Habanero Hot Sauce (No Sugar Added)

Another Thad birthday present I had originally planned on making (pre-low-glycemic days) that had to be altered without losing any awesomeness. So I used my Favorite Hot Sauce recipe, skipped the sugar, and hoped for the best.

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Well, mission accomplished! It's so tasty we don't even miss the sugar. The only thing that differs from the original recipe (other than the sugar) is that I didn't char the pepper this time, so the color and flavor are a little different. But it's fun to experiment with variables like that, and we like it just as much. 

Cautions: 

Obviously habaneros are powerful little guys, so definitely wear gloves while de-seeding and slicing, and be so careful not to touch eyes, nose or mouth during the process. I foolishly skipped the gloves this time and my hands were on fire for hours afterward. No party.

• Also be aware that, as you cook them, you may feel the vapors in your lungs. The key is good ventilation and if you’re particularly sensitive, perhaps a dust mask would be helpful too.

What you’ll need:

• Half pound of peppers, de-seeded – I chose a combination of vine sweet mini peppers and habaneros. Seven sweet peppers and three habaneros. That combo gave it a pretty good kick – I'd say it made it a 6.5 on the spicy scale.

• 5 tablespoons of minced garlic

• 1 tablespoon of sea salt

• 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

** I made twice the amount than outlined here, but I'd strongly discourage against processing more than 3 habaneros at a time because of the fumes they give off while cooking.

Start by gloving the hands and washing, halving and de-seeding the peppers. So pretty. Then toss them into your vinegar marinade – the garlic, salt and vinegar – in a non-corrosive bowl and soak overnight.

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Once they're good and marinated, drain the vinegar solution into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Allow it to reduce by about a third and add in your peppers.

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Once the peppers are soft and tender, pour the lovely lot into your food processor and blend until smooth. If it's too thick to blend (depending on how much you reduced the vinegar) add a couple tablespoons of vinegar and a couple of water to the processor. Still too thick? Add a bit more, just keep the vinegar/water addition equal.

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And it's done and ready to jar! This beautiful hot sauce is great on ev-ery-thing. We especially like it with eggs, tuna casserole, vegetable soup, anything cheesy... almost anything at all.

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If you make it, I'd love to hear what you're putting it on!

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