Habanero Hot Sauce

A couple years ago we planted several (a dozen?) habanero plants. They produced plentifully! Delicious light-green, yellow, and bright orange habanero peppers. They are picante! (They kinda hurt!) With so much abundance, I searched for a hot sauce recipe using habaneros and found this one below. (Slightly modified by me.) It’s hot, but the carrots help offset the heat, and maintain the good habanero flavor.

One modification I made was to add the jalapeño flavor. We had an even greater abundance of that pepper, so I added them in. An equal amount, or slightly more.

The result? A fantastically hot/spicy sauce that has great flavor, and lasted many months in the fridge. Love it!

Habanero PeppersIngredients:
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used mild olive oil)
1 Cup chopped carrots
2 Cups water
5 habanero peppers, minced
5 jalapeño peppers, minced (or another type of hot pepper, if preferred)
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt

In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add carrots and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the peppers, lime juice, vinegar and salt. Puree until smooth. Return mixture to skillet and saute for a few more minutes, this gives the sauce a more liquid consistency.

Store in a sealed jar in your fridge. Sauce can last for many months—unless you use it all first!

Garbage Plates (A Rochester, NY Favorite!)

This weekend we had some friends over to eat. We call it the Food Fest and host it every year in July. Showcasing some of our favorite foods in ridiculous quantities, just for fun! This year we decided to have a very specific theme: Garbage Plates!

The original “Garbage Plate” is from a local eatery named after it’s owner, Nick Tahou’s. It features most of the foods you can find at any local diner, all piled up together on a plate, served with a couple slices of fresh bread. It’s fantastic!

I got the recipe through a friend, and thought I’d share it here as well (with my modifications…) It made for a great summer party meal! (And is just ridiculously filling!!) Note: I did triple the ingredients below (except for the onion) for a party of about 20 people, half kids.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Special Sauce Ingredients:

1 – medium onion, chopped
1 – tbsp garlic, minced
1 – tbsp. oil
1 – lb. triple-ground beef
1 1/2 – cup water
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
1 – tsp. ground black pepper
3/4 – tsp. cayenne pepper
1 – tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 – tsp. paprika
1/2 – tsp. ground cumin
1/2 – tsp. allspice
1/4 – tsp. cinnamon
1/2 – tsp. powdered cloves
1 – tsp. salt (to taste)

Mix beef with water and oil and dissolve as much as possible, for finer texture. Begin heating on medium-high heat while adding all of the ingredients, stirring frequently. (Don’t want to burn!) Cook for 10 minutes or so, still stirring, then reduce heat and let simmer for at least 30 more minutes. (The longer the better, but keep the sauce moist… may need to add water here and there. The consistency should be thin, but not too watery.)

The Garbage Plate:
Hamburger patties, or hot dogs (preferably Zweigle’s … another Rochester favorite)
Baked beans
Macaroni Salad
Home Fries (and/or french fries)
Diced Onion
Mustard

Grill up your favorite meat, and when it’s ready here’s the order for piling up the delicious food on your plate: (Large paper plates worked well for us.) First, add about 1 cup each of Mac salad, baked beans (COLD, not hot), and either home fries or french fries (your choice… some of our guests had both!) Next, add the meat. Two pieces. Next cover the plate with a ladle-full of the special sauce from above. Add some diced onion and crisscross the plate with mustard. Serve with two slices of fresh bread.

And just try to finish it! :-)

Greg’s Famous (Spicy!) Chili

Another fall favorite is a big pot of chili simmering on the stove, then filling your belly! Served with mild cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and/or crackers (plus your favorite hot sauce, of course!) and you can’t go wrong!

Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef
1 large onion (coarsely chopped)
2 tsps (or two cloves) of garlic (more to taste)
3-4 cans of diced tomatoes
1 6oz can of tomato paste
3 Cups water
5-6 Tbps Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper (if available)
1/2 cup corn starch (approximate, diluted in water with salad dressing shaker)
(other ingredients to taste…)

Brown beef (along with half of the onion and all of the garlic) and then drain the excess fat/grease. Add tomatoes, water, and spices (but not corn starch) and continue to cook on medium-high temperature. (Feel free to add more of any or all of the peppers, depending on your tolerance for spicy foods!)

Stir frequently, until all comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for a couple hours. (Stirring occasionally.)

Once it’s almost time to serve, add the corn starch to thicken slightly. (Add a little at a time to desired thickness.) If you are adventurous, other ingredients you can add include: brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, any sort of peppers (including sweet peppers), and whatever else you think might taste good. I frequently add a “secret ingredient” … almost every time I make it! :-)

Serve as above, and enjoy! (Goes great with homemade bread!)

Cincinnati Style Chili (Skyline Chili!)

Skyline 3-Way
Skyline 3-Way

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp chili powder

1/2  tsp pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1-1/2 tsp allspice

1/2  tsp garlic salt

2 dashes Worcestershire  sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste

Corn Starch

Dissolve beef in 10 cups cold water. Once I get it started with a spoon, I use a hand mixer to get the meat as fine as possible.  Add rest of ingredients.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Thicken with corn starch.  Serve over spaghetti noodles.  Top with cheddar cheese.  Eat.  Enjoy.  Eat some more.  Enjoy some more.

I often make at least a double batch. For 3 pounds of beef, I often double the spices.  (And add some water.)  For 5 lbs of beef I triple all the spices, but only use 12 oz of tomato paste.