Habanero peppers are HOT. One tiny bite sets your mouth on fire so it’s a challenge to use them in a recipe. My husband’s pepper plant produced a peck of these fiery orange bundles (don’t let their cute, lantern-like looks fool you). With all this heat, hot sauce seemed like the best option. If you decide to make this recipe, and you should because it’s easy, delicious, and surprisingly not too hot, I want to “warn” you about a few things I learned the hard way.
- Wear plastic gloves when chopping habanero peppers. The oil (capsaicin) from the peppers will keep your fingers burning for days.
- Never wipe your face, lips or eyes when chopping them.
- Warn all family and friends to stay out of the kitchen. The capsaicin infuses into the air triggering a bout of coughing and water eyes (I forgot to warn my daughter who just happened to stop home).
- This recipe makes 3 large bottles of hot sauce so you’ll have plenty to share with friends and family (a small token for running them out of the kitchen).
Habanero Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup onion, diced, 2 medium poblano peppers, diced, 2 habanero peppers (see note below), 4 cloves garlic, minced, 3 cups tomatoes, diced, 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons salt, 1-3 tablespoons sugar
*Note: Wear plastic gloves to remove the seeds and membrane from the habanero pepper and to dice the pepper. I used 2 habanero peppers which makes a hot, but tolerable sauce. If you like a more intense burn, you can use up to 4 peppers.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano peppers, habanero peppers, and garlic. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes until onion softens. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and allow tomato mixture to cool before adding it to a blender or food processor. Do not add a hot sauce to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour into glass jars and refrigerate. I’m not sure how long you can store this in the refrigerator. I’ve been using the hot sauce for over 2 weeks and it still tastes great.
Nutrition Note: For a satisfying breakfast, use this hot sauce on eggs with sliced avocado . There is ongoing nutrition research into the benefits of hot peppers (including capsaicin and other nutrients in peppers) and their ability to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.