to rinse. If you do not have cleaner to sanitize your bottles, place empty bottles (without cap or dripper insert) in a pot, cover and fill the bottles with water. Boil for 10 minutes.
3. For a milder sauce, immediately strain your sauce through a fine mesh strainer. For a hotter sauce, leave the solids in the sauce for up to two weeks, then strain. Bottle the sauce and let it age for at least one week in the fridge. I let this one sit for a week before straining and bottling it.