October 7, 2010

Hellfire Salsa -- if you dare!

Here's a really hot one for you!  
I developed this recipe 15 years ago when I started growing Habanero peppers in my garden. Since then, I have included a wide variety of hot peppers along with the Habaneros to vary the heat sensation -  Jalapenos, Cayenne, Anaheim, Hot Cherry, Ancho and Big Chile peppers.

Here's a great link which describes hot pepper varieties @ tomatogrowers.com

"HELLFIRE" INGREDIENTS:(makes about 6 - 16 ounce jars)

1 cup HOT PEPPERS finely ground
2 quarts pureed tomatoes, peeled 
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup minced cilantro
1/2 cup sugar
12 cloves of minced garlic, peeled
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper


Remove stems of hot peppers. Use enough hot peppers to make 1 cup, finely ground, using whole peppers (not seeded). Due to their high rank on the Scoville scale, the more Habanero peppers you include, the hotter the salsa!! I recommend that you wear rubber gloves when handling the hot peppers if you are sensitive to capsaicin.

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Simmer for 20 minutes and continue to stir frequently.  Skim any foam that rises to the top.

While you can enjoy this salsa recipe without canning, I find that a little Hellfire goes a long way! Hence, preserving your fiery salsa to share with foody friends or extend into the winter months comes next.


Prepare canning jars and lids according to jar manufacturer's instructions, which also means pre-heating them in a hot water bath (not boiling).

While simmering, prepare a boiling water bath.

Fill jars, cap and heat in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Cool and check for a good seal.

Besides enjoying it straight out the jar, Hellfire Salsa can be a 'flavorful' ingredient when combined with cheeses or meats.  Drain well and blend with cream cheese for a really vibrant tasting cheese spread.  Mix with olive oil and marinate chicken wings for very fiery buffalo wings. Heating the Hellfire Salsa will mellow it up a bit.

If you over indulge, cold milk is really the most effective way to ease the burning sensation.  I'm just sayin'.....

Wishing you good digestion!
Chef Alan

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