What happens when you fire-roast end-of-harvest green tomatoes, the last of the season’s cayenne chilis, onion, and garlic, and then boil them up with some chipotle and cascabel peppers? The short answer is that I still don’t know for sure. But I’ll definitely be certain within the next 24 hours.
In the latest Farm to Table test kitchen quest for hot sauce excellence, I decided to tackle a good hot chipotle sauce — it is, after all, a wonderfully versatile sauce that is great for livening up pizza, burgers, wings, eggs, quesadilla, nachos, rice and beans… you get the idea.
While I already make an excellent Caribbean sauce (“the Habanero Death”), and a pretty good Louisianna (“the Cayenne Killer”), I haven’t really tried my hand at a true chipotle sauce.
Until last night.
And then I made over a half gallon of it.
The “Chipotle Hurt” still has one boil to go through, and then the canning process, but I can tell you this: the early results are fantastic.
I’ll post a recipe soon, but in the meantime, a teaser:
I started by tossing a bunch of green tomatoes on the BBQ, heat cranked almost to high. I added my onion and garlic to the grill at the same time. Turning frequently, I allowed the tomatoes to brown and slightly char, without blackening, and pulled them when they started to soften. I then put the cayennes on — using a vegetable grilling basket to keep them falling into the flame. I roasted them until they were, like the tomatoes, starting to soften and char, but not burning. The onion and garlic kept on cooking alongside them.
I took everything inside, peeled the garlic and onion, chopped up the entire mess, and added a brine of cider vinegar, salt, and a bit of sugar. I mixed it in a BBQ safe pot and then brought it outside to boil.
Within minutes, the entire Farm to Table neigbourhood was aware of that something was a-cooking. Chipotle and cayenne were carried on the breeze, making for a potent autumn evening.
45 minutes later, I brought the pot inside, ran the entire contents through a
food mill, and allowed it to cool.
And, wow, was it beautiful. A rich, nutty brown colour. Thin enough to pour, thick enough to stick, it has just a bit of lumpiness that I will fix tonight. Smoky on both the nose and the tongue, with a medium heat and a full taste. So far so good.
As I said, though, there is still a boil to go — I want to adjust the consistency just a tad. And then it has to be processed.
But if it holds the flavour that it currently has, they we will definitely have a winner. And another potential hot sauce for future sales.
I’ll give you a verdict, a recipe, and a photo of the finished product tomorrow. Stay tuned!