February Canning: Bottling Habenero Hot Sauce
This month I took a "canning" class, and I use the term canning loosely in this situation to describe the process of making a food that is shelf stable for a period of time, from Seattle Can Can at a neighborhood store called Goods for the Planet. We bottled our very own habenero hot sauce!
I don't have the exact recipe, but we essentially softened some diced bell peppers and habeneros in boiling water for about 5 minutes (until aromatic), drained the water, ran it through a blender and then mashed them through a colander and jelly bag. We added the pepper goodness back to the non-reactive pot, added 20% vinegar (1 cup to every 5), let it simmer for a bit and then put it in sterilized bottles. Voila!
Because the hot sauce is very high-acid it's shelf stable without being processed. The caps have a foam liner underneath that creates a good seal, and it will keep for a quite a while but might lose it's spiciness as the capsaicin fades. Easy peasy. Save your old hot sauce and vinegar bottles (and convince your friends/neighbors to do the same for you!) and you are on your path to an easy condiment.