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Author Topic: Hot Peppers/Sauces etc  (Read 18473 times)
mabudon
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« on: April 19, 2010, 11:14 am »

Just curious if there are many fans of brutally hot foods here.
I am currently trying to get some Bhut Jolokia seeds to grow a batch of them nasty buggers this summer. I really like mind-blastingly hot foods. Not like everything I eat has to taste like hell on earth, but I do like to launch my face into the stratosphere fairly often.

So, any good hot sauces or foods that you enjoy??
My fave snack food in the HOT category is Blair's Death Rain potato chips- they are made with habanero and they are indeed extremely hot, not like 90% of things labelled "HOT" which are just kind of zesty, these chips set you mouth on fire, and the only way to manage the fire is to keep eating them.
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 11:21 am »

people who love really hot stuff just for the sake of being hot and don't actually have a flavor to the hotness are manchildren who should not talk about food or be around food or cook food for others. people who consider dave's insanity sauce and the like as great hot sauces should be killed. the quality of a hot sauce is not measured in scoville units.

now that that is out of the way: sriracha sauce, crystal, and chohula are all excellent sauces.

as for chips, zapp's cajun crawtaters
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 11:44 am »

Philippe's Special Mustard is pretty damn good:



I bought three jars of the stuff when I was in LA, and I'm seriously contemplating ordering some more off the internet.
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 11:45 am »

I agree with Abe - the quality of spicy food is how the spiciness actually effects the flavor of the food. These "hot sauces" are by and large just distilled peppers - they don't taste like anything you'd call food.

Anyway, I've grown very fond of spicy foods (namely, thai, tex/mex, and szechuan food). I grow my own peppers, though this year I'm not growing as many (just some bird's eye peppers, cayennes, and poblanos). If you haven't tried real szechuan food but like spicy food, you really ought to if for no other reason than to experience the awesomeness that is sichuan peppercorns.

One philosophical question I have is whether or not people consider horseradish spicy. I'm a big fan of spicy mustard in german cuisine, but it's not really a capsaicin thing.

Anyway, sriracha is pretty darn good.
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mabudon
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 11:58 am »

That's the thing, I don't like hot stuff just to prove something, I really enjoy the taste of habanero peppers tho. Often when I cook stuff, I spice it for flavour, and it ends up being inedible to many folks, whereas it just tastes good to me, so I can't trust my heat-perception when cooking for others.

I really like sriracha sauce so long as it's not fish-based, the fish-based stuff goes "off" way too fast. My favourite standard-issue hot sauce is Grace Hot Pepper Sauce. It's got enough balls and a straightforward taste that goes well in most applications.

I have never tasted Daves Insanity but have tried sauces like it- used in really small quantities even the most powerful sauces can be a great, subtle addition to stuff like chili etc. I had one sauce called "possible side effects" that I actually used a chopstick to dispense- just a little coating on the end of the stick was enough for almost any application, with no danger of overdoing it. The bottle I had of that particular sauce lasted almost a whole year.
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 12:01 pm »

I'm a fan of horseradish. As you say, being part of the mustard family it's hot in a different way from capsaicin pepper - I like the way it clears your sinuses.

I only really use it with roast beef, but the interweb tells me it's also an ingredient in sauces for trout and such-like.

Back on topic:

tasty hot pepper to enhance a dish - yes,
mind-blowingly hot peppers just for the sake of heat - no.
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 12:16 pm »

That's the thing, I don't like hot stuff just to prove something, I really enjoy the taste of habanero peppers tho. Often when I cook stuff, I spice it for flavour, and it ends up being inedible to many folks, whereas it just tastes good to me, so I can't trust my heat-perception when cooking for others.

I really like sriracha sauce so long as it's not fish-based, the fish-based stuff goes "off" way too fast. My favourite standard-issue hot sauce is Grace Hot Pepper Sauce. It's got enough balls and a straightforward taste that goes well in most applications.

I have never tasted Daves Insanity but have tried sauces like it- used in really small quantities even the most powerful sauces can be a great, subtle addition to stuff like chili etc. I had one sauce called "possible side effects" that I actually used a chopstick to dispense- just a little coating on the end of the stick was enough for almost any application, with no danger of overdoing it. The bottle I had of that particular sauce lasted almost a whole year.

Those super-hot sauces aren't made from real ingredients, you know. They're made directly from capsaicin extracts, which don't have any flavour at all and defy the entire point of adding sauce to food.
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 01:41 pm »

Around here, we have these little things called chiltepins that grow wild basically everywhere. When I was a kid, someone told me to eat one because they were delicious. That person lied. It was like putting fire-flavored acid on my tongue and my lips wouldn't stop burning for an hour.

Since then, I've become very particular about what kind of "hot" I like to add to my food. Poblanos are good, and have an actual flavor, and certain habanero-flavored sauces can be delicious if done properly (I have a recipe for habanero-avocado cream sauce that is outstanding), but the peppers by themselves are basically useless to me. Jalapenos are a staple of my diet, especially when stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped with bacon, and then grilled over wood. Red sriracha is pretty good when used very sparingly.

Despite my traumatic experience, I actually do like spicy food. But people who choke down insanely hot capsaicin derivatives are completely missing the point.
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 01:44 pm »

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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 05:39 pm »



Despite the label, this stuff is not really that hot, but it has excellent flavour and is perfect with chicken.
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2010, 11:59 pm »

now that that is out of the way: sriracha sauce, crystal, and chohula are all excellent sauces.

as for chips, zapp's cajun crawtaters

Cholula is my all-time favorite hot sauce, and I've tried maybe 25-30. Also, I love Zapp's but can't get them here, so I always ask my mom to bring up a bag when she visits.

Anyway, nearing 30 I can't really handle hot stuff anymore, but back when I could I used to like slicing fresh serrano peppers very thin and eating them with cheese. It's sad, developing a weak gut, because what I love most about serranos and habaneros isn't their heat, but their flavor. I think habaneros are the most enjoyable pepper to taste, but the heat that follows might as well be a goddamn molten harpoon shot straight into my stomach.

Fuck getting old. Seriously.
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Carrot
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2010, 12:14 am »

I have a recipe for habanero-avocado cream sauce that is outstanding

That sounds crazy delicious. Would you mind posting it?
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2010, 05:51 am »

Peanut, my guts are nearing 30 too, and would just like to tell yours that they're being a raging pansy.

Here's a recipe for nam pla prik that will be nicer than anything store bought:

2 cups of chopped fresh chillies
Fish sauce (use this to taste, but bear in mind the "Pla" part of the title means fish so traditionally it tastes pretty fishy.)
1/2 a cup of lime juice
Slice 4 garlic cloves thinly and whack them in

This makes a huge amount of the sauce by the way. But if you're like me it will go on pretty much anything involving rice, pork and chicken.
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 06:19 am »

In our early days of gardening we did one insane summer of pepper growing and canning, making tons of jars of peppers we never really used. This year, we're growing one pepper plant -- jalepeno -- for the intended purpose of smoking our own chipotles, drying them, and grinding them into powder.

I'm going to do internet research (I have the time, the plant is just a seedling at this point), but has anyone here done this? I wouldn't mind a recipe or process tested by someone I almost know on the web.
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pedant
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2010, 09:00 am »

I have nothing to add except that we are planning to do this this year, too.  It'd be cool to compare notes when the time comes. 

We're novice smokers, but long-time barbeque-ers (as separate from grillers) so I don't know how useful my notes will be.  But I'm sure I can at least offer helpful hints like don't use pinewood, don't knock the smoker off the deck, don't stick your head in because the inside of the smoker is smoky, that kind of thing.
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2010, 09:01 am »

It's pretty simple. You want fairly cool (90-100 degrees F) smoke - you're not cooking the pepper, just smoke-drying it. You may want to put a small slit in the side of the pepper to help speed the drying of the interior. Once they're leathery (i.e. dry but not crackling dry) you chop them up and run them through a spice grinder. The same process can be used to make anchos from poblanos.

As far as what kind of wood to use, I recommend something neutral tasting (i.e. not mesquite or hickory). Oak would be pretty suitable.
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2010, 09:24 am »

In our early days of gardening we did one insane summer of pepper growing and canning, making tons of jars of peppers we never really used. This year, we're growing one pepper plant -- jalepeno -- for the intended purpose of smoking our own chipotles, drying them, and grinding them into powder.

I'm going to do internet research (I have the time, the plant is just a seedling at this point), but has anyone here done this? I wouldn't mind a recipe or process tested by someone I almost know on the web.

Hey Alderaan, when I was living in Spain, what I missed most about Mexico were chipotles so we got pretty good at making them. I can answer any questions you can have, just let me know when you're ready to start.

Wait until the Jalapeños are very ripe and red.
Dont cut a slit into them. The best way to do it so it all gets evenly smoked is to string them together with string (with a needle) and hang them out to dry. Once they're dry, just cut the top off with a little bit of the top of the chili so the interior is exposed and put them in the smoker.
The thing you want to avoid is cooking the peppers, so you want a cold or a side smoker.
The best wood is pecan, in my experience
Once they're soft, you want to cook them. Here's the recipe we used:

1 kg smoked jalapeños
6 piloncillos or 4 cups of brown sugar
4 cups olive oil
8 medium onions, julienned
24 cloves of garlic
24 pealed and sliced carrots
3 cups of white vinegar
4 spoonfuls of salt
Lots of oregano

boil the chilies with the pilocillos until it disolves, fry up the veggies in the olive oil and add the vinegar, salt and oregano. Add the chilies and water, boil for 15 minutes and then put the stuff in jars and save it.

We had other ways of making them, just PM me and I'll be glad to help.



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mabudon
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2010, 09:38 am »

For some reason I never tasted chipotles in adobo sauce until maybe 2 years ago, and when I finally did, I was saddened by the fact that it had taken so long. If I come across a good enough amount of jalapenos this summer I will definitely try that "recipe"
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barco
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2010, 10:40 am »



Despite the label, this stuff is not really that hot, but it has excellent flavour and is perfect with chicken.

Oh word, something local. Yeah, nandos is amazing, and if your country is blessed with it, you should try it out.

I'm a big fan of Louisiana hot sauce (seems to be its official name). My brother gets it for me whenever he is in america, it is awesome. Milder and more vinegary than tabasco, but still in the same peppers and vinegar only category.
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2010, 10:50 am »

Yeah, Nando's peri-peri is awesome on pies and burgers.

Another hot sauce I use often is sambal oelek, which is like a sweet Thai chilli paste.
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