I really love to grow peppers. There are hundreds of variations, so there is always another one I want to try. I tried to grow some habaneros in Chicago, but the little plot we had just didn’t get enough sun. We were able to grow some Thai chilis and I actually think they may have grown better in a pot on our deck in Chicago than they did this year in our garden. But that’s partly because I started the seeds myself and without a greenhouse, it’s tricky to get healthy robust plants that produce in Vermont’s short growing season. The ones we did start are looking really great about now: tall, vibrant, healthy and loaded with fruit. But we could get frost any day now.
I was able to get a great Fatali habanero to grow this year and we also bought a nice plant of some other habanero variety from Red Wagon Plants. We also have jalapenos, cayenne, Fish peppers and Hungarian Hot Wax. If you do get a lot of questions, then you have to find stuff to do with them. We’ve pickled some, put them in scrambled eggs and pasta and made salsa. But the habaneros are a bit much for most of those uses. They don’t get as hot here as in warmer climates, but they still pack a punch.
So yesterday we were canning applesauce and I decided to try to make some hot sauce while we still had the canner going. After we were done with the apples obviously. I really like carrot-based habanero hot sauces, but instance I fell in love with Marie Sharp’s “Belizean Heat” when I visited Belize a number of years ago. So I tracked down a couple of recipes that I could can and ended up doing something like this Agent Orange Habanero Sauce, but without the mustard or something like this recipe. In addition to the peppers, the carrots, garlic and most of the onion were all from our garden as well.
So donning some gloves, I set to making the recipe. I used a Cuisinart mini food prep for most of the chopping as I didn’t want to handle the peppers any more than necessary. The air did get pretty pungent and it’s amazing how that stuff gets throughout the house. Fortunately we were going out last night so it had time to dissipate.
Here’s the sauce ready to put into jars. I used an immersion blender to blend everything. The habaneros aren’t cooked, they are put into the mixture fresh after you boil and blend the rest of the ingredients.
I’m actually very pleased with how it turned out. It’s definitely very hot, but not unpleasantly so. I could actually taste a bit on a spoon without setting my mouth on fire for 20 minutes. The carrots add a bit of sweetness and the habaneros have a bright fruity flavor in addition to the heat.