We love going DIY with pretty much everything, from marshmallows to mozzarella, but pulling out homemade hot sauce is a good way to make us feel especially proud of ourselves.
This fresh Sriracha by edamame2003 was the Food52 viral sensation of summer 2010, but what are we supposed to do when we can't get our mitts on fresh Fresno chiles?
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The answer: make Spicy Sauce. All year long, over and over again, make Spicy Sauce.
It's the invention of Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, the geniuses behind Torrisi Italian Specialties, but below you will find a perfectly scaled version for your kitchen.
It calls for ingredients you already have -- or can find in the midsection of your local grocery store -- and has but one step: blend. (Two if you count "mise en place" a.k.a. opening some jars and cans).
It's fiercely addictive stuff: electric, a tiny bit creamy from whipped up olive oil, and as spicy as you want it to be. (Unlike with fresh peppers, you can easily adjust the heat in the moment.)
Our Editorial Assistant Brette Warshaw got so hooked on it this summer that, lacking a blender in New York, she was known to cart tubs of it back from weekends home in Connecticut on the train. (Did I mention that Brette is my hero?)
It's the house hot sauce at Torrisi and its little sister Parm, where they mix it with sautéed broccoli rabe and spread it on roast turkey sandwiches.
It also makes a bang-up edible gift, for that person on your list who has everything and maybe doesn't want another tin of snickerdoodles.
Hoping that it could be safely water-bath canned too, I wrote to Food52's local canning expert, MrsWheelbarrow. She let me down gently (it involves olive oil, and thus would require some special equipment and recipe reverse-engineering -- it could probably be done, but I'll leave that to professionals like her to figure out).
Here's what I will advise: instead of giving people a shelf-stable year's supply, give them just a small jar, with the recipe printed out all cute (here's your inspiration).
This will be serve to both get them hungry for more -- as I was after the jar Brette gave me for my birthday this year was gone -- and provide them with a go-to recipe they too can blitz up at a moment's notice. I suppose this is what drug dealers do, but let's not think about that.
MrsWheelbarrow says it should keep in the fridge for up to 6 months, but it won't need to.
Got a genius recipe to share -- from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].
Photos by James Ransom (except Marc Carbone & Rich Torrisi, by Marilyn K. Yee for the New York Times)
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."