|Rich's Holy Habanero Hot Sauce|
The following is more of a method than recipe, so the amounts the ingredients can vary and will depend on the number of fresh habanero chiles on hand...
Wash, de-stem, and coarsely chop the habanero chiles. Using an appropriate size glass jar, sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt on the bottom of the jar. Add a layer (about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick) of the chopped habaneros and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Add another similar layer of chopped habaneros and salt. Continue in this manner until all the chopped chiles have been placed in the jar. Sprinkle some salt on top of the last layer of chiles.
Cover the jar with a piece of folded cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Set the jar aside in a cool place for a few days (I usually let it sit about a week) to allow the habaneros to release some of their juice. When a significant amount of juice has formed in the jar (the chiles and liquid might even begin to ferment and bubble a bit), pour white vinegar over the chiles and secure the cheesecloth in place with the rubber band. Set aside as before for a few more days (again, I usually let it sit for about a week), gently shaking each day to stir up the mixture.
Pour the contents of the jar into a blender and puree until pretty well liquefied. Strain the liquid into a jar through a fine sieve, pressing against the sieve with a spoon to force as much pulp through as possible. Set the liquid in a refrigerator where it will be least disturbed until a layer of clear vinegar forms on the top. Gently pour off the clear liquid and reserve. Repeat this process until no more vinegar can be poured off. Bottle the remaining sauce and keep in the refrigerator for "Tabasco Sauce" type uses.
The reserved chile flavored vinegar can be used in place of regular vinegar where a bit of heat would add a nice chile-head touch, such as salsas, salad dressings, fish 'n chips...whatever.
From: Rich McCormack, (Poway, CA), firstname.lastname@example.org
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