Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pepper Power

I love sauces, especially spicy ones.  I thought today would be a good time to talk about some sauces I've used in the past few months.

Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Salsa is the first "sauce" on my list.  Mrs. Renfro's is a brand from Fort Worth, Texas, that offers very high quality sauces.  Salsas tend to be used more liberally than other sauces, as they don't tend to be as concentrated.  This salsa, though...it's flavorful, but HOT.  Use with caution, sparingly, like you would a standard very spicy sauce.  If you like the convenience of ordering of Amazon, the link is below, but it's cheaper to just order directly from Mrs. Renfro's.

Mrs. Renfro's Habanero Salsa is not an insanely hot as the bhut jolokia* Ghost Pepper Salsa (Scary hot, kids!), it's just delicious and hot.  If you like a lot of heat, you can use this salsa in moderation.  Again, you can buy directly from Mrs. Renfro's, or click the link below.

Bufalo Chipotle hot sauce isn't really hot.  There is just mild heat, and a delicious smoky flavor.  It's a good general usage sauce for meats and other foods that benefit from adding a smoky tang.  You can buy it here for a couple dollars, but I have found it locally for less than $1.  

Yeah, I like this stuff.

There are several brands of chili sauce, such as the excellent Huy Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste that are readily available at any Asian food mart in the US, as well as in many ordinary grocery stores.  These are usually inexpensive, and add a really nice flavor and mild-to-medium heat to foods, with a little sharpness that  kicks up the flavor of a dish.  I was shopping in Springfield on Valentine's Day before picking up my order from the Springfield Butcher, when I saw what appeared to be a very similar sauce, with similar ingredients.  It was reasonably priced, and every brand I've tried of these pepper sauces primarily made of ground peppers, vinegar, and salt has been similar, so I picked it up.  The Ziyad "Red Hot Pepper Sauce" was horrible!  It was not hot AT ALL, and had almost no flavor except for overpowering salt.  I have mostly remedied this by mixing in almost an entire bottle of my hottest sauce, the deadly Wicked Tickle Bhut Kisser.  Now I have something that has some heat, and a flavor other than salt.  Don't buy this swill, unless you're out of salt, and need to pickle something.

Do NOT buy.  You have been warned.

If you're interested in hot peppers, whether just trying new varieties, or want to learn how to grow them, check out the New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute.

*bhut jolokia was the hottest known pepper in the world, but has been surpassed by- I swear I'm not making this up- the Trinidad Scorpion, some variants of which are literally as hot as OC spray.  If you want to get a little bhut jolokia to make your own sauces, here's a link.  This one ounce of bhut jolokia flakes will probably be about the right amount for a GALLON of hot sauce.


Old NFO said...

Yep, all of those WILL clean your sinuses AND your insides out!!! I'll stick with the lower 'power' ones... :-D

J.R.Shirley said...

Yeah, the Bufalo is a good bet for pure flavor, no real heat, and the Huy Fong is great for some heat and tons of sharp flavor.