The Spice of Life – Hot Sauce, Salsa, etc.

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by Syzygy, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    Everybody's got their favorites, and I love a good hot pepper/salsa/sauce. This is a thread to post what you like, and hopefully let others know about it (especially if it's widely available).

    Being that I grew up in New Mexico (NM), what's now known as Hatch Green Chile is mine. We natives just call it "green chile". These are Anaheim peppers, but grown in an arid desert climate instead of Southern California's. In Hatch, NM, they gain awesome flavor.

    They only stay green because they're roasted before fully maturing. If you continue to let them ripen, they turn red ("red chile") and have a completely different, but equally satisfying, flavor. In NM, red is typically used for pork and carne asada, green for fowl. But it's commonly accepted to mix and match your favorite. Green Chile Cheeseburgers are incredible.

    In nearly every restaurant in NM, if you order something that comes with chile, you can expect the question "would you like red or green?" Even McDonald's serves Green Chile Cheeseburgers there.

    My favorite nationally-available green chile is Sadie's, which you can find at Sprouts, or online at sadiessalsa.com:

    [​IMG]

    Be warned, this stuff is addictive!
     
  2. fp627

    fp627 Friend

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    No clue why I spent $150 on various hot sauces last month... still going through them right now, but remind me to post in about a month or two about the different ones

    EDIT 4/28: Have not forgotten. Have gone through all but 4 of the sauces but super busy next 2 weeks.
    Edit 4/28: Ended up eating with more of the hot sauces than expected tonight. Here is a picture of the sauces ordered:
    [​IMG]

    As mentioned, very busy, but here is a brief frame of reference + initial thoughts on sauces above:
    Individual thoughts will come at a later time due to busy and haven't tried enough of the sauces on enough foods multiple times yet.

    Reference:
    I like spicy, but I'm not a "spicy head". Also, while I can do it, I don't particularly enjoy what the average person would consider super spicy food. My favorite "spicy" foods are mostly Indian foods, both north and south. Chicken or lamb vindaloo and rogan josht probably being my 2 favorites for spicy. Also really enjoy some spicy Thai foods, Ethiopian (although I'm not as experienced here), a few Peruvian foods (with the Aji "green sauce" being my favorite), and spicy American style chilis (prefer tomato based, minimal to no beans, meats can vary from ground beef to turkey to wild boar to other game animals - I'm not that picky on the meat).
    Just saw this article and this author's thoughts are similar to my own - using the spicy to enhance, not as a baseline: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/k...livens-most-anything?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Generally speaking, I don't like it when hot sauce is just some combination of vinegar and chili (with the exception of a few Southern US foods). I want to sauce (just like my food and my own cooking) to add extra layers of depth and flavor. I am also not a particular fan of Sichaun (China) style of spicy food despite it's popularity in it's home country - not enough depth and flavor for me, the brief numbing part of it is a gimmick to me. Lastly, in my very limited experience with Malaysian food (5-10 meals in my life), I haven't been a huge fan of this type of spicy either, although this may also be due to inexperience/ignorance on my part.

    Also not pictured here but always kept on hand and also very readily available in most places. I mention these because this is my "baseline" when adding hot sauce. Note that none of the below are really very spicy (if at all) to me, but it's the tiny bit of spice they add with the chili and other flavor that I use them for.
    Sambal Oelek and/or Sriracha - have mixed with soy sauce based sauces for many Chinese foods since I was ~7years old
    Spicy Sesame Oil - same as above
    Tapatio or Cholula (original flavors) - while the two are pretty different from each other, they both go well with a lot of different food for me. Typically alternate between the two.
    Gringo Bandito - surprisingly, I find myself using this in small amounts with a lot of different Asian foods, not just "tacos and burritos".

    Thoughts on sauces:
    Favorite 3 in no particular order as they are all very different and used for different foods:
    Heartbeat (far left in photo), Dawson's Big Smoke Chipotle (4th from left standing up), and the Clark and Hopkin's "Ethiopia" (4th from right, standing up).

    Next 3 in no particular order, same reason:
    Cutino Chipotle, Anejo, Assam

    Had enchilada night with my sister right after I got the sauces, wanted to see how two people who grew up eating the same foods and may have similarly hardwired genetic preferences but very different day to day diets and culinary preferences would react. She had all of the Cutino ones and the first 5 standing up on the left. Her favorite was the Heartbeat as well with Los Calientes being a close second. She used ~1/2 the Heartbeat sauce that meal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  3. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Great thread @Syzygy . My screen name comes from my 30 yr. obsession with culinary heat.

    Living in Iowa most of my life I got used to the fact that Iowans consider anything hotter than ketchup to be a sign that you're trying to kill them. So finding anything rated "hot" is difficult and usually turns out to be more like what I'd consider Medium. In the pre-internet days I'd look forward to the quarterly Mo Hotta Mo Betta catalogs. Hot sauce porn at its finest back in those days.

    I do a bit of gardening which is mostly confined to tomatoes, and chiles. Usually I grow at least 1 variety that's up there in the stupid-hot range. Last year it was Red Savina, of which most of them got made into a vinegar based hot sauce and canned so I'd have it until the next harvest. This isn't a salsa, but more like a really kickin version of Franks Red Hot. This is our everyday table sauce in my family.

    My favorite daily green sauce is Mrs Renfros Green salsa. It's kinda old school, semi-gelatinous sludge, but I've been eating it for decades mostly because it can found locally on a consistent basis.

    Vernons Jerk Sauce- I loved this stuff in the past but haven't been able to find it for a while. I need to mail order some this year.

    Most of the time I make salsa fresh, but I'm going to order some Sadies and give it a try.

    edit: Dang the shipping on a case of Sadies is a killer. It's gonna have to wait.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  4. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

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    I've been growing my own hot peppers (Ghosts, Reapers, Scorpions, etc) for quite a few years now. I've done both indoors under an HID and outdoors, which is a challenge with our short summers here. I know they are not nearly as hot as they would be if grown in their native habitats, but they are still plenty hot to easily hurt yourself with (never ever, ever touch your face after handling them LOL).

    I get my seeds from Pepper Joes https://pepperjoe.com/ I have nothing but good things to say about their quality and germination rate.

    Mostly I dry them and use the powder to spice up various dishes. I have dabbled in using fresh peppers for chili and homemade salsa. A little goes a long way.

    I also probably have a dozen different kinds of commercial hot sauce in my fridge at any given time. For everyday use (and I do mean every day), I'm quite happy with McIlhenny's Habanero Tabasco as a regular standby.
     
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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  6. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    Oh wow, I kept thinking that nobody cared for spice…and now, activity!

    I've been using this in soups and egg sandwiches as an alternative to Sriracha: https://yellowbirdsauce.com/product/9-oz-organic-ghost-pepper-condiment/

    Found at Whole Foods, but maybe just here since it's made in Austin:

    [​IMG]

    @crazychile PM me an address, and I'll USPS flat-rate you a box with a couple things. And Mrs Renfro's is pretty good…I think it's made in Fort Worth, IIRC.
     
  7. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    It's not hot like most of you might like, but it's got heat and tastes very good.

    www.stinkingood.com

    SG_HotPork_Front-min.png
     
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  8. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red Friend

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    I just recently got into hot sauces! My experience is somewhat limited to a local store though (Heatonist, the people that do the Hot Ones show on YouTube), but the sauces they carry are really nice so far.

    This one isn't bad if you like curry:

    [​IMG]

    I also got a bottle of their famous Last Dab, but it's so hot I haven't been using it that much:
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I watch that YouTube channel often. It's entertaining watching celebs shit themselves near the end.
     
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  10. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    I really like this one squash based hot sauce made near my house called "bad karma". "Extreme karma" is very good too in a lesser dosage. Nice and hot, and very good flavor.
     
  11. EeePee

    EeePee Acquaintance

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    Yeah Hot Ones is fun.

    By far,
    Description
    The lemon drop pepper, ají limon, is a hot, citrus-like, lemon-flavored pepper which is a popular seasoning pepper in Peru, where it is known as qillu uchu. A member of the baccatum species, the lemon drop is a cone pepper that is around 60mm long and 12mm wide with some crinkling. Wikipedia



    The only one that's got me on the pepper high euphoric feels.

    I've eaten all the ridiculous ones. Pain. Lemon drop is PERF.
     
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  12. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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  13. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Probably my favorites:
    • A green habanero-based sauce sold at the Don Cándido steakhouse in Managua, Nicaragua (the moment I had it, I bought four bottles for the trip back, I didn't share with anybody).
    • At Favela Grill in Astoria, New York, they serve small chilis muddled with Cachaça rum to go with their croquettes. You heard me right, it's yum.
    • I have a number of Brazilian sauces, which range from highly vinegary lightweight ones, to their seriously flavorful habanero-based ones. I can't read most of the labels, but the one I really like right now says Picanha Brava.
    • Gallo oil with piri piri (I can't remember if this was Portugese or African or what), but really nice on pizzas and stuff.
    • Piri-piri sacana ai ai, this one is the one drop, one kill type.
    • I've also muddled raw habaneros and salt into oil before, it's deliciousness.
    • Where I come from in South India, they eat steamed root vegetables dipped into coconut oil muddled with green chillis and salt, also deliciousness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  14. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    you should be plunked for store brand chile in Colorado!
    get to a local Santiagos or small carniceria nearby for something fresh.
     
  15. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Meh. Santiago's isn't great, and I have it on good authority they use Stokes green chili out of a can.
     
  16. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    It's kinda weird, I used to make a lot of sauce with Habaneros, but I seem to have developed a distaste for capsicum chinense variants. There's an undertaste that I can't quite put my finger on but which I distinctly don't like now for some reason. I've been focused on Jalapenos and drier heat like Peri-Peri/Bird's eye, making sriracha and peri-peri sauce for the most part.

    Anyone else with a dislike for the Habanero family taste?
     
  17. roscoeiii

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    [​IMG]

    Love this stuff, with that great Scotch Bonnet flavor.
     
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  18. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Facebook Friend

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    [​IMG]

    And most of these Marie Sharp's have a great carrot base that gives it a nice brightness.
     
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  19. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I have friends that live in Nagaland and Assam. When I was there a few weeks ago I learned how to make what they generically call "Chutney". It's roasted plum tomatoes, ginger, garlic salt, and King chile. It gets all muddled together and is a blazing hot way to kick up white rice a few notches. I've made this a few times at home and I can get it pretty close to authentic.

    The King chile was a new one to me. I figured that was a crude english translation of the Bhut Jolokia, but it isn't. Similar heat though. I found some seeds from pepperjoe.com and will see if they grow in Iowa.
     
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  20. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I like the Hab varieties, but they're kinda special application chiles to me since they have that citrus aroma. Great for Jerk Chicken or Island dishes or made into a simple vinegar/salt table sauce with limes. You can also smoke and dry them which changes their flavor profile a bit.
     

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